AT THE Mineski Masters, Thai-based Dota 2 team Motivate.Trust Gaming earned a reputation as Pinoy slayers as they dispatched squad after squad en route to the finals. And they could have given Boom Esports, a Filipino-centric squad, a shocking upset in the series' ultimate showdown as they were up 0-2.
But Boom delivered a fireworks display in their remaining matches, punching a dagger straight to MTG's soul with a painful reverse sweep.
Though the finals was deemed as a precursor for the upcoming DPC season, it proved to be a major spectacle, with the nonstop heart pounding action on display in the hour-long Games 3 and 5.
MTG's turtling antics initially thwart Boom
It seemed Boom Esports was destined to dominate the matchup as their signature early game aggression, led by Erin Jasper "Yopaj" Ferrer, Saieful "Fbz" Ilham, and Timothy "Tims" Randrup, who weakened MTG's momentum.
A glance at the Net Worth charts in Games 1 and 3 showed Boom had a dominant early game as they were able to win most of the early skirmishes.
But the latter stages proved to be a hurdle for the Indonesian-based squad as they encountered a strong resistance from their Thai rivals. Both games saw Souliya "Jackboys" Khoomphetsavong evolve into a late game force of destruction as the long range barrage from his Medusa intimidated Boom.
He became the focal point of MTG's offense in the series as he became the team's primary finisher. It worked wonders in Game 1, where his late game Medusa seemed unkillable, and it nearly could've given the championship in Game 4, until Tims' farmed Dark Willow bursted her down and snatched Medusa's Divine Rapier in the grueling 68th minute.
Boom crafts a response
Seeing that MTG was utilizing a late-game lineup with their four-protect-one strategy, Boom decided to make crucial adjustments. The threat of Jackboys' Medusa was instantly banned after Game 3, and they eventually removed other potential late-game dangers like Faceless Void in Game 5.
This paved the way for Boom to dominate the matchup as they breezed past their foes within 30 minutes in Game 4. It likewise didn't help that Fbz's Viper limited the impact of Natthaphon "Masaros" Ouanphakdee's Tidehunter.
After witnessing their hero pool being nerfed by Boom's decision to ban majority of Jackboys' heroes, MTG responded by immediately selecting the Terrorblade in Game 5, which allowed Boom to strategize their countermeasures featuring Luna, Faceless Void, and Zeus.
The trio limited the impact of Jackboys as his TB struggled to deal with the Void's Chronosphere and the combined burst damage from Luna and Zeus. However, MTG's gutsy playstyle with their surprise Ravage plays led to a potential comeback in the making.
But ultimately, their efforts were laid to waste thanks to the late game heroics from Justine "Tino" Grimaldo's Faceless Void and Yopaj's Zeus. Timo forced MTG to waste their double Ravage combo, which allowed Yopaj and the rest of the crew to deliver the finishing touches, leading to a resounding championship run for the Indonesian-based squad.
As champions of the preseason tournament, Boom Esports netted P400,000.