The Sibol League of Legends team inched closer to another gold medal in esports after stomping Malaysia, 3-1, in the semifinals and assured itself of at least a silver medal finish in the 31st Southeast Asian Games at the Vietnam National Convention Center on Friday, May 21.
The national team, composed of players from the West Point Esports, recovered from a Game 1 hiccup and took care of business in the next three games to book a spot in the Finals on Sunday against either Singapore or hosts Vietnam.
The Malaysians went off to a rousing start as they dominated the Filipinos 24-8 in the series opener to draw first blood.
The Game 1 loss however was enough to wake up the Filipinos who retaliated with a 21-11 triumph in the second game highlighted by an ace at the 20-minute mark to level the series.
Riding the momentum of the Game 2 win, Sibol then kept its foot on the gas pedal as it quickly seized control of the early game behind constant map pressure and aggressive rotations.
The Malaysians tried to regain foothold in the match as they contested the Filipino’s baron take but the ploy backfired as Sibol looked prepared with its counter initiation to score another ace and take the pivotal Game 3, 25-6.
Malaysia though refused to give up as it endured a 5-0 start from Sibol and a Filipino siege to drag the match to the late game. A huge clash towards the end of the match proved to be the turning point as Sibol took all of its foes one by one to score an ace and close out the series, 24-9.
Meanwhile, the Sibol Crossfire team advanced to the upper bracket finals and move one win away from an assured silver medal. The Filipinos dominated Indonesia 2-0 to assure itself at least a bronze medal finish and will face Vietnam later in the day.