Player Switches and Format: How the first two weeks unfolded for DPC SEA 2021/2022 Tour 2: Division I

It felt like it was just yesterday when we celebrated BOOM’s triumph over the Gamers Galaxy: Dubai Invitational 2022. For the newly-united team, however, it is back to the grind as BOOM Esports are looking to defend their regional title and qualify for the much-anticipated major to be held in Stockholm, Sweden. 

The conclusion of the first two weeks of SEA DPC saw BOOM Esports with some technical adjustment on their part, and T1, Polaris, and Neon absorbing losses that could potentially alter their fate in the regional meet. Fnatic and Execration are living in extremes as Fnatic is yet to be beaten while Execration absorbed three successive losses at the danger of being relegated.

Calm before the storm

BOOM kicked off the post-tour player switch with Souliya "JaCkky" Khoomphetsavong replacing Justine Ryan Evangelista “Tino” Grimaldo to take the helm of the carry position. Meanwhile, T1 made their own with Kim “Gabbi” Villafuerte Santos replacing Nuengnara “23savage” Teeramahanon, who in turn moved to Talon Esports.

New to the upper division but proven and tested in other non-DPC tournaments, Polaris Esports and Nigma Galaxy SEA are promoted to the upper division as the top two teams of the previous tour’s lower division. TNC Predator and MG. Trust, on the other hand, suffer an alternate fate as the two teams have been demoted to the lower division.

Week 1: A Week of Upsets

BOOM Esports started its DPC campaign with a low note as technical problems hounded the team’s game house, with lack of electricity due to heavy rainfall unfortunately compromising the supposed game against NGX.SEA. 

On the other hand, title favorites T1 managed to lose their two games against newcomers Polaris as the Visayan squad delivered a 2-0 convincing victory over the newly-assembled squad in Manila. Fnatic and Team SMG managed to score one over Neon and Execration, respectively.

Week 2: Team Rhythm

The most anticipated matches of the week was on March 23 as T1 and BOOM looked to score their first wins for the week. While T1 were expected to prevail against inYourdreaM’s squad NGX.SEA, BOOM Esports and Polaris Esports were to engage in a bloodbath. Polaris Esports was carrying a huge momentum as they were left unbeaten at 2-0 but the spirited BOOM Esports were up for the challenge.

Game 1 proved to be a difficult match for BOOM as Medusa proved to be a huge threat in the late game to their Io-Gyrocopter combo, sealing the deal for Polaris in 41 minutes. In an unconventional counterattack for Game 2, Mushi and skem opted for a same Io-Gyrocopter combo but replacing three other heroes by stealing Polaris’ Sand King and having Tims Hoodwink and Yopaj’s stellar Ember. While Polaris wanted to have a late game advantage with an Anti-Mage final pick, Yopaj’s exemplary early and mid game performance left Polaris suffocated in their own base with no lanes left to push, succumbing at 31 mins and 56 seconds.

The decider third game saw Polaris took the Sand King at the first part of the draft, looking to have a repeat of the first game’s initiation efforts to shut down the Io-Gyrocopter draft once again pushed for the third time by Mushi and skem. Brandishing a Natsumi Terrorblade, Polaris once again wanted to push the game to post-45 minutes to give a favorable advantage to their carry, augmenting it with 3 hero disables in Sand King, Bane, and Tiny, with TB and Grimstroke left to do utility and carry roles. 

Sensing Polaris’ pattern in drafts, BOOM went all-in with the mid-game scenario, drafting a Death Prophet-MK-Puck trio. In 33 minutes, BOOM delivered a decisive blow at the expense of Polaris, who absorbed their first loss in the SEA DPC.

Neon, Fnatic, and T1 managed to pick off their own wins as well, with Execration suffering two consecutive losses and SMG losing their first game as well.

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