Vietnam's SBTC Esports defeated the Philippines' Team Secret 4-1 in a best-of-seven grand finals on Sunday (3 October) to be crowned champions of the Wild Rift SEA Championship, claiming the grand prize of US$30,000.
SBTC had their eyes set on the prize from the very start, as they topped Group B during the group stage to secure a direct seed to the semi-finals.
In their first showdown against Secret in the semis, the Vietnamese squad outlasted their Filipino opponents, 3-2, in a five-game thriller to advance to the upper bracket finals. SBTC then took down Thailand's Buriram United Esports in another heated 3-2 slugfest to advance to the grand finals.
Meanwhile, Secret took the long road to the finals after getting dropped down to the lower bracket by SBTC. The Filipinos then made good use of flexible and unpredictable drafts to sweep through ONE Team and Flash Wolves to advance to the lower bracket finals against Buriram United.
With a spot in the grand finals on the line, Secret showed that they loved to live dangerously by pulling off a massive 3-2 reverse sweep over Buriram United.
After going down 0-2 in the series, the Filipinos kept spectators at the edge of their seats and pulled some of their best moves all season to dominate the next three games, all in under 20 minutes of play, to earn a rematch against SBTC in the finals.
Fans were quick to name Secret the "Comeback Kings" of the season after they stole away what looked like an easy win for SBTC in a 25-minute marathon in game one of the grand finals. However, SBTC made sure that game one would be the last comeback win their opponents would claim.
SBTC easily took a 16-minute game two behind comfort picks for Pham “Minas” Minh Phước, who brought out Camille, and Nguyễn “TF” Hữu Thuần, who had Lee Sin. In a prelude for what was to come, SBTC seemed almost invulnerable against a Secret squad that seemed to have ran out of their comeback magic.
SBTC Esports entered game three with a wall of tanks, which Secret could not break through despite their best efforts. The Vietnamese squad then proceeded to trample over their opponents en route to a 19-minute victory and a 2-1 series lead.
Despite Secret's best efforts to mount another comeback, games four and five ended up being the most lopsided games of the series as SBTC utterly denied them from reaching any objectives. Game four was the quickest affair of the finals at just 13 minutes and 40 seconds while Vietnamese squad closed things out in just under 15 minutes in game five.
With their 4-1 victory in the finals, SBTC claimed the grand prize of US$30,000 and the right to call themselves the best Wild Rift team in Southeast Asia. Meanwhile, Secret take home US$20,000 and the tournament MVP award for James “Hamezz” Santos in consolation.
As the top two teams of the Wild Rift SEA Championship, SBTC and Secret also earned the right to represent their region in the upcoming Wild Rift Horizon Cup.
The Horizon Cup will feature 10 of the best Wild Rift teams from across the world fighting to become the first-ever Wild Rift world champions at the Suntec Convention and Exhibition Centre in Singapore this November.
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