Representatives of Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP), Nani Esports’ journey in Campus Legends can be summed up in two words – “miracle run”.
They got off to a shaky start in the group stage, with an unfortunate 0 – 2 loss to ITE CC’s Turtle Bois relegating them to the lower bracket. Despite this, they successfully ran the gauntlet to secure first place in Group B.
In playoffs, while they were able to handily defeat NUS, they encountered a familiar foe in Turtle Bois. In a manner reminiscent of their group stage performance, Nani fell to the loser’s round once more. But having acquired their lower bracket buff, Nani Esports blitzed through the rest of their opponents, took revenge on ITE CC and cleanly beat out TP to secure the championship.
Following the win, we spoke to Nani about their roller coaster of a tournament.
Everyone, congratulations on your victory today. Nani Esports is now the Mobile Legends champion for Campus Legends Season 4. How are all of you feeling after that decisive win?
Dec: All of us are exhausted. We had to play against both NUS and TP, and since they were stage games, it was quite draining. But our win makes us really happy. It was all worth it. When we joined Campus Legends, we believed we would do well, but did not really expect to become champions. As we progressed, especially after our lower bracket run during the group stage, our hopes of winning the tournament became more and more achievable. Accomplishing this goal is very meaningful to all of us. It is not just a win, but also a bonding experience.
Having faced off against all three of the other teams who were here today, could you share your thoughts on your opponents?
Qd: For the finals, because we had not played against TP before, we did not know what to expect. We just focused on executing our plan and played the best we could. We were able to 2 – 0 them, though they did play well so GG to them.
FMM: I feel like ITE CC was a more formidable opponent. Of all the teams we played against on stage, they were by far the hardest. They were able to hand us our only loss today. Part of it is because we played against them four times throughout the competition, so both teams have been learning each other’s strategies and adapting.
iBx, as team captain, who would you say has been the best performing player?
iBx: Overall, I feel that everyone really stepped up throughout different points in the tournament. Squishy has been a great tank throughout. Also in that last game, we were actually behind TP, but Squishy managed to steal the Lord, which completely flipped it.
Qd has been a wonderful mage player. I joined him for Campus Legends a year ago, and he has been one of the most valued players in NP. He may not make many flashy plays, but he is very steady and reliable. He is calm, patient, does not tilt, and thinks through everything.
I have also been very impressed with how Peace has developed. When we first formed the roster, he was not an EXP laner. To be honest, he started the tournament with only two EXP lane heroes. But over the weeks, he invested a lot of time in learning new picks and his practice paid off today.
But if I had to choose who would be our star player, it would have to be either FMM or Dec. After watched him play today, I consider him the king of gold lane. I do not think I have ever seen him lose gold lane before. And since he is a very consistent player, he is an anchor for the team. We can always depend on him.
The other is Dec. Of all the NP teams that have played in Campus Legends, Dec is by far the best jungler. In the first game of the grand finals, he destroyed TP. He was always invading the Paquito and giving him no space to farm.
Not to mention, Jess is still an integral part of our team! She actively participates in our trainings and provides input on what we can improve on, whether individually or as a team. Outside of Campus Legends, she also played on Reborn in the Unipin Ladies Series for Malaysia and Singapore earlier in June. With her as their jungler, they went undefeated in the group stage and ended as champions. I consider her Core to be one of the best in the female scene and she is the face of NP’s Mobile Legends.
The team’s journey throughout Campus Legends has been pretty bumpy. What has this entire experience been like for all of you?
Dec: We had a flawless lower bracket run in the group stage, so going into playoffs, we had strong mental and wanted to continue this momentum. But when we first met in playoffs, they caught on to what we wanted to do and what we were trying to draft. We were not able to mentally adjust and reset then, which cost us the match. It was a good learning experience though. After the match, we looked back and talked about it. It opened our eyes to the fact that we still had room for improvement, and I think that translated to our win today.
Peace: We definitely had a lot of highs and lows in this tournament. To me, one of the major factors to our win was that we have pretty good chemistry together, so we were able to bond quickly. As a whole, I think Campus Legends has been a fun and meaningful journey for all of us.
Jess: Personally, I feel that Campus Legends is harder. The play style is more complex, like having to time minion waves before Lord spawns. Luckily, FMM and Squishy have a lot of experience and are able to guide me and tell me what to do.
We had a massive crowd turn up for today’s matches. How do you guys feel about having so many people coming down to cheer you on?
iBx: At first, we thought most of the crowd was there because of the cosplayers, but it turned out that a lot of them were there to watch the games and support the teams. I am pretty sure that at one point they stopped letting people in since it was so crowded. But a big thank you to everyone who came down to support us. Heartfelt gratitude to all our NP supporters.
Having experienced such an incredible run to become champions, are you eager to defend this hard-fought win?
Squishy: This is not my first Campus Legends championship, so I know how much it means to all of us. A couple of us are graduating soon, but we definitely want to defend our title. Hopefully, you will see us again next year. We hope Ngee Ann will be able to partner with Campus Legends and continue to support us so that we can pass on our legacy.