Boom Esports have officially made it through to the playoff round of the Arington Major 2022. However, they did not have an easy path through the group stages and barely made it into the upper bracket. Here is how the Southeast Asian first seed made it into the upper bracket. 

A strong start 

BOOM Esports started their run at the PGL Arlington Major group stages with a series against Tundra Esports, the first place team in the Western Europe Dota Pro Circuit. The first game of the series saw BOOM fall behind early as Saieful “Fbz” Ilham got Tossed into a tier one tower in a level one engagement. While BOOM put up a good fight, they did not have an answer to Tundra’s carry Weaver and fell in the first game. 

BOOM would rebound in the second game and get out to a 5-1 early lead against Tundra. Two of those kills coming from Erin “Yopaj” Jasper Ferrer’s signature Ember Spirit as he solo-killed the enemy midlaner twice before the 10 minute mark. BOOM catapulted that early lead by feeding Souliya “Jackboys” Khoomphetsavong’s Chaos Knight to a winning fight at Roshan and a 40 minute gg. 

In their second series, BOOM dominated the North American representatives Evil Geniuses with a 2-0 series victory. Once again, JacKky’s Chaos Knight and Yopaj’s Ember Spirit pulled through with some fantastic stolen Fissures with Timothy “Tims” Randrup’s Rubick. The second game also had BOOM Esports leading from the start. An amazing early engagement carried by Yopaj’s Kunkka was able to neutralize the enemy Tiny’s Blink Dagger timing and put EG behind to the point that Artour “Arteezy” Babaev’s Nature’s Prophet was not able to carry them out of the game and BOOM secured the series 2-0. 

The slump 

Despite these great results, BOOM Esports would take two straight series losses against Beast Coast and Entity. They would be left with a 2-5 record at the end of the second day. 

The game against Beast Coast was extremely close on all fronts, the first game hitting the 55 minute mark. However, it was Beast Coast’s group of unique heroes that caught BOOM off guard. Visage, Wraith King, Snapfire mid was able to catch BOOM slipping and take the series 2-0. 

In the first game against Entity, BOOM overextended after getting a pick off too many times. While BOOM were able to get an early lead, Entity made a focus on teamfighting around their Bristleback and eventually overpowered BOOM. In the second, Entity once again took advantage of BOOM’s overextensions, but this time, Entity drafted a lane dominant, slow-focused lineup that had Alchemist as late game insurance. Entity’s Teamfight’s with a Batrider Flaming Lasso initiation was too strong for BOOM and eventually lost them their second straight series. 

The final rebound 

In the final two games of their group stage, BOOM were able to replicate their first day results and make it into the upper bracket with a 7-7 record. This gives them two lives to work with throughout the playoff bracket. 

BOOM crushed Na’Vi in their first series of the final day. They were up 10k gold at 20 minutes and were crushing the Eastern Europe representatives. It was Yopaj’s Storm Spirit that was able to dictate the entire game, ending with a scoreline of 14/0/5. 

In the second game, Na’Vi put up much more of a fight. Despite being a barracks down, BOOM were able to use their superior teamfight to overcome Na’Vi. A double Ravage from Fbz outside of the Na’Vi base was able to put Na’Vi down for good at the 58 minute mark. 

 After the 2-0 sweep of Na’Vi, BOOM had an even greater opponent ahead, Team Spirit the previous International 10 winners. BOOM took the first game while maintaining the lead for most of the game with JaCkky’s Dawnbreaker, along with Fbz’s Beastmaster finding pickoffs all over the map. BOOM displayed incredible spectacles of teamwork, including a beautiful save by Fbz where his dominated neutral creep used Hurricane to pull Yopaj out of a Chronosphere. After a great back and forth, BOOM eventually took the game. While they lost the second game and tied the series, it was one of the best performances the team had the entire group stage. 

BOOM had a final series that they tied with Chinese powerhouse Aster, who also pushed them to their limits. While Aster relied on strong teamfighting heroes such as Phoenix, Death Prophet and Faceless Void, BOOM countered with their pick heavy lineup that favoured small skirmishes. Their first game BOOM won with Yopaj’s Keeper of the Light, constantly keeping mana up and ending with a scoreline of 5/0/20. With the final tie, BOOM made it into the upper bracket of the Arlington Major playoffs. 

While BOOM Esports fell to PSG.LGD in the first round of the Arlington Major, they will now have to make a strong loser’s bracket run against some of the best teams in the world. They had a tough draw facing the tournament favorites in the first round. However, their final group stage matches against Team Spirit and Aster give promise to the Southeast Asian hopefuls.