Team Secret and The MongolZ stood triumphantly on Sunday, the first ROG MASTERS title holders ever having overcome teams from every corner of Asia and Oceania at the Grand Finals in Kuala Lumpur.
The two champion teams take home the lion’s share of the 200,000 USD prize pool on top of the glory of having won such a spectacular event. ROG MASTERS’ debut year saw 590 teams participate in five Regional Qualifiers spanning the UAE to Japan, Mongolia to China; just getting to the Grand Finals is a fantastic achievement, and Team Secret and The MongolZ have risen to be the best of the best.
Unleashing The MongolZ
CS:GO victors The MongolZ were ecstatic at their win, with newest team member Bat-Enkh ‘cabal’ Batbayar beaming as he exclaimed “I feel very excited, this is my first time being champion.” They have been on a truly epic journey since they entered the East Asia Qualifier in September, beating the top CS:GO teams from Japan and South Korea to win their ticket to Kuala Lumpur.
The offline event held special significance for The MongolZ: asked about the state of Mongolian CS:GO, Gan-Erdene ‘dobu’ Batbold said “[the country] has many talented players,” but he and his teammates agreed about the barrier to competing for that ping presents.
Throughout the ROG MASTERS LAN group stages and Grand Finals, The MongolZ faced respected teams from Australia, the UAE, and Singapore – and defeated all of them without losing a single match in an astonishing display of skill. Returning home with the first ever ROG MASTERS CS:GO trophy, the team, can hold their heads high: they have shown the world that, when it comes to pure skill, they are unbeatable.
Team Secret’s MidOne was undoubtedly the darling of the Malaysian crowd, who enthusiastically cheered his team’s win in the Dota 2 final against Execration. But the key ingredient of Team Secret’s success at ROG MASTERS appears to be their integration of different players into a tight-knit unit.
Asked about his experience as the most recent addition to the team, KheZu – a German joining the squad comprising Korean, Malaysian, Estonian and Swedish players – emphasized the warm welcome he had received from his teammates. “We’re trying to figure out what is best… but right now it feels like I fit in well, and that it’s easy for me to play because they are helping me to improve… they’re magnificent, and they know a lot. I’m enjoying myself!”
The harmony among Team Secret’s players was evident at ROG MASTERS. After losing one round to Mineski, KheZu and MP came together to form a strong core and ward off defeat. By the time they played Execration in the final, all were perfectly composed. The five players moved in perfect coordination; no mistakes and no aggressive pushes meant no opportunities for their opponents. Team Secret finished the best-of-five 3-0 and felt on top of the world.
A triumph resounding across two continents
The ROG MASTERS mission is to shine a spotlight on the eSports scenes all across Asia and Oceania. The best of both continents were assembled at the Grand Finals this weekend. Before that, the online Qualifiers shone a spotlight on hundreds of hardworking young teams; some in Kuala Lumpur were at an international competition for the first time.
The greatest players tested each other face to face at the Grand Finals as thousands of fans looked on. There is no doubt about the skill witnessed this year. As the curtain closes on a successful ROG MASTERS debut, only one question remains: who will rise to challenge the champions in 2017?