Orange Esports Reborn, Todak, Team SMG and Axis Esports will want to avoid early exits.
The Playoffs stage of the fifth season of MPL-MY/SG will start this Friday (1 May). The top eight teams from the Regular Season: Resurgence, Geek Fam, EVOS SG, Team Bosskurr, Orange Esports Reborn, Todak, Team SMG and Axis Esports will lock horns in a double elimination bracket to determine the strongest team in both countries.
In a tightly contested season, Resurgence, Geek Fam and EVOS SG stood head and shoulders above the rest as the other teams were plagued by inconsistent performances. Siren Clan and Notorious Villains were eliminated and Axis Esports advanced to the Playoffs by the skin of their teeth, edging past Siren Clan thanks to a superior head-to-head record (they beat Siren Clan 2-0 in Week 1).
The lower bracket teams have only one match to salvage their season. Fall in their first best-of-three and their respective campaigns will end.
How the tables have turned. Silo, the current captain of Orange Esports Reborn previously led four of the current Axis Esports players (Evilx, Lacid, Loong and Rynn) to the Season 2 title. Silo now has the chance to ensure Axis does not pull off another “miracle” tournament run.
In a repeat of Season 2 where Axis Esports just sneaked into the Playoffs, the squad has not been improving over the seasons. Despite a respectable fourth-place finish last season, they crashed out of M1 in their first game out of the Group Stages.
Despite making two changes this season: dropping both Scott and Zee for Kid Meepo and KaiserX, the team failed to find their groove. Their only two wins of the Regular Season came against Siren Clan and Notorious Villains in Weeks 1 and 2 respectively. After that, it was a series of losses. Granted, there were close games, but they seemed to lack the cohesion and teamwork to close out games.
Their top three hero picks are Jawhead (13), Grock (10) and Karrie (7) – common heroes in the current meta, but they haven’t found much success. The team might need to shake up their drafting to accommodate the brilliance we know playmakers Loong and Rynn possess.
On the other hand, Orange Esports Reborn will be looking to killing machine Mal to carry them. With 157 kills in 24 games, he’s been Orange Esports’ standout player despite a difficult campaign. The 21-year-old Marksman’s best heroes this season has been Claude (67% win rate) and Roger (60% win rate) and Axis might need to consider drafting to neutralise his threat.
One of Orange’s weakness is their death count. They have the league’s second-highest death count at 405 deaths, with an average of 17 deaths per game. The overall league average is 12 deaths per game. Axis Esports, on the other hand, have the least deaths outside of the top three. This lower bracket match between Axis’ experience and caution, and Orange’s trigger-happy young squad promises to be electric.
Lower bracket match 2: Todak vs Team SMG
Todak’s season has been a disaster. After finishing second in their debut Season and claiming third at the inaugural MLBB World Championship (M1), hopes were high that Todak would mount a serious challenge come Season 5. They were the only invited team which did not make changes to their roster, which was surely a statement of their confidence.
However, they were winless after two weeks of play and finally eked out a 2-1 victory over Team Bosskurr in week 3. That victory was an important morale boost and although there were starts and stops, they haltingly made their way into the Playoffs with a comfortable margin. They have been slow to adjust to the meta. Despite showing moments of brilliance, Todak have largely been poor in their teamfight executions. Marksman Cikuuuuu will be a player to watch. If SMG can shut him down, they have a real chance of advancing to the next stage.
SMG’s season was a near contrast to Todak’s. Entering the season with lots of hype after their acquisition by JJ Lin’s organisation, the players had a great start, winning all three of their opening matches. However, their form dipped drastically after losing to both EVOS SG and Geek Fam in Week 3. Except for a 2-0 victory over Axis, SMG lost the rest of their matches and ended up an ignoble 7th in the standings.
Five of the current squad were part of the XPAX X-Assins team which finished joint 7th last season. With veterans like Artha and Ax consistently finishing poorly at the Playoffs, will history repeat itself? SMG’s key player in the match-up will be Smooth, who has proven his Marksman talents on many occasions. However, he is prone to over-extend himself.
Both teams enter the Playoffs with vast experience, though Todak has a better track record in the Playoffs stage. Neither team wants to face the prospect of an early exit, but based on recent form, Todak looks to have a slight edge.
Stay tuned as we give you a preview of the upper bracket matches between Resurgence vs Team Bosskurr, and Geek Fam vs EVOS SG.
MPL-MY/SG Season 5 is organised by eGG Network. You can catch the Bahasa Malaysia broadcast of MPL-MY/SG Season 5 Playoffs on our Facebook page.