The Indonesian powerhouse picked up their first trophy with their new lineup as they beat South Built Esports 3-0 in the grand final of the EPULZE Royal SEA Challenge.
BOOM Esports claimed the EPULZE Royal SEA Challenge title by defeating South Built Esports in the best-of-five grand final 3-0 (Ascent 13-8, Haven 13-8, Bind 13-7). They also take home the grand prize of US$6,000, with South Built Esports walking away with half of the first-place reward.
The Indonesian roster shuffle that occurred in September and October gave birth to a new beast under the leadership of Gary “blaZek1ng” Dastin, and Saibani “fl1pzjder” Rahmad. The addition of Rizkie “BerserX” Adla Kusuma, David “Tehbotol” Monangin, and Rafi “frostmind” Diandra to the squad altered the expectations of the Hungry Beast. The brand new lineup of the Indonesian superteam comprises three former Alter Ego players that place third in the VCT Stage 3 – SEA Challengers Playoffs. Only Gary “blaZek1ng” Dastin remains from BOOM’s first-gen squad. Experiments have been carried out, and the results are now clearly visible.
Furthermore, as one would expect from a rising star, Saibani “fl1pzjder” Rahma’s true talents have finally been unleashed with the new BOOM’s composition. He got off to a shaky start in the first quarter of this year with the team, notably before the shuffle. His debut with the new BOOM roster, though, saw him displaying some high-quality VALORANT throughout eight series played in the EPULZE Royal SEA Challenge.
The EPULZE Royal SEA Challenge featured seven invited teams and five who qualified through five different open qualifiers. The following teams were taking part:
|Group A||Group B|
|🇮🇩 BOOM Esports||🇻🇳 Team Big BAAM|
|🇲🇾 Todak||🇮🇩 BEAST|
|🇲🇾 Kingsmen||🇵🇭 Bren Esports|
|🇹🇭 Sharper Esport||🇸🇬 Bleed eSports|
|🇸🇬 Louvre||🇸🇬 Paper Rex|
|🇻🇳 DivisionX Gaming||🇵🇭 South Built Esports|
For the round-robin group stage, the teams were divided into two groups. MY/SG teams were surprisingly dominating the entire group stage, with LVR and Kingsmen clinching the top spot in Group A, as well as Paper Rex and Bleed eSports taking first and third place, respectively, in Group B.
Meanwhile, South Built Esports, the recently-crowned Mineski VxV Invitational Playoffs champions, had a mixed bag of results in the group stage, including a tie with BEAST and Paper Rex, and losses to Bleed Esports and their Filipino countrymen Bren Esports, and only a victory against Team Big BAAM.
The brand new roster of Bren Esports has also unexpectedly played well, winning against everyone in the group save Paper Rex. In the process, DivisionX Gaming, Todak, BEAST, and Team Big BAAM were all ousted from the playoffs contention.
Moving on to the playoffs, Bleed eSports defeated Kingsmen in the first round, only to fall to South Built Esports in the second round, who had previously defeated their Singaporean countrymen Louvre.
BOOM Esports advanced to the second round after defeating Bren Esports and an uncharacteristic Paper Rex en route to the grand final, facing South Built Esports in a best-of-five grand final. The two new breeds of Southeast Asia’s upper-echelon have fought their way up to the top and made a name for themselves.
The Grand Final – South Built Esports vs. BOOM Esports – EPULZE Royal SEA Challenge
The grand final series kicked off on Ascent, a map chosen by BOOM and one that they had won versus Paper Rex the day before. Both teams were trading rounds back-and-forth in the first half, resulting in a 6-6 tie. However, the following half saw BOOM fully fortify their defenses, giving South Built Esports little to no chance to break through, especially with Saibani “fl1pzjder” Rahmad’s KAY/0 in action. BOOM kept putting on pressure on the defense and secured the map soon, 16-8. Fl1pzjder came out swinging on the first map, boasting a monstrous 346 ACS with KAY/0 at the end of the map.
David “Tehbotol” Monangin and company once again set up BOOM Esports for a strong defense side on South Built Esports’ map selection, Haven. The three bombsites map of Haven has been South Built Esports’ strongest map while also being one of BOOM’s worst in the map pool. However, it seemed like things have changed dramatically. Following blaZek1ng’s poor performance on Ascent with 100 ACS, the in-game leader atones for his mistake by blazing all out on Haven, propelling the squad to a 6-0 advantage with impactful kills. Deko “Papichulo” Evangelista and co. rallied by crushing the Indonesian team with a four-round reply before their defense crumbled. BOOM moved forward and closed out the map 13-8 — the same as the first. blaZek1ng went huge with a 310 ACS at the end of the game with Sova, his signature agent.
BOOM Esports entered Bind poised to win their first trophy with their new lineup and further establish themselves as a team to watch heading into the new season of VCT. The third map, Bind, began with South Built taking the lead with a successful defense in the pistol round, but BOOM promptly responded, giving them a 7-5 lead in the first half. Johnty “JA‘”Arone’s troops secured another pistol round on this map but little did they realize that BOOM had shifted back to the defensive side — their preferred and by far the strongest side. BerserX and Tehbotol’s lethal combination was all they needed to capture the final map, convincingly defeating Bind 16-7 to clinch the EPULZE SEA Royal Challenge and take home the top prize.
The EPULZE Royal SEA Challenge final standings:
|1st||🇮🇩 BOOM Esports||US$6,000|
|2nd||🇵🇭 South Built Esports||US$3,000|
|3rd-4th||🇸🇬 Bleed eSports||US$500|
|3rd-4th||🇸🇬 Paper Rex||US$500|
|5th-8th||🇵🇭 Bren Esports||–|
|5th-8th||🇹🇭 Sharper Esport||–|
|9th-10th||🇻🇳 DivisionX Gaming||–|
|11th-12th||🇲🇾 Todak Esports||–|
|11th-12th||🇻🇳 Team Big BAAM||–|
Cover photo courtesy of BOOM Esports