LoL Pacific Championship Series Playoffs Week 2 Results

Four teams have been eliminated from the PCS 2020 Spring Split in the second week of playoffs -- J Team (JT), Nova Esports (NOV), Alpha Esports (ALF), and Berjaya Dragons (BJD). Machi Esports (MCX) also became the first team to secure a spot in the grand finals after beating Talon Esports (TLN) in a thrilling five-games series.

Friday started with LMS 2019 Summer champions, JT, being eliminated in the first round of the Lower Bracket by ALF. JT made changes to their roster during the last week of the Regular Season by swapping Mid laner, Nestea’s role, to Support and brought in a debutant, Keorb, as their new Mid laner. A further shake-up to the underperforming team saw Rest benched and replaced by Driver, yet another new player for their playoffs match. ALF seemed taken aback by these changes and lost Game 1, but still managed to reverse sweep JT, thanks to individual brilliance displayed by ALF Catjug and Assassin. They advanced to Round 2 alongside Hong Kong Attitude (HKA), who managed to beat an out-of-sorts NOV. The Bangkok-based team has not won a single game since the end of March and was overwhelmed by HKA in straight games.

HKA’s improvement in that series gave their fans hope of the team’s revival after an underwhelming Regular Season that saw a massive facelift to their roster. The team lost Unified and Kaiwing to TLN, and Mission to Machi Esports (who took over most of the roster from the disbanded G-Rex Esports). The team finally found their footing towards the end of the Regular Season and brought their best into the playoffs. After eliminating NOV in Round 1, HKA met the 4th seed, BJD, on Sunday. Owned by Malaysian conglomerate Berjaya, BJD was the hot favourite going into the match. However, the team’s weaknesses and poor decision during teamfights were exposed in full view with their 0-2 loss to HKA, resulting in one of the most major upsets so far in the playoffs.

Poor decision making not only cost BJD, but ALF as well, in their match against ahq eSports club. AHQ found themselves in an uncomfortable position after being beaten by TLN in Upper Bracket Round 2. Elimination loomed and threatened their chance of securing the championship, despite being considered the favourite at the start of the split. ALF, on the other hand, has earned a reputation of being the coinflip team of the league, no thanks to their highly inconsistent results and streak of beating top tier teams while losing to bottom-half teams. Against AHQ in the Round 2 of Lower Bracket, ALF showed that they were more than capable of tackling the big teams, but greedy, late-game drafts for Game 2 cost them the victory and morale to dominate the tiebreaker. AHQ capitalized on ALF’s indecision when it came to target picking and timing of engagement to book the meeting against HKA on May 2.

The best viewing from the weekend was on Saturday, when the Upper Bracket’s Semifinals took place between Machi Esports (MCX) and TLN. As the 1st seed, MCX received a bye for Round 1 and defeated BJD comfortably in Round 2, while TLN had to best NOV and AHQ to get here. TLN had to play catch up for the entire series after dropping Game 1 and Game 3 to MCX, tying twice and almost repeating their feat of winning the series from a losing position from Round 2. However, MCX was determined to play in the Lower Bracket, closing out a close Game 5 with the Mountain Soul.

For the Top Five highlight plays of the week, please check out the video here:

Match of the Week - Machi Esports (MCX) vs Talon Esports (TLN)

The only Best-of-5 series of the weekend went all the way to the 5th game and the action certainly did not disappoint. In Game 1, MCX Mission picked up Azir while Bruce was given an opportunity to showcase the strength of Aphelios. TLN Hanabi on Ornn was an early ganking target of MCX Gemini, but he was able to stay sufficiently composed to avoid giving away early kills to MCX. However, it was his late “Call of the Forge God” that cost him his life and that of his teammates, after losing the Rift Herald fight at the 15th minute. MCX was able to gain a four thousand gold lead, snowballing from there to win Game 1.

TLN chose to play on the blue side for Game 2 and kept their bot lane pairing of Kalista and Taric from Game 1. Their faith was rewarded as TLN Unified played an insane game with 7/2/6 KDA. It was only possible thanks to his teammates, Hanabi, River, and Kaiwing, who consistently zoned out their opponents to allow Unified and Candy to unleash their damage potential from a safe distance.

In the following game, one of the highlight picks was the Sett for TLN’s jungler, River. However, MCX punished TLN for stealing the Cloud Drake in a full-blown teamfight that swung in favor of MCX, after Gemini landed his Cataclysm to trap Unified and Candy, while the rest of MCX hunted TLN down. That fight turned the momentum of the game for MCX and helped them to secure the match point.

With no room for error, TLN decided to ban Azir to prevent Mission from picking it. The Azir had been a nightmare for TLN to deal with for the entire series. Candy picked up LeBlanc while Unified’s Miss Fortune was prioritized. These two picks were pivotal for TLN, but none more than the Vladimir played by Hanabi. The late game super carry came online after the 25th minute and was able to repeatedly engage directly against 4-5 players on MCX’s side. Despite TLN’s 8000 gold lead, MCX was still able to hold their ground in the game, securing the Infernal Soul to boot. However, TLN was too far ahead in the game and easily picked apart MCX in any teamfight. Such an advantage helped to tie up the series and carried it through to Game 5.

TLN went with a similar respect ban on Azir, but Mission opted for a Syndra pick against Candy’s Cork, while Hanabi refrained from picking a carry champion and landed on the Mordekaiser. Sett was once again played in jungle by River and was persistently punished by Gemini’s Rek’sai. TLN kept the game alive as much as they could, but MCX was ahead for the majority of the game and managed to secure the Mountain Soul, significantly increasing their armor that made TLN’s job much harder. MCX rampaged through their opponent’s base, making their way to the Grand Finals. TLN dropped to the Lower Bracket and is awaiting their opponent -- the winner of the match between AHQ and HKA.

Player of the week - MCX Mission

A player that had been criticised for a long time, especially after Worlds 2019, has undoubtedly become the best mid laner in the PCS. His performance in the series against TLN showcased his ability to bully his opponent out of the game during the laning phase. His sublime pentakill in Game 1 on Azir that led his team to victory was one of the highlights of the entire tournament so far. In the crucial Game 5, his Syndra topped the damage chart at 38.6k, boosting his team to advance to the Grand Finals.


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