We had Team NP ranked last in our power rankings heading into the event, but after securing a top-three finish at Manila Masters Day 3, they have clearly shown their potential.
Manila Masters Day 3 – Pre-TI7 Roster Shuffle Pays Off
Teams usually take their time to gel after adding new members. However, for Team NP, that isn’t necessarily the case.
With four out of their five members having previously played together under the Cloud 9 banner, team chemistry was the least of their worries.
After losing to OG in the opening rounds on Day 1 of the tournament, Team NP looked like they were headed to an early exit. However, the team would recover in Day 2, taking out the heavily-favored Team Secret. In Manila Masters Day 3, Team NP started off strong early in the day, taking out DAC 2017 champions, Invictus Gaming, 2-0.
After a back-and-forth series between OG and Team Faceless saw the SEA powerhouse take down the crowd-favorites, the stage was set for the two unlikeliest teams to battle it out for a chance to secure a top-three finish and fight against Evil Geniuses in the lower bracket finals.
Team NP vs Team Faceless
Although underdogs heading into the event, both teams have proven their doubters and naysayers wrong with their strong showing in the tournament. Team Faceless seems to have finally redeemed their LAN tournament curse. Team NP is finally showing signs of life after lackluster showings these past few months.
In a way, it seemed poetic justice that both teams would face off at the end of Manila Masters Day 3.
In Game 1, Team Faceless, high off of their win against four-time major winners OG, could not be stopped. iceiceice (Nyx Assassin) and Black^ (Invoker) simply took full control of the map and killed off Team NP’s heroes everywhere they went.
Desperate to stay alive in the tournament, Team NP decided to pull off their hat-trick of a hero in Bristleback. The decision proved successful as EternaLEnVy and his Bristleback was nigh unkillable and dominated throughout the whole match.
In Game 3, Team Faceless chose not to ban out the hero that took them down in Game 2. Team NP was more than happy to capitalize, giving EternaLEnVy the Bristleback once again. And that was basically all she wrote.
The early-game proved disastrous for Team Faceless as Team NP carried a 2K gold lead just five minutes into the game. Things just spiralled out of control from there, as Team Faceless ended up losing all their towers in under 20 minutes.
The Singaporean-team simply could not offer any resistance as Team NP cornered them inside their own base. So helpless were they that EternaLEnVy even casually shopped items from their own fountain.
Team Faceless would admit defeat soon enough. They ended their run at the Manila Masters with a 4th-place finish and $20,000 in winnings.
With their win at Manila Masters Day 3, Team NP will now face off against Evil Geniuses in a BO3 match.
The winner of the match will then face off against Newbee in the Grand Finals in a BO5 series.