Taiwanese squad MAD Team have been crowned the champions of the 2020 Arena of Valor International Championship.
They entered the Playoffs after struggling through a difficult Group Stage, and were pushed to the losers bracket, and almost eliminated from the competition.
However, the Garena Challenger Series (GCS) representative did not falter and managed an upset 4-2 victory over Saigon Phantom in the Grand Finals.
Aside from the championship title, they took home a prize of US$200,000 along with Guo-Guan “03.22” Wei who bagged the MVP title.
After the victory, coach Cheng-Bang “Rainer” Tsai told ONE Esports about the team’s efforts in acquiring the coveted trophy.
After passing the Group stage, MAD clashed with Vietnamese team and AIC 2019 champions Team Flash in the Winners Bracket Quarterfinals.
They lost 2-3 but managed to bounce back in the Lower Bracket. “Losing to Team Flash in the Upper Bracket was a turning point for us in this tournament. After that game, we accepted our mistakes,” Rainer said. “Indeed we were too aggressive and forced to make big changes during the series.”
The second time they met Team Flash, MAD quickly went down 3-0. “We tried to fix the problem quickly. I tried to understand what they were planning and made some adjustments accordingly. The most important thing was to never give up,” said Rainer.
MAD understood their enemy well after multiple encounters on the AIC stage, and they really paid great respect to the Vietnamese representative.
Rainer himself admitted that he only wanted to meet Team Flash in the grand finals to avoid the risk of being eliminated early in the competition.
Entering the grand finals, the MAD Team coach revealed that they were in a much more comfortable mood after a long journey coming all the way from the Group Stage. He claimed that Saigon Phantom was the biggest representative from Vietnam with numerous players to watch out for. He also knew that the team liked to fight early according to Rainer.
In their final series against Saigon Phantom, Rainer instructed his team to carefully choose the right time to move forward or backward to limit their opponent’s strength.
MAD Team understood that SGP were always waiting for an opportunity, always ready to punish their opponent’s mistakes. However, Rainer still rated MAD as a team capable of playing 5v5 better.
After defeating SGP in a match that was expected to be an extremely difficult task for MAD, many international fans started calling them the “AOG slayers.” However, Rainer says he still respects the Vietnamese representatives, especially Team Flash.
Whether it’s having to meet three Arena of Glory (AOG) seeds before taking the championship or remembering Group Stage defeats against Saigon Phantom, nothing really made MAD Team worry throughout the tournament.
However, the moment that Rainer admitted a sigh of relief was when Team Flash was eliminated from the tournament and they pulled off their incredible 4-3 comeback .
We can confidently say that 2020 is a golden year for the GCS with two consecutive international championships after Flash Wolves won the Arena of Valor Premier League (APL) back in July.
Looking at these results, Rainer is confident that Taiwan will dominate the professional Arena of Valor scene and that MAD Team will work hard to maintain this position in the next competitive seasons to come.
“If you look at the results, of course, right now the Taiwanese teams are the strongest. We have proven that we can win trophies and that is the most important thing,” Rainer concluded.