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Saipan670 gamers top Guam tournament

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SAIPAN670 topped the very first Guam Mini Tournament on Sunday.

Saipan670 was the only team representing the islands in the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang video game event.

During the preliminaries, Saipan670 was nearly down after it lost its second match.

"The first time we lost we felt sad — we were sent down to the loser's bracket," said team captain Russell Cruz. But the team mustered up enough strength and fought back to take down its next opponent, Team Poker 21-1, 25-13, with Cruz and teammate Erwin Encinares leading the way to the semifinals.

 The semifinals match against the Vigilante Family was tougher. It was a fierce, low-scoring first match, but Saipan670 managed to hold onto the momentum with Cruz at the frontline using his most reliable hero, X Borg, to claim eight kills for the MVP title and the first-set win, 18-10.

 After the opposing team banned X Borg in the second set, Cruz continued to do damage using the marksman Roger, clipping six kills with no deaths to again take down the Vigilante Family, 16-5, and secure the Saipan670 spot in the finals.

"Reaching the semifinals was hard for us because there were a lot of good teams we needed to face,” Cruz said. “But I think our biggest strength is our communication and trust,” he added.

In a pick-and-ban format, the Saipan670 strategy depended on who the opposing team chose and to counter each hero. “We switched our roles whenever a hero we were comfortable with was open to pick. We're more focused on the game, taking the objective and controlling the map," Cruz added.

 Saipan670 team members pose for a photo after winning the Guam Mini Tournament on Sunday. From left, Erwin Encinares, Pearl Bermudez, Russell Cruz, Aldrich Delos Santos and Gelo Rabe. Contributed photo

In the finals, the Saipan670 opponent was the Guam Allstars, which had the upper hand,  needing to win two games only in the best of five finale. However, the Saipan670 dominance could not be denied. Even with a lead in kills, Guam Allstars was unable to defend its towers properly, allowing Saipan670 the steal that brought down the Guam Allstars base.  

Both teams played more cautiously in the second match, focusing more on defending their towers, but with two tank heroes adding more defensive pressure, Saipan670 was able to secure its second straight victory.

In the third match, the Guam Allstars could not respond to its opponent’s constant pressure as Saipan670 won 18-6 and was crowned the first season champion of the Guam Mini Tournament.

"We’re so happy we got the first championship title of the tournament,” Cruz said. “There was a lot of pressure, but in the end we're proud to represent Saipan.”

Saipan670 won in-game items and a cash prize.  “There's going to be season two of the tournament and the organizers have also invited our team to join a tournament, which will be hosted by the Philippines,” Cruz said. “We're also planning to host a tournament here in Saipan.”

November 2020 pssnewsletter

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