The Garena Student Alliance (GSA) Championship 2017 semifinals has concluded as Taylor’s University (TU), INTI International University (INTI), Asia Pacific University (APU) and Multimedia University (MMU) went into the semifinals with barrels firing on all cylinders. TU and INTI came out victorious while APU and MMU two fell short.
TU vs APU
First series of the day was a battle of rivalry with TU and APU butting heads. Both teams have a competitive rivalry and it was displayed in an intense bloodbath during the semifinals. TU's roster featured former professional players and were dead set on defending their campus title from MYCL 2017 while APU brought back past players to round up their squad in order to take down their rivals.
TU opted for a team composition geared towards covering their carries and excelling in full blown team-fights. On the other hand, APU's composition focused on winning lanes and early skirmishes with a chance of snowballing the lead into a win. The early game started off slow with APU’s Chewy playing the vision game, but a sour bump into TU’s refugee gave away first blood and things went from south from there.
The Level 6 power spike was TU’s forte and they were confident in pulling the trigger. Their constant aggression slowly nullified their opponents and the pressure was translated into kills and objectives. APU tried their best to fight back but TU were always ready to for a fight. As a result, TU were able to constantly make proactive plays and unlock APU's defences for Game 1.
The second game wasn’t any better for APU as TU stuck to their team-fight composition while APU remained on their skirmish-oriented platoon. The straw that broke the camel’s back was exactly similar to the first game - TU out-drafting and out-maneuvering APU. Sophiee picked up Taric as a form of insurance in case TU collapses on them but Cosmic Radiance was never properly utilized. On top of that, APU’s inability to handle the assault of TU led to them bleeding objectives and giving away kills, even setting TOX1C’s Karma up for a legendary streak.
APU did managed to put up a valiant fight but they were at a deficit that was too big to recover from. The main focus for APU was to utilize Taric’s ultimate to bring Dion’s Vladmir into the fight and allow him to survive long enough to deal damage to TU’s backline. However that wasn’t the case as TU’s immaculate execution of team-fights hammered the nail into APU’s coffin, rewarding NoirEtBlanc with a Quadra Kill and punching their tickets into the grand finals.
INTI vs MMU
The second series of the semifinals saw INTI and MMU take the stage as the underdogs of the tournament. The series showcased unorthodox picks and bizarre plays that were at times questionable but entetertaining at the same time, depending on how you look at it.
In Game 1, INTI selected Kindred to be their jungler and built the rest of the team for small fights and snowballs whereas MMU engineered their team towards an aggressive 5v5. An early pick-off onto Proachy seemingly set the tone for MMU but the combination of Proachyand NBD to shut down Cronyx in the middle lane sent MMU into shambles.
MMU tried to abuse their bot lane aggression with Lucian and Braum but INTI were always ready to back each other up as itsDolan's perfectly timed Shen ultimates salvaged his teammates from the brink of death, all while turning fights around with his dueling capabilities. After a series of misplays from MMU, the boys from INTI took charge and never looked back.
Determined to bring the series to the Game 3, MMU struck back by xploiting INTI’s eagerness to start fights through many proactive plays around the map. Everything went according to plan early on when MMU managed to take down INTI’s bot lane duo when they decided to turn around to fight a 3v2 duel. Despite the early misplays, INTI were able to hold on with a couple of kills for themselves.
Just when MMU sat down in the driver’s seat, their mistake of underestimating INTI’s tanks turned the tides around when they decided to siege the middle tier turret with Alistar and Shen around, leading to a flash taunt by itsDolan followed up by crowd controls from Recca which gave the rest of INTI enough time to join the fight and pick up four kills while losing only a single member in the process.
INTI immediately regained their composure and went for a Baron attempt and despite MMU’s attempt to steal it, their scattered shotcalling and movement caused them to lose three members for free. With the momentum completely in INTI’s favour, MMU made one last effort to contest the mountain drake, but a fatal error from scrakry’s negligence of Proachy’s Elise allowed the INTI jungler to walk straight down the middle lane and into MMU’s base with almost no obstructions. The rest of INTI sacrificed themselves to distract MMU while Proachy worked on the Nexus, eventually shattering it and spearheading INTI into the finals with a clean sweep.
INTI and TU are set to clash this Saturday (18th November) at Asia Pacific University in a BO5. Will INTI dethrone TU, or will the reigning MYCL champions carry their legacy forward?