EAA Alliance League Finals: In the Tiger’s Den
Collegiate esports continues to thrive this weekend as the University of Santo Tomas Teletigers hope to reclaim their former glory against the Holy Angel University Valiant Esports in the Grand Finals of the AcadArena Alliance League Summer 2020.
Don’t know what to expect? We’ve lined up a preview of the upcoming best-of-five series right here.
The Face-off We Deserve
The finalists of the AcadArena Alliance League come from Group B, where the Teletigers held an undefeated 4-0 record and Valiant Esports trailing behind 2-2 at second place.
In the group stage, HAU suffered a tragic loss to UST because they couldn’t field their roster due to connectivity issues. Nevertheless, HAU were able to qualify for the playoffs due to their head-to-head record advantage against the Mapua University Mages. HAU were then able to pull themselves together to take down the equally-dominant UPD Oblation Esports 3-1 in the Semi-Finals.
On the other hand, the former collegiate champions ran through Group B with a dominant stride. UST was even experimenting with their roster line-up with Maykel going up in the Top Lane for a few games. In the playoffs, UST fielded their veteran players back to the roster, with Dane (formerly Forzando) going Top and Pao going Mid, with great success.
Despite coming from the same group, the finalists will be facing each other for the first time in the Grand Finals. Arguably, when the teams now are at their strongest form throughout the split.
In the Tiger’s Den
Coming off a 3-0 sweep in the Semi-Finals, the Teletigers primarily draft aggressive carry solo lanes that want to take over the map through farm leads and tower takedowns. Meanwhile, Valiant Esports prefer a skirmish-heavy mid-game where they fight over objectives and win by team play.
In the Semi-Finals, the Teletigers were often behind in kills in the early game against the FEU iTamaraws. Despite that however, UST would always keep their composure and choose their battles wisely only when they are in prime positions to win teamfights.
For the tigers to be taken down, HAU’s star mid laner Parzival will have to step up the same way he did in the semis dealing an impressive 38.5% of his team’s damage output. Known for his Sylas throughout the Alliance League, Parzival has shown his proficiency to carry games on his back through the help of their jungler Corg1 who has a 50% FB percentage across the playoffs so far.
In his way however, will be UST’s top laner Dane who has performed superbly having the highest damage output dealing 759 DPM on his Lucian and Akali. Furthermore, Parzival will be facing a tough task having to deal with UST’s mid-jungle duo in Pao and Maykel.
Pao has proven to be a slippery foe with his 8.0 KDA while having an impressive average of 7 kills per game. With his diverse champ pool and competitive experience, the mid lane match-up will surely be one to watch out for in the finals.
When asked about his thoughts on the upcoming finals series, Dane said…
“I’m very excited with the matchup because we never got to play with HAU ever since our split from 2018. I think it will be an easy 3-0, given the experience of the whole team and our unrelenting synergy and playstyle.”
One Last Hurrah
For Valiant Esports, captain and org head Kinzonn is playing his last competitive split in collegiate. For the veteran and former-pro, it’ll be another day of putting his best foot forward no matter who the opponent – stating that “Personally, their championship titles do not mean anything to us since we just focus on winning…We are highly confident to face them even knowing that it will be a tough series.”
At the end of the day, “[the] better player wins” as Pao would say.
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