While all odds were against them in the 2021 MSI Group Stage, Pentanet.GG bested CIS representative Unicorns of Love in a Group A tiebreaker, and qualified alongside Royal Never Give Up for the Rumble Stage.
The team faced harder match-ups and was eventually eliminated with a 1-9 record, but the bright-eyed OCE squad was more than grateful for the international experience.
How to bring light to the OCE region
Despite the dissolution of the OPL and the migration of prominent OCE players to the LCS, PGG top laner Brandon “BioPanther” Alexander believes that there’s still hope to build a solid reputation for their region.
Since Pentanet.GG met their goal of getting out of Groups, they used the MSI Rumble Stage as an extra opportunity to show what kind of talent and atmosphere the OCE region has to offer.
“This is a huge point for the LCO to really gro, and the OCE scene to be shown some love and respect,” said Pentanet.GG BioPanther. “We brought the heart and soul from our region and we’re doing everything we can even though we’re not getting as much money or support.”
Setting their sights on the second split of the LCO, BioPanther brings a few lessons learned from their MSI experience.
Pentanet.GG dominated the Spring season with the notion that they were just better players over the rest of the league. With their time at MSI, BioPanther concluded that being a good player is never enough against tried-and-tested champion teams.
“We’re not setting up a lot of team plays and that’s something we get punished for,” said Pentanet.GG BioPanther. “Having that more aggressive teamwork and attitude to the game is probably what I’m going to take back to OCE.”
BioPanther’s top lane idol is RNG Xiaohu
When talking about his most fun and difficult match-ups, Pentanet.GG BioPanther handed all praise over to Royal Never Give Up’s top laner, Li “Xiaohu” Yuan-Hao.
“He’s always consistent,” commented Pentanet.GG BioPanther. “I respect him so much because he uses every piece of the puzzle in terms of teammates.”
Though the RNG top laner is sporting a smaller champion pool at MSI, BioPanther says that Xiaohu’s proficiency on such champs still provides answers to any draft he encounters.
As a whole, the PGG player acknowledges Xiaohu as the ultimate team player, who always keeps track of his teammate’s timers and knows how to bring about the best synergy for the RNG squad.
Wildcard regions are worth it, Pentanet.GG BioPanther explains
Looking back at the Group Stage, BioPanther noted that minor regions like Brazil should always be seen as “super contenders” because they carry that wholesome underdog story that everyone can get behind.
“Minor regions shouldn’t be slept on,” said Pentanet.GG BioPanther. “My goal was to do the best that I can and to show that wild cards have a chance in big international events.”
As the last wild card team at MSI, Pentanet.GG BioPanther took it as an honor to carry the banner of lesser-known regions and have the potential to upset more established teams.
The OCE squad lived up to the wild card status with an incredible showing against Cloud9. Even though the NA representative came fresh from a win over tournament favorites RNG, Pentanet.GG defied expectations and claimed their one and only win in the Rumble Stage.
What’s more, PGG axed C9’s chances of performing a miracle comeback into the Knockout Stage.
Pentanet.GG will be returning to OCE as the defending champions of the LCO Split 2.