BOOM Esports just won the Gamers Galaxy Invitational Thailand, defending their title and becoming the back-to-back champions of the Gamers Galaxy series.
The Gamers Galaxy Invitational in HatYai, Thailand concluded today and the champions are none other than the hungry beasts, BOOM Esports. This is BOOM's 2nd consecutive title in the Gamers Galaxy series, having won the first iteration in Dubai and the current one in HatYai. After defeating Polaris Esports in the Finals, BOOM will bring home a hefty prize money of $75,000 USD.
Here is the final ranking and prize distribution for the Gamers Galaxy Invitational Series Thailand:
3rd - 4th
5th - 6th
7th - 8th
BOOM Esports delivered a strong performance throughout the tournament, but their victory did not come unchallenged. Polaris Esports, now a Division II team, stood toe-to-toe against the Arlington Major attendee in the Grand Finals of the HatYai Invitational. Both teams won and dropped games back-and-forth to push the series to a final game 5. While the final game looked even in the beginning, BOOM did not leave any windows open for Polaris. The mall kings closed the series 3-2 to claim their consecutive championship.
An underdog show at the Gamers Galaxy Invitational Thailand
The Gamers Galaxy Thailand featured 8 Southeast Asian (SEA) teams of local favorites and underdogs. We have the powerhouses BOOM Esports, Fnatic, Team SMG, and Talon Esports. Meanwhile, on the other side are underdogs Polaris Esports, RSG, Execration, and Army Geniuses.
This tournament witnessed the favorites toppling down during the Group Stage. Fnatic finished at last place with a 0-3 scoreline. Meanwhile, Talon and SMG exit the tournament at second last. However, the king of SEA, BOOM Esports retains its title and clinched the championship.
But the favorites losing the tournament early might just be due to the odd tiebreakers format.
A questionable tiebreakers format
The HatYai Invitational received some backlash during the conclusion of its Group Stage. With the tournament format being extremely cramped and the Group Stage being brutal BO1s, there were many tied scores in the aftermath. The organizer revealed that they were using the time-rating tiebreaker system; which basically means if you lose early you get lesser points and vice versa.
The time-rating system caught teams off-guard. In a now-deleted Tweet, Talon's offlaner Damien "kpii" Chok stated that a time-rating format is not Dota at all. The criticism can also be seen all over Reddit and understandably, players weren't satisfied with the format. However, it also makes sense that Gamers Galaxy sped through the tiebreakers format as the tournament is only 3 days long.
A sneak peak into teams' form before the TI11 SEA qualifiers
This tournament is particularly interesting because it highlights the form of SEA teams before the TI11 qualifiers which starts on September 3rd. This would be a window for teams to adapt and improve to secure that final slot at the grandest Dota 2 event. This event also saw the debut of Team SMG's new lineup with the addition of Daryl "iceiceice" Koh. The team had 2 decent wins and only one loss against Execration, but dropped out due to the tiebreakers.
With the favorites showing some signs of struggle, this could mean that strong competition awaits in TI11 SEA qualifiers.