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VGJ.Thunder crowned Galaxy Battle 2018 Kings, sweep Evil Geniuses in thriller

By Mark Manez

BOCAUE--About 14,000 e-sports fans witnessed history unfold as Vici Gaming J Thunder (VGJ.Thunder) sprung an improbable upset over Evil Geniuses (EG) in the finals of the 2018 Galaxy Battles II: Emerging Worlds at the cavernous Philippine Arena, Sunday night.

Right from the introduction, the 55,000-seat venue shook straight up to the rafters as both teams were introduced.

Both teams went all guns smoking right in their best-of-five championship series, with a US$500,000 (Php 25.3 million) total prize pot, handing out a whopping US$200,000 (Php 10.1 million) to the champions and US$85,000 (Php 4.3 million) to the runners-up.

Liu Chang caught fire right in Game 1 as his Shadow Fiend wrecked havoc on EG as VGJ Thunder took a quick win.

EG came close to equalizing the series as Sumail Hassan's Faceless Void somehow dominated Liu Chang's Dragon Knight.

But behind a collective effort from Liu Jiajun, Zhou Haiyang, and Fan Tianyou, VGJ Thunder completed a huge comeback and went 2-0 up after a 73-minute classic.

EG tried to mount a comeback in Game 3 as Artour Babaev quickly bulked up his Terrorblade and dominated the top lane.

But the gamble of putting Clinton Loomis' Nyx Assassin at the middle lane to match up Liu Chang's Death Prophet and Hassan's Puck to go up against Zhou's Tidehunter failed to gain fruition as the Lius delivered the killer blow to EG in the end.

VGJ Thunder avenged its loss to EG in their initial encounter last Saturday.

(With a report from Ivan Saldajeno)

Follow him on Twitter: @MAManez_DPH16