With the conclusion of the second day of the playoffs at the M2 World Championship, only three Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB) teams remain in contention for the championship.
The closest to raising the trophy of those three teams is none other than MPL Myanmar champions Burmese Ghouls, who defeated MPL Indonesia champions RRQ Hoshi in a five-game thriller in the Upper Bracket Finals to become the first finalist of M2.
Meanwhile in the Lower Bracket, Indonesian team Alter Ego eliminated Filipino squad Omega Esports while MPL PH champions Bren Esports sent Malaysian team Todak packing. That then set up another high-stakes rematch of the ONE Esports MPLI grand finals between rivals Bren Esports and Alter Ego in the Lower Bracket semifinals, where Bren Esports avenged their loss to survive to the final day of M2.
Read on for a recap of all the action in day five of M2:
Match 1: Alter Ego 2-0 Omega Esports
The first of three elimination matches of the day started with Alter Ego dominating Omega Esports, 2-0, to send the first of the Filipino teams in the event home and advance to the Lower Bracket Semifinals.
Game one started out slow, with first blood only being drawn five minutes in by Alter Ego, after which they blitzed to a 6-4 kill lead by the 7-minute mark.
While Omega Esports struck back to trim their opponents’ kill lead to 10-9 by 11 minutes, they couldn’t stop a streaking Alter Ego from getting eight unanswered kills and winning the game after 14 minutes of action.
Sensing blood in the water, Alter Ego came out swinging in game two to build up a 7-1 kill advantage by the 5-minute mark.
Despite Omega Esports’ best efforts, they couldn’t dig themselves out of that hole as Alter Ego cruised to a 13-minute victory and secured the series sweep.
Match 2: Bren Esports 2-1 Todak
Up next was another elimination match between the sole surviving representatives for their countries, the Philippines’ Bren Esports and Malaysia’s Todak.
After an intense three-game series, Bren Esports sent Todak packing to set up a high-stakes rematch against Alter Ego in the Lower Bracket Semifinals.
Bren Esports got off to a strong start in game one, leading in kills 6-3 by the 6-minute mark. However, Todak chipped away at their lead by taking down their turrets and stealing the 9-minute Turtle.
While Bren Esports were able to increase their kill lead to 12-8 at 14 minutes, Todak won the decisive clash and claimed a 17-minute victory despite ending the game down 12-14 in kills.
The Filipinos struck back hard in game two, controlling the early game to take a 12-4 kill lead by the 9-minute mark. Todak were unable to equalise through objectives like they did in game one, however, letting Bren Esports tie up the series after 12 minutes with the kill score at 18-5 in their favour.
Bren Esports didn’t take any chances in game three, as they dominated Todak to the tune of a 12-4 kill lead by the 7-minute mark.
The Malaysian squad put up a valiant, yet ultimately futile, defence as Bren Esports eventually used their 25-6 kill lead to take the series after 12 minutes of action.
Match 3: Burmese Ghouls 3-2 RRQ Hoshi
In the penultimate match of the day, Burmese Ghouls defied all expectations and defeated RRQ Hoshi in an intense best-of-five Upper Bracket Finals to secure the first spot in the Grand Finals and come one step closer to the championship at M2.
Burmese Ghouls came out swinging to start the series and got off to a 2-0 lead. The first two games of the series were closely contested;
Burmese Ghouls won game one in 15 minutes despite a tied 14-14 kill score and game two after a 17-minute slugfest that ended with them narrowly ahead in kills at 16-13.
RRQ rallied in game three, dominating the early game to lead 10-3 in kills by the 6-minute mark. Despite their opponents having a 20-8 kill lead at the 12-minute mark, the Burmese Ghouls were able to gain control of Lord to delay the game.
However, that wasn’t enough to stop RRQ from grinding out the win after 19 minutes and get back in the series.
Game four started out much like games one and two with both teams brawling early, but this time RRQ pulled ahead with a 8-5 kill lead by the 5-minute mark.
Burmese Ghouls scored team fight wins of their own and held against multiple RRQ pushes after 15 minutes to trim their opponents’ kill lead down to 20-17. But it only served to delay the Indonesian squad’s victory to the 18-minute mark and force the series to a deciding game five.
The team from Myanmar proved their worth as championship contenders in the decider, outplaying RRQ in the early game to gain a 9-5 kill advantage after 7 minutes.
The MPL ID champions tried to strike back in the ensuing fights, but that only allowed Burmese Ghouls to grow their kill lead to 15-9 at the 12-minute mark. With all the momentum on their side, Burmese Ghouls marched to a 14-minute victory to claim their spot in the grand finals of M2.
Match 4: Bren Esports 2-1 Alter Ego
In arguably the most anticipated matchup of the day, Bren Esports get the better of their rivals in Alter Ego in an epic 2-1 victory that propelled them to the Top 3 of the M2 World Championship.
Alter Ego started the series strong by taking a 10-3 kill lead 6 minutes into game one. While Bren Esports scored a couple of pickoffs to put the kill score at 13-5 by 12 minutes, Alter Ego responded by getting nine unanswered kills to take the first game of the series after 14 minutes of action.
Game two started with Alter Ego in control thanks to a 4-0 kill lead just 2 minutes in. However, Bren Esports struck back and won multiple teamfights back-to-back to jump ahead 12-5 by the 10-minute mark. With momentum on their side, the Filipino squad proceeded to grind out a 16-minute victory to force the series to a deciding game three.
A determined Bren Esports squad came out swinging in the decider, taking a 5-0 kill advantage by the 4-minute mark. Alter Ego didn’t take that lying down and scored four kills of their own, but Bren Esports kept winning fight after fight to build a 18-4 kill lead after 12 minutes.
Despite their massive deficit, Alter Ego were able to hold out until the 18-minute mark, when their Filipino rivals secured the series and take the biggest win of their rivalry thus far.
What’s to come
The final day of the M2 World Championship on Sunday (24 January) will begin with the Lower Bracket Finals, where Bren Esports and RRQ Hoshi will duke it out in a best-of-five series to determine who will get to challenge the Burmese Ghouls for the championship in the best-of-seven Grand Finals.