MPL-MY/SG Season 5 Playoffs: A preview of the upper bracket
Resurgence will take on Team Bosskurr, whereas Geek Fam and EVOS SG will face-off in the last series of Playoffs Day 1.
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.
Resurgence is deservedly perched at the top of the standings. Having underwent a near complete overhaul of their line-up, with only Sana and Kayzeepi remaining, they had to earn their spot in the Regular Season through the qualifiers. Geek Fam has also gone from strength-to-strength. Season 4 was difficult because of major roster changes, but it looks like they have transitioned into a mature team under Xorn’s leadership.
Being in the upper bracket means Resurgence, Geek Fam, EVOS SG and Team Bosskurr can afford to lose their first series, but who wouldn’t want a smooth ride into the grand final?
Upper bracket match 1: Resurgence vs Team Bosskurr
Despite Resurgence coming through the qualifiers, they are packed with experience. Each player has been in at least two MPL-MY/SG seasons and half of them (ly4ly4ly4, Jason and SynC) were part of the IDNS SG team which won Season 1. An extremely aggressive team, they hold the record of the fastest game in the Regular Season at just 7:27 minutes. An average game for them lasts just 14:30 minutes, and they are known for their high-tempo early game aggression.
Related: Resurgence's road to redemption.
Their top three picks are Uranus, Carmilla and Jawhead, which are considered meta picks, but unlike many other teams, they’ve managed to find a winning formula for these heroes. With 30 unique heroes picked in their 20 Regular Season games, they don’t have the widest hero pool, if their strategy ain’t broken, why fix it?
Ly4ly4ly4 may be the carry of the team, but Jason and Kayzeepi are often the players who enable the rest of their team to unleash their full potential. The tank/support players are often the early game playmakers, opening the map and exerting pressure on their opponents to create space for ly4 to farm and later come online. With a well-balanced team and a wealth of experience, they are clear favourites heading in the Playoffs.
Their first round opponents, Team Bosskurr, struggled in the earlier weeks of the Regular Season, but regained some of their groove and finally finished in solid fourth. Also underdoing a major overhaul of the squad with the departure of Soloz, Penjahat and Gripex, newcomer Leixia has been a needed breath of fresh air. He has the league’s third-highest kill score and is the arguably the best Karrie player in the league with a 67% win rate when picked nine times. Only EVOS’ Fossa has a higher win rate (75%) but he has only played the hero four times.
The big question for Team Bosskurr is if they are too dependent on the young Marksman. Resurgence has multiple avenues of damage, but Leixia takes about 43% of team kills, meaning that if he’s successfully shut down, Bosskurr lack teeth in their attack. The rest of the team will have to step up if they are to withstand Resurgence’s onslaught.
Upper bracket match 2: Geek Fam vs EVOS SG
Geek Fam have quietly regained their status as the strongest Malaysian MLBB team. With a relatively unchanged roster from Season 4 – 2ez4Jepv’s departure for Bosskurr replaced by Artz (part of their Season 3 title-winning squad) – many weren’t expecting such a dominant performance throughout the Regular Season.
Known for Xorn’s “emoting” prowess, the team has taken a largely happy-go-lucky approach to games, often trolling opponents in a display of confidence – or is it part of their mind games strategy? As a team, they have the highest kills in the league (356) and the second lowest total deaths (187). Feekz has the league’s highest kills per game score, averaging an impressive 112 kills in 15 games, that’s an average of 7.5 kills per game. In Xorn, they have the league’s highest playmaker, with 204 assists in 20 game; that’s an average of 10.2 assists per game.
However, stats mean nothing if the players aren’t in the right mental state, their opening week’s 2-0 defeat of EVOS SG will be an important confidence booster ahead of the series, but EVOS’ recent form has been devastating. This upper bracket tie will probably be the toughest to call.
The defending champions started the season by dropping Season 4 Grand Final MVP Potato and Tank player Ace for Fossa and debutant Pokemon after a disastrous MLBB World Championship campaign. Both players have settled well and Fossa has proven an apt Marksman able to handle the pressure of being in such a prestigious team.
Related: Potato and Ace depart from EVOS SG.
Discipline and objective-focused gaming have always been a hallmark of EVOS SG. They might not have the most exciting games with high kills or flashy plays, but they consistently get the job done. They have a never-say-die attitude and three consecutive grand final appearances have given veterans JPL, OhDeerBambi and Soul mental fortitude to overcome overwhelming odds. Their Regular Season closing match against Resurgence was a joy to watch as they managed to end the latter team’s unbeaten run through excellent drafting and teamfight coordination.
Besides being a clash between past Malaysian and Singaporean champions, this series is also a conflict of approaches: Geek Fam will most certainly play with their goofy (and tilting manner), and EVOS SG will be characteristically serious and cool.
MPL caster, Ikuto, argues that consistency is important for a team to win a championship. Every team is talented, but performing at a high level in back-to-back games is what ultimately separates the cream of the crop from the “good teams.” “Throughout the season, we don’t see Resurgence, EVOS SG or Geek Fam having much difficulties except when fighting each other. It seems like they’ve ‘mastered the system.’ The players know what needs to be done and how to go about achieving their targets. Organisationally, they are strong, and they can play aggressively from the start or soak up pressure and come from behind.”
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.