Down two games against ahq eSports Club in a best-of-five series, Talon Esports came back to win the next three to advance to the semifinals of the Pacific Championship Series Spring Playoffs 2020.
Talon was the one team that ahq could not beat in the double round robin regular season, so denying the first two games was an accomplishment for the veterans.
Nonetheless, despite being the lower seed and finding themselves on the back foot, Talon persevered to end the series in spectacular fashion.
After getting out drafted in game one, Talon assembled a stronger 5v5 team composition so that they could contest objectives in game two. With a scaling Senna and Tahm Kench bot lane, they got the ball rolling with Akali who nabbed two kills early.
In the mid game, Kim “River” Dong-woo on Rek’sai even managed to steal an Ocean Dragon away from ahq and secure the next one, putting Talon up three drakes to one. They were still down in gold however, due to CS differentials and the fact that ahq had Gangplank.
When it came to late game team fights, Wang “Ysera” Tsung-Chih on Thresh skillfully picked off Talon one by one. This gave Tsou “Wako” Wei-Yang’s the kills he needed to overpower opponents. With Baron buff, ahq comfortably closed out game two.
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It was do or die for Talon going into game three. They turned the tides quickly in picks and bans. Ling “Kaiwing” Kai Wing got his hands on Thresh, and together with Miss Fortune, Jarvan and Gangplank, Talon geared up for massive wombo combos.
When it came to executing the team comp however, there were still kinks to iron out, which meant ahq trailed close behind in gold. It wasn’t until the late game that Talon started to pull ahead. The saving grace was when they denied Elder Dragon from a 4-drake ahq, and picked enemies off with Thresh and Kim “Candy” Seung-ju’s LeBlanc, who earned the MVP.
Taking a risk, Talon opted for a full ham team comp in game four – Elise, Pantheon, Syndra and Leona bot – with Gangplank as late-game insurance.
A non-stop action-packed game saw Talon step on the pedal, rotating around the map with Pantheon, securing all four dragons and racking up 17 kills to three, ending the game in less than 30 minutes.
Despite the huge momentum shift, ahq continued to stretch Talon in game five. They each had solid team compositions with clear win conditions, so it turned out to be an expectedly close game.
Both teams were neck and neck in the early game, each trying to out-rotate the other. With Galio in their line up, ahq had extra mobility around the map in addition to teleports. It wasn’t until ten minutes in when both sides saw an opportunity to seize the advantage.
Three teleports were channeled at the same time, two by ahq and one by Talon. Keep your eyes on Su “Hanabi” Chia-Hsiang, who picked a prime spot in bot lane. Teleporting in as Renekton, he made a beeline for ahq’s backline, which caused the team to scatter and lose their footing.
Taking the lead, Talon held on to it till the end. Hiding behind Baron pit, Kaiwing on Rakan turned on The Quickness and looped around through river. He bought his team just enough time to focus Galio down first, and kept the rest of ahq at bay.
Securing Baron and Elder Dragon, Talon completed the reverse sweep, defeating ahq 3-2.
With ahq’s loss, all three former LMS teams who qualified for Worlds 2019 – Hong Kong Attitude, J Team, and ahq – are now in the lower bracket.
The PCS Spring Playoffs continue this Friday, April 17 with Round 1 lower bracket matches between J Team and Alpha Esports, and Hong Kong Attitude and Nova Esports.
READ MORE: PCS 2020 Spring Playoffs: Everything you need to know