Article originally published on Mineski.net
The intense grand finals of the Pro Gaming Series 2017 Summer Playoffs ended in a miraculous reverse sweep for Team Manila Eagles. The Eagles regrouped and bounced back in the eleventh hour, narrowly avoiding a clean sweep from Mineski. The crux in the best-of-five series hinged on the amazing performances of their carries. The final fifth game was completely dominated by TME marksman Marky on a surprise pocket pick Twitch that quickly decimated the enemy.
We had the chance to have a chat with Manila Eagles AD Carry Marky to get his insight on how the team performed during Summer season, and how they plan onto moving forward to represent the country in the upcoming 2017 Garena Premier League Summer tournament.
Parts of the interview have been translated from Filipino. Questions from Mineski.net are in *bold*.
Mineski.net: Can you give our readers a little background into how you started playing professionally?
TME Marky: I started playing competitive League of legends back in 2013 as the AD Carry for CM Storm. We all got along on that team despite our short time together. I especially connected with my Support, robskie. We had a good run up until we got eliminated by MSI.
It’s certainly been a long road for you. Let’s fast forward a few years to the beginning of this year’s Summer season. What was your team’s mindset when you had to go through Relegations to retain your PGS spot?
Our mindset during that period was to treat every fight as a continuation of the Pro Gaming Series. That’s how we defended our slot without losing our nerve. Eventually we made our way back into the main tournament after a long Relegations.
That final winning streak that pushed you back to the Pro Gaming Series was indeed impressive. How did your plans change when the Team Manila Eagles roster changed just as you were about to enter the Summer Split?
I feel that the sudden roster change for our team changed the focus on Trebor (mid) and myself because we were the most veteran members of the team. We honestly didn’t expect to make it to Rampage, our initial target was to make playoffs.
How did it feel during the middle of the split when you were slowly building towards an undefeated streak?
We were all happy at the outcome because we definitely did not expect something like that to happen. Once we defeated both Mineski and Imperium Pro Team during the split we thought we needed to get to the finals. We didn’t worry about losing games, we just wanted to make it to Rampage. I almost couldn’t believe it once we qualified for the finals bye at Rampage. This was important for me because it was my first finals in the Pro Gaming Series and it was going to happen live at Rampage.
Which team did you want to face off against in the finals?
I wanted to face off against IPT. It would have been a reunion with my former Support Shadow. If we wouldn’t make it to the Rampage finals on the same team, I wanted to at least face each other on that stage.
How did you react to seeing Mineski fielding in a brand new AD Carry during the start of the playoffs stage?
Once I saw MSKI Celestial during the playoffs, I immediately prepared for the possibility where we would face each other. I watched his game play intently during his first few games. IPT’s bot lane even gave me advice that helped with my preparation for our fight with Mineski. I only saw his play against passive carries so I wondered how he would react against an aggressive ADC like myself. IPT maybe a rival team but we treat each other like family.
Now we arrive at Rampage. Tell us a little more about how you managed to turn the tides on Mineski in that critical 3rd game of the series.
Once we fell into a 0-2 hole, our coach told us that we still have a chance at a revere sweep. We treated each game in the series as a best-of-one so we wouldn’t lose focus. We were overjoyed when we won game three, but we knew we had to remain focused on the game.
How did you close down the best-of-five finals series after an intense comeback?
I knew they were going to take the Xayah pick in game four so I chose to take the game slowly and passively, waiting for an opportunity to gain the upper hand in lane. We managed to shut down one of Mineski’s main shot callers in that 4th game so we were able to force the series into a final game five. We were all hyped heading into that last game.
That final game’s drafting stage caught all of us off guard. We never expected you to bring out such a strong pocket pick with that Twitch carry.
I told my team that I wanted to pick last in the draft, so I could bring out my Twitch pick. I kept that champion as a shock factor when I would need him most, and finally in the final game of the series, I was able to bring him out. I really wanted to pick him earlier in the series but it was far from our priority picks.
The start of the 5th game was something else, kills were dropping from both sides of the Rift across the map. How was it playing such an explosive and rocky early stage?
I was so eager in that game, I get so aggressive whenever I play Twitch so I really couldn’t help myself. I just told my Support Raux when I would go invisible and that he should follow me whenever I crept up on the enemy. Luckily, I was able to escape death during a turret dive. It would have been unfortunate to die at that point, I was slowly starting my snowball. Overall, that 5th game was good for my team because we had the momentum.
It all came down to that final team fight near Mineski’s red buff pit, we managed to get a clean Ace and made our way to the final Nexus of the series. I almost teared up once we won the championship but I was soon overcome by joy when I realized we finally gave a Rampage championship to our team’s owner.
Congratulations again on the hard-fought win! Now your next step is the upcoming GPL tournament. How does it feel to move on to a SEA tournament where you represent the Philippines?
We fully intend to make most of our chance to represent our country in Thailand later this month. The team and myself will prepare as much as we can so that we will be able to put up a great showing in the upcoming GPL tournament. We’ll try our best to make it to Worlds this year so we’ll look at all of our shortcomings so that we can improve our game.
We wish you all the best in the 2017 GPL Summer tournament. Thank you for agreeing to this interview! Would you like to say a few words to any of your fans and family?
I just want to extend my gratitude to those who supported Team Manila Eagles without fail event when we dropped into a 0-2 hole. We appreciate all of you sticking with us even when we lose games! I’d like to shout out to my family members that went all the way to Rampage to watch and support me. Lastly I’d like to give a quick shout out to all of my friends!
We once again extend our sincerest congratulations to Team Manila Eagles for winning the 2017 Pro Gaming Series Summer Championship! They return to the professional seen later this August as the GPL goes to Thailand. The chance to fight at Worlds is still on the line, and the hope for a PH team to make it to the grandest League of Legends stage remains alive.
Top image credit: Mineski.net