Hey there MPL fans! The Playoffs are happening this weekend, and everyone’s excited to watch the qualifying teams duke it out live…right? Well, I certainly hope so.
Before we come to that, though, here’s a brief recap of this season’s storylines, and some predictions for the upcoming matchups.
EVOS Esports SG vs Resurgence
EVOS is a powerhouse that has been dominating the MPL ever since their season 2 debut, with their consistent and solid gameplay manoeuvres. Unfortunately, they’ve never managed to get a championship win, always placing 2nd in the finals. This season, with Soul taking over as captain, they performed very well in the Regular Season.
Originally known as Tyrants, they were the 2nd place winners of Season 1, but since then, have failed to replicate that performance. The current Resurgence boasts a lineup vastly different from their original, consisting of Tyrants veterans and players from the disbanded Bigetron SG.
It’s a battle of Singaporean powerhouses, and judging by their performances so far, it’s a likely win for EVOS, as they’re definitely more consistent and stronger than RSG. Way back in Week 1, EVOS pulled off a clean sweep against RSG, and there’s a possibility they’ll repeat that feat.
Having said that, RSG has improved quite a bit too with their new player roster, and managed to turn their lacklustre performance around in the 2nd half of the Regular Season, catching up to land on #4. Plus, even strong teams can choke in the Playoffs due to stress, so it’s not set in stone that EVOS will triumph.
Axis Esports vs Todak
They were the unexpected champions of Season 2, an underdog team that barely made it into the Playoffs, who managed to claw their way up and defeat EVOS in the Finals. Unfortunately, Axis (known as Saiyan Reborn in S2) failed to replicate that performance in S3. Nevertheless, their gameplay has improved since then, and this season was a solid one for them, although they dropped the ball in Week 6 and lost badly to Shopee Bosskurr.
Todak is a team of rising stars, coming out of nowhere in Season 4 to steamroll the competition (including strong teams like EVOS and Axis) and shake up the league. While they had their edge blunted somewhat due to a few major losses, Todak still did really well considering their newbie status, and ended the Regular Season as #2.
This one’s hard to predict, but it’ll be interesting to watch the former champions face a rising star.
Todak made an explosive debut, for sure, but their main advantage is their unconventional playstyle. During the Playoffs, though, it’s harder to pull that off, since every team is familiar with each other and can formulate counter-strategies. They’re still strong when that advantage is taken away, but as we saw in Week 4 and 5, they can lose pretty badly too.
As for Axis, it’s a very strong team too and is way more experienced than Todak with the Playoffs environment.
Still, they’ve had their fair share of inconsistencies and losses this season, the worst being their loss to Bosskurr, as well as a 1-2 defeat against Todak back in Week 3. It’s also worth noting their S3 Playoffs performance, where they choked and lost early on, so hopefully they can avoid a repeat of that.
Geek Fam vs XPAX X-Assins
The Malaysian team Geek Fam were the Season 3 champions, defeating EVOS to claim the title. Before S4 began, they made major changes to their lineup, bringing in OZORAVEKI and RUMPEL. This didn’t pay off initially, and they were losing badly at the start of S4 due to various issues, but they’ve managed to reverse their decline and get into the Playoffs, albeit in the lower bracket.
XPAX X-Assins is another Malaysian team, who were underdogs in Season 3. This season, they brought in Unta and Rysha, hoping to bolster their lineup. While their performance hasn’t exactly been great during the Regular Season, there’s no denying that Unta is a very strong assassin/fighter player that has contributed a lot to his team.
The win will likely go to Geek Fam, but it won’t be easy for them.
Despite XPAX being weaker in terms of win rate, they seem to be more consistent, and as mentioned, Unta is a good player who can easily turn fights around. Geek Fam does have good potential, but from what we’ve seen in S4, their current roster is inconsistent. If, however, they’ve fixed those inconsistencies, they’ll likely pull off a win, but it’s a pretty even match either way. Geek Fam will undoubtedly want to pull ahead, as it would be shameful to win S3 but lose so early in S4’s Playoffs.
Shopee Bosskurr vs Notorious Villains
Bosskurr was once a well-respected Malaysian team, coming in at #4 in the S1 Playoffs (they were called Airasia Saiyan back then). Unfortunately, they’ve somewhat fallen from grace, and their subsequent performance hasn’t been very good, especially now that their star player Fredo has left the team. This season, they were on the verge of elimination with really poor scores, but managed to turn things around at the last minute (W6), scoring two 2-0 wins back to back to make it into the Playoffs.
Notorious Villains is a team that has some history with EVOS, as it contains their former star player Kolia, who left the team after S2 due to disagreements. They made it into the S3 Playoffs but lost early on. They’re not a weak team, but the Villains haven’t really managed to find their footing this season, and displayed a rather poor performance during the Regular Season.
Notorious Villains has been underperforming this season, but still managed to get into Playoffs by a slim margin, and their win/loss ratio is very close to Bosskurr’s own (4W 5L, while Bosskurr has 5W 4L). It’ll be a tough fight for both teams, as neither wants to be eliminated, especially not Bosskurr after being given a second chance. The win might go to Notorious Villains, though, since Bosskurr’s major comeback may not last.