A match between two teams holding on to their MPL championship dreams. Who will spark some momentum and a glimmer hope as they aim to climb up the ladder in the remainder of the regular season?
The match started with notable and meta heroes being banned, however Beatrix was left open which ended up on the side of TNC. Since Diggie was banned, it allowed NXPE to draft the Atlas in their lineup, accompanied by YellyHaze's Yve. Meanwhile, TNC decided for a single pick-off type of lineup, with a Selena and Edith on their side, two very effective heroes when it comes to individual picking off of heroes.
The game started pretty calm, until Kzen was able to pull off a sneaky turtle steal from the hands of SDzyz. TNC's members were able to execute their win conditions properly transitioning into the mid game care of the powerful crowd control combo of Benthings and Escalera. TNC continuously secured the next turtles, while NXPE started to take down turrets on the side lanes. Skirmishes happened mostly in the midlane, with even trades while waiting for the Lord. However, with a crucial pickoff onto RENEJAY, TNC was able to to outnumber NXPE and take down the first Lord. NXPE attempted a conceal play for the next Lord, however TNC was able to anticiapte this and was able to pickoff two of the members of the Neon Tigers in the process. NXPE's base was left open by the 17th minute, as TNC patiently waitied for the next Lord take. NXPE was not able to respect TNC's bush plays, which resulted in another set of pickoffs, leading to the final Lord to close out the first game.
The Phoenix army rose up and showed up in the first game, grabbing the first win and setting the pace of the series 1-0.
NXPE changed some thing for the second game's draft, picking an Akai for free, while TNC stuck with snatching the Esmeralda and last game's MVP Selena. It was practically the same draft by the side of the Phoenix Army, except for a change in Yasuwo's pick, however NXPE was able to draft a different lineup, hoping to reset and play for a comeback in the series.
Since Escalera and Benthings were not able to get to level 4 during the first turtle turtle take, NXPE had the upper hand in terms of securing it in the second game of the match. With pressure present on all parts of the map, TNC was able pick off some heroes and siege down turrets. Despite this, gold was still even between the two teams since NXPE looked for essential trades. The first Lord favored NXPE, as they were able to pick off SDzyz, giving a go signal to secure the objective. At this moment, NXPE finally reached the power spike wherein they can take on the heroes of TNC, as seen in YellyHaze and DONUT's damage potential in the late game. A hectic clash occured around the second Lord; although NXPE was to take down SDzyz, Kramm was able to buy time and dive into the backline of the Neon Tigers, not allowing them to slay the Lord. The second Lord fell onto the hands of the Phoenix Army instead, evening out the playing field. Escalera's Selena played a big part in the next few skirmishes, taking out crucial members on the side of NXPE, eventually leading to easy Lord takes and slowly chipping off the base of the Neon Tigers. However, with a crucial play led by Kzen and RENEJAY, they were able to pick off Yasuwo by the Lord, cripppling TNC on the said clash, which led NXPE to secure the final Lord and eventually close out the game.
NXPE remained strong and alive in the series as they equalized it 1-1 against TNC.
Bans were pretty much similar heading into the final game of the series, however it seemed like TNC did not prioritize the Akai nor Julian which were open, as they drafted the Claude for their first pick. With this, NXPE answered by snatching the Akai and Julian. As a response, TNC drafted a Fanny, but was countered by NXPE's Khufra pick. NXPE's lineup is packed with lockdown and decent damage, however TNC's lineup contains reliable early game and late game damage.
The early game was relatively in favor of the Neon Tigers; an early first blood was drawn by YellyHaze, and an easy turlte was secured by Kzen. DONUT was able to play comfortably as a Bruno, easily farming the turret energy shields and sieging enemy turrets early in the game. TNC was able to keep up in terms of gold by looking for cross-map trades and plays, but NXPE was able to position themselves in time for the first Lord of the game, alowing them to balance out the control on the map. The second Lord once again was secured by the Neon Tigers in exchange for YellyHaze's life, and the same process continued through the next Lord due to NXPE's significant lead against the Phoenix Army. With this Lord take, NXPE was able to secure the siege onto the base of TNC and finally concluding the series.
The Neon Tigers roared for hope as they grabbed some points on the leaderboard, having the upper hand against the Phoenix Army 2-1.
GAME 1 (20:07) - TNC 16 (W); NXPE 7 (L)
GAME 2 (23:44) - NXPE 16 (W); TNC 11 (L)
GAME 3 (17:43) - TNC 4 (L); NXPE 6 (W)