The serenity at the Genting Highlands smells fresh as eight teams advance into the ESL One Malaysia 2022 Playoffs. Both Team Aster and Team Secret prevailed against Fnatic and Team OG respectively to advance to the upper bracket finals. Nevertheless, the two losers still have one lifeline in the lower bracket.
ESL One Malaysia 2022 Group Stage Recap
It was a massive letdown for fans of Team Liquid and BOOM Esports, which were the first to leave the tournament. Leaving the playoffs slots to the unexpected survivors, Nigma Galaxy. Over at group A, Talon Esports and Alliance didn’t make the cut, which wasn’t out of our expectations. Alliance fans are still upset about the powerhouse’s downhill performance since last DPC (2021-22) season.
Moving away from the angry mobs behind their favorite teams’ losses, Team Secret with Roman “Resolut1on” Fomynok delivered phenomenally. They were top seeds in group B, and fans have their hopes high for them at the TI11 Regional Qualifiers. OG, as expected, performed well in their group of regional rivals, Southeast Asian opponents, and TSM. It’s decent performance across the board, but we will have to reserve our thoughts until their match versus the Chinese powerhouse, Team Aster.
ESL One Malaysia 2022 Playoffs Bracket
Thus far, Entity and Thunder Awaken managed to get out of their first elimination matches relatively unscathed. Another two lower bracket matches will give us the lower bracket semifinalists. Meanwhile, Aster and Secret are fighting for a spot at the Grand Final.
Fnatic vs Entity
Fnatic failed to impress the crowd versus Aster and plays for tournament life in the lower bracket. That said, it certainly couldn’t be worse than BOOM Esports and Team Liquid, which were eliminated in the group stage.
They still has a massive obstacle ahead of them, and it goes by Entity. Entity is a recent rising star from the Western European DPC scene, having replaced the former staple, Team Secret. They even stole the spotlight for placing fifth at Arlington Major, which is a commendable feat for a new team.
Up against Fnatic, which seemingly has a vast hero pool in its arsenal, Entity’s drafts lean towards the fast-paced midgame timings instead. This puts Fnatic in an awkward spot as they draft late-game heroes, which are a bad match-up to deal with midgame pushes. Entity just seems much more solid in their recent games since Arlington.
OG vs Thunder Awaken
Nigma did mighty well for a team that everyone anticipated to flop in group stage. They gave most opponents up until Thunder Awaken a run for their money, with only a loss to OG. As it turns out, Randy “Dreamocel” Sapoetra is a viable fit for Nigma’s hard carry role, which might have tipped us on who’s the issue in Nigma all along. Meanwhile, OG already proved their dominance over Nigma in groups, and now needs to handle Thunder Awakenin what may be a long series.
Both OG and TA have fairly established drafts figured out. TA will likely go the way of a traditional hard carry to 1up opponents, while OG goes to Chen and Puck as defaults. We will have to count this match as a toss-up between the two. Dota 2 odds seem to agree.