BY ADIL 'GM BONCH8' HISHAM
Having gone through a few rough patches, Nirvana Gaming (formerly Mineski-X) have returned to the Malaysian Top 4 in League of Legends and are one step away from the TLC Malaysia Grand Finals. However, the way in to the finals from here on will arguably their toughest period to date.
Some would describe their road in TLC as 'lucky' due to how closely fought the Top 4 race was with Fire Dragoon and 4moD missing out by inches. Regardless, NVG have worked hard to earn their spot at the summit once again and they could benefit from the new playoff format.
OVERCOMING THE ODDS
The odds are heavily stacked against NVG who will be going up against the likes of Kuala Lumpur Hunters, Orange Esports Swestic and Eternity Esports. The worry is that NVG's player rotations mid-way through the group stages could end up backfiring at such a crucial point in the tournament.
According to support and team captain, NVG Xeno, his team will be aiming to plug in the gaps in terms of macro plays which suffered a little as a result of their lineup changes in recent weeks.
"I hope we will improve our shout calling and communication within the team during important moments of the game. In the competitive scene, you need to be able to make big and right decisions like picks and bans.
"Compared to last season TLC , this season is very exciting and more quality so we feel very lucky to be in the Top 4 as we had faced many strong teams in group stages. We will do our best in the semifinals which could see some surprises being that it is a Double Elimination format," he said.
Despite the sudden changes in NVG's lineup, Tan 'BigJazz' Chin Hua has been a mainstay in Mid Lane and Xeno believes the 15 year-old star has been the difference maker for his team's revival this split.
"Although all our teammates are improving , but I believe Bigjazz has matured and improved the most in this season. He has become more comfortable in lane and with many different champions.
"He has always worked hard and at such a young age, he has plenty of potential and it is exciting to play alongside him." he added.