Mineski: Road to the Top Six in WESG APAC
With the World Electronic Sports Games (WESG) Asia-Pacific Finals looming in the horizon, Mineski has been placed with Indonesian powerhouse Recca, Vietnamese side UTM Esports, Chinese squad MAX and East Asian side EMC.
The format of the tournament is a round-robin stage, with the top team in the group being seeded directly to the quarterfinals, while the second and third placers in the group will fight for the quarterfinal slots.
Once there, the winner of the quarterfinal match goes on to the semi-finals and onward, as well as getting one of six (for a total of four) slots to the World Finals. The losers of the quarterfinals will fight for the remaining two spots in a consolidation bracket.
In other words, if Mineski is to get any chance in getting to the World Finals in March, they should win one of the top three spots in their group.
Here is how they fare against their opponents in historical matchups and whether they should theoretically win that matchup or not:
Mineski versus Recca: The Bloodbath
Matches between the Philippines’ top team and the Indonesian squad are mostly tightly-contested matchups (ESEA Asia-Pacific comes to mind), which should tell that the maps can go in any direction possible.
With that being said, Mineski enjoys a good streak of recent form against Recca in official matches, winning two of the four maps that they have played against each other (although it should be noted that Mineski lost 4-16 to Recca in their latest matchup). Historically, despite the close matches, it was Mineski who typically got the short stick, losing 9 out of the 13 maps that they officially played in significant Asian tournaments in 2017.
Mineski would require Jayvee "DubsteP" Paguirigan to appear at his best form (his peak is at 1.30) as well as his team getting the fair share of their kills and strategies done to have a chance to win a best-of-one against Recca.
Mineski versus EMC: An Odd Matchup
One close loss.
19-22 on Mirage way back in September 2016 (and zero recorded matches in 2017, by the way), which was supposed to be one of Mineski’s staple picks during that time (and the map on which 1nconsistent got their way into winning).
If the scorecard is to be believed, Mineski stands a fighting chance against this East Asian squad.
But then, the pressure and the circumstances in which they are in right now would also possibly affect their performance.
Mineski versus UTM: Sureties
UTM and Mineski played four matchups against each other, with Mineski winning one in a convincing fashion (16-8 on Train), one with a close call (16-14 on Mirage) and a balls-deep overtime win on Overpass, 16-19. In what could be defined as “Mineski’s Achilles Heel,” they lost Cache 16-5 – the only matchup that they lost.
Historically, close observation would show that Paguirigan appeared in Train and Mirage, while Overpass was a team effort during that time. That was one of the rare Cache matches that appeared in Mineski’s belt internationally, so it would be actually interesting whether the Filipino squad will still ban the “quintessential Filipino map” or they have prepared surprises on it.
Paper-wise, this is a matchup that Mineski should not lose.
Mineski versus MAX: The Wild Card
Asian observers such as Sudhen “Bleh” Wahengbam would typically say that apart from the “top” three or four Chinese-based teams such as TyLoo and Flash, Chinese teams are considered to be inferior to top Asian teams.
Considering Mineski’s current record against the Chinese (16-11 against EHOME, 3-16 against Eclipse and 16-6 against ViCi Gaming), this should not be considered to be a stressful match.
However, given the uncertainty of the matchup, anything can happen.
Mineski should appear with their full form in this contest if they want to go to the next stage of the competition. The fact that they have been given two, if not three, playable matchups should make them get into contention for the second or third spot in the group stage.
As far as the teams go, only Recca is considered to be the “unplayable” matchup in this group stage, so given an optimal matchup with the remaining teams, they should be able to get 3-1 and finish second place in their group and have a comfortable round-of-12 match with the other possible third placers in the group stage.
It is also their best chance to fulfill their dream of getting into the big stage since ROG Masters 2017.
This is a silver platter offered to Mineski, given the circumstances that they are in right now.
Earl Carlo "dreamslayer28" Guevarra is the head editor for Play on WASD. His work is forthcoming in CSGO2ASIA, Crossfire Stars and GAMURS.
Formerly the lead FPS writer for eSports by INQUIRER.
People say he loves fruit juice :)