The new iteration of Team NKT got the better of Talon Esports at ESL Clash of Nations 2023 in two maps to pick up their second consecutive trophy after Predator League Thailand.
THAILAND – Team NKT have won the 2023 ESL Clash of Nations and secured the TH฿600,000 (~US$16,962) first-place cash prize after prevailing in a 2-0 victory over Talon Esports, drawing first blood in an overtime affair on Bind 14-12 before wrapping up the series on Lotus 13-9.
Team NKT had already claimed impressive wins in the tournament, making their way to the grand final via the upper bracket over Oasis Gaming and FULL SENSE, but a 2-0 win over a VCT Pacific team in Talon Esports proved themselves further.
A significant factor in their successful journey was the outstanding performance of Kittikawin “Laz” Musikgo, as the sentinel player was in top form for most of the tournament, racking up a 1.19 VLR rating over 181 rounds. He also performed well in the final, registering a 1.54 score against Talon Esports.
Talon Esports faced a more challenging route to the grand final, initially facing a setback with a 1-2 loss to FULL SENSE in their first match. However, the team, led by Thanamethk “Crws” Mahatthananuyut, demonstrated resilience by defeating Oasis Gaming 2-1 and then made a strong comeback in the lower final, where they avenged their earlier defeat by overcoming FULL SENSE 2-1.
Talon Esports will undoubtedly be disappointed that they couldn’t go all the way in the OFF//SEASON tournament, but will still leave with their heads held high. ESL Clash of Nations 2023 acted as their debut with Joseph “ban” Seungmin Oh, Lionel “lenne” Lim, and Peter “Governor” No, giving a valuable foundation and experience as they look ahead to the upcoming Regular Season of the second VCT Pacific season.
“Couldn’t make the Cinderella run happen,” Crws said on Twitter after their grand final loss. “I’m a bit sad that this might be my only tournament in Thailand and I couldn’t win it all. But still glad that we’ve improved together as a team even though we didn’t have much prep. I would like to thank everyone who came and supported us!”
Despite being the lesser-known teams out of the competing teams at ESL Clash of Nations, Team NKT are an interesting prospect for the Thai Challengers circuit next year, having proved themselves capable of outperforming each and every single strong contender in the region since their off-season rebuild.
The victory at the Centerpoint Studio marks the second consecutive tournament win for Team NKT, following their previous success at the Predator League Thailand. This will help Phoomphat “qqGOD” Phojjanart and his teammates build some confidence ahead of their first international LAN in Manila, Philippines, scheduled for January 11-14, 2024.
Team NKT are:
- 🇹🇭 Kittikawin “Laz” Musikgo
- 🇹🇭 Phoomphat “qqGOD” Phojjanart
- 🇹🇭 Teerapong “Teerapong” Wongsirisuponchai
- 🇹🇭 “socools0da”
- 🇹🇭 “PoomOnelove”
- 🇹🇭 Sattawut “Leaf” Reathong (Head coach)
ESL Clash of Nations 2023 final standings:
- Team NKT
- Talon Esports
- FULL SENSE
- Oasis Gaming
Cover photo courtesy of ESL