Team Malaysia (MY) has secured the SouthEast Asian spot for the StarLadder StarSeries XII LAN playoffs and finals to be held at Dreamhack Bucharest, between April 24-26. MY will be representing SEA, after winning the three game grand finals for the region versus MVP.Phoenix. The series went to the deciding third game, after MVP.Phoenix took the first game.
Looking at the draft, MVP.Phoenix seemed to be the weaker team, needing a lot of levels and a good start in order to survive the game. Even with the Ember-Io combination that they had previously used to beat Team Malaysia earlier in the brackets, spectators seemed to know straight ahead that it would not be enough. It didn’t take long for MVP.Phoenix to start showing their strength. Kim Yong-Min “Febby” on Shadow Fiend had five kills by minute 9 and by minute 11 MVP.Phoenix traded four kills for a single death of their own in a fight that would help continue to propel them forward. The Ember-Io combo of Tae Won Park “March” and Kim Seon-Yeob “QO” gave the team great mobility to pick off Team Malaysia. However, around minute 18, knowing that MY was at the Roshan Pit, MVP.Phoenix went in and gave four kills to MY, looking as if the game might have turned in their favor. However, once MY killed Roshan, QO stole the aegis, giving the team the edge that they needed to regain the grounds they were starting to lose. By minute 28, MVP.Phoenix picked off four heroes and started to break high ground, taking mid barracks. That was all that was needed for MY to call GG and give the MVP.Phoenix the first victory of the series.
The beginning of the game seemed chaotic, with both teams trying to dive behind their safe lane’s opponents Tier 1 towers. Due to this aggressive approach, those on the safe lane had less farm and net worth than expected and the game appeared to be led by the supports more than usual. By minute 11, Team Malaysia killed three of MVP.Phoenix’s core heroes and took Roshan, thus taking the lead. At 15 minutes into the game, the net worth chart was dominated by MY with Chong Xin Khoo “Ohaiyo” Leshrac and Lee Kong Yang “Ky.xY” Troll at the top, and Fadil Bin Mohd Raziff “Kecik Imba” Queen of Pain following MVP.Phoenix’s Damien Chok “kPhoenii” Axe. MY’s cores were doing well while Febby’s Drow Ranger was having a difficult time of 0-4-0 kills-deaths-assists. Game progressed with MY pushing towers up and down with their Chen-Troll-Leshrac pick, giving them the momentum and advantage. Minute 19 an attempted smoke gank on Troll went wrong. Lee Johnny “JoHnNy” Chen and Chai Yee Fung “Mushi” Shadow Demon saved Troll with 5 HP being disrupted and then teleported to base by Chen, and MY also killing 4 MVP.Phoenix heroes. The lead was further extended by MY taking Roshan and then trying to break ground. After MVP.Phoenix losing top barracks at minute 28, MY went for the bottom barracks and wiped out the entire MVP.Phoenix team, forcing the GG and the decisive game.
Being that this was the deciding game in the grand finals, the pressure was on. It seemed that MY was prepared for MVP.Phoenix’s greedy lineup with taking two carries, Anti Mage and Storm Spirit. As those two heroes require a lot of space in the early game to build to their optimal strength and power, MY picked a snowball lineup of Dirge, Razor and Bat Rider. At minute 16, four of MVP heroes were killed in a team fight, and by minute 19 MY was now leading with 14 kills, double of what MVP.Phoenix had. At 23 minutes into the game, MY tried to break high ground, took a tower and both barracks while Febby on Anti Mage was trying to split push the opposite side of the map, unsuccessfully due to the lack of farm from the rough laning phase and still being early game. It felt as if MVP.Phoenix should have been avoiding fights and trying to farm as fast and as much as possible but instead they would engage in fights making bad trades. By minute 26, the gold difference was 10k in favor of MY. 33 minutes into the game, AM was picked off without buyback and with three more heroes dying, MVP.Phoenix started to lose base and the Tier 4 tower. From minute 41 onward, after another four deaths for MVP.Phoenix, there was no chance to guard Roshan, defend base or towers adequately or change the pace of the game. Although many expected MVP.Phoenix would lose the game based on their draft, they put up a good fight.
Team Malaysia will join the other three teams that have already qualified: Team Tinker, Invictus Gaming and ViCi Gaming. The four European teams that will be attending the Dreamhack Bucharest StarSeries XII LAN finals have not yet been determined.
Team Malaysia current roster
Lee “JoHnNy” Johnny
Lee “Ky.xY” Kong Yang
Chong “Ohaiyo” Xin Khoo
Chai “Mushi” Yee Fung
Fadil “Kecik Imba” Bin Mohd Raziff
MVP Phoenix current roster
Tae “March” Won Park
Kim “QO” Seon-Yeob
Damien “kPhoenii” Chok
Kim “Febby” Yong-Min
Jeng “WarNutz” Yih Wong
The StarLadder StarSeries XII online group stages began March 10. The best eight out of the 40 participating teams will qualify to the LAN finals: four European teams, two Chinese teams, one North-American team, and one Southeast Asian team. For the first time in the tournament’s history, the StarSeries finals will leave the Cybersport Arena in Kiev, to be hosted at Dreamhack Bucharest, April 24-26. The venue for the playoffs was changed amidst multiple frustrations and issues in the past regarding visas for traveling teams. The base prize pool is $80,000 plus travel support for attending teams. Casting will be provided by SLTV in Russian and Beyond the Summit in English.