The MPL Season 4 and M1 1st runners-up are showing they have the staying power for a serious title challenge.

Meta Matters is a series where we take a deeper look into the esports
metagame. We’ll explore strategies used by the best teams and supplement that
with our own research and statistics. Esports isn’t just a random group of
people playing video games – the meta truly matters!

Week 6 Day 2 of MPL ID Season 5 really showed the difference in RRQ Hoshi’s playstyle. I am not going to lie when I say that RRQ is literally a “suicide squad” as they will do almost anything to get the win. It’s terrifying how a team can be this aggressive while still pulling themselves apart from the pack with their stellar 8-2 record.

Let’s us get into the meat of things. During Week 6 Day 2, RRQ Hoshi faced Alter Ego. Now AE was looking to build on their 5-5 match win-loss record after beating their closest competition ONIC 2-1 the week before, and second-from-bottom Aura on Day 1. However, against RRQ, AE was a shadow of their previous performance. The team had adapted well against ONIC despite losing Game 2. I was expecting them to show the same spirit and teamwork but that just was not the case.

That brings us to Game 1 between RRQ and Alter Ego. It started well for RRQ with a smart Zhask pick, which enabled their composition to dish out enough damage despite the strong disengage provided by Valir. I might also add that Alter Ego’s draft was not the best and didn’t take full advantage of
the current hyper-carry, support-Flameshot meta. AE went with a standard draft but integrated Leomord into their line-up. Whether it was AE’s attempt to expand the meta horizon or just missed execution on their part, RRQ’s LJ had a field day brick-walling LeoMurphy’s Leomord throughout the laning phase and he didn’t  have much of an impact in the top lane.

Game 2 should have been when AE decided to adapt, and they did. The draft was 50/50 and I would argue that AE might have had a slightly better composition overall. Much to my surprise, RRQ had a different plan in mind. RRQ realised the weak link in the AE’s chain, the damage-sponge, Uranus. I talked about it previously in my article on Bigetron Alpha where Uranus was utilised as a brick wall aimed at neutralising damage during the early laning stages. I had initially thought that RRQ.XIN’s Gusion might have to lane against Uranus but much to my surprise RRQ had different plans as they made Lemon’s Wanwan play in a seemingly unfavourable lane. However, what made it apparent that Uranus was down for the
count was the emblem selected by Lemon, Weakness Finder.

It was honestly quite shocking that I had not seen this sooner as Wanwan single-handedly took over the lane. Uranus was not able to walk up to the wave as he would be severely punished, especially after the 4th minute.

Weakness Finder allowed Wanwan to get in good damage, while also slowing him down enough on proc to kite around him. This essentially allowed Lemon to dance around him, hit all the vulnerability points whilst maintaining a safe distance. Of course, Uranus would never actually die to Wanwan, but the hero picked to shut down the opponent’s safelane, was ironically, shut down.

The next step was utilising Gusion. It was nice to finally see Gusion in play again but abusing his level 4 and pretending to be the off laner gave RRQ the edge. AE expected Lemon to be funnelled with all the gold and experience, and in their defense, so did I. But after XIN’s Gusion reached level 4, RRQ continually took fight after fight until they beat Alter Ego into submission.

An “early game” Wanwan was a cover-up, Gusion had a power spike that RRQ utilised until Lemon was online. For the first seven minutes of the game, Lemon would not participate in big teamfights unless necessary. RRQ relied on Gusion heavily to ensure they won 3v3 skirmishes across the map, which catapulted Gusion (who had Mystery Shop as his emblem) to hit his power spike quicker. From 12:30 in-game onwards, RRQ would win every fight till the Base came crashing down.

Lemon ended the game 13/0/2 – not bad for a supposedly tough start against Uranus.

This is a guest post and the views expressed here are the author's own. GideonQ is a caster and analyst for MPL-MY/SG Season 5.

eGG Network will be showing MPL-ID Season 5 from Fridays to Sundays! Visit www.egg.network to check out the daily schedule as Week 8 will happen on 27-29 March 2020. 

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