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    Coach Pakbet reveals personal issues plaguing E2MAX

    Mar 6, 2022

    IN THE first two weeks of the MPL-PH's ninth season, Omega Esports could have been described as a team on the verge of a collapse.

    Fingers were pointed at Joshua “Ch4knu” Mangilog. According to some observers, the Omega roamer was performing below the ceiling he once established in the previous seasons.

    Then came that victory over Onic PH, where Omega fired back at their critics with inspired outings from Ch4knu, Patrick James “E2MAX” Caidic, and Dean Christian “Raizen” Samagui.

    But behind the scenes, the team was forced to make massive changes in their gameplan. In the post-match press interview, Coach Jomie “Pakbet” Abalos revealed that E2MAX was struggling with personal issues.

    “Nagsimula kase sa 2nd week namin, dapat noong Thursday yung last practice namin. Sinabihan kami ni E2MAX noong Thursday na ayaw niya maglaro,” he recounted.

    E2MAX reportedly told Pakbet: “Ayoko muna maglaro kase ang dami kong iniisip, problema sa pamilya.”

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    Due to the gravity of the situation, Pakbet was forced to utilize Cesar Jefferson “AMETHYST” Santos.

    “Sabi ko, ‘Oh sige kung hindi mo kaya ipapasok ko si Amethyst.’ Sabi namin sa kanya, ‘Sige magpahinga ka muna ok lang yan. Ok lang yan kahit matalo tayo basta magpahinga ka.”


      E2MAX recalibrates, helps lead Omega to victory

      In the end Omega suffered an embarrassing sweep against RSG PH. Afterwards, the team had to undergo internal discussions to decide on their lineup in the following week.

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      “So pagdating nung Monday, nung third week, tinanong namin siya kung kaya niya maglaro?" narrated Pakbet. "Siya pala yung unang kumausap sa amin, sabi niya sa akin, ‘Laro na ako Paks!'”

      At first, the coach was hesitant, as he had noticed a lack of chemistry between E2MAX and Ch4knu in Week 1.

      “Una sabi ko sa kanya, ‘Ok ka na ba talaga?” Makakapaglaro ka na ba? Kase hindi sila nagco-connect ni Ch4knu nung dalawang week. Paano natin maayos yan?”

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      E2MAX assured his coach that he was fully ready.

      Pakbet decided to give E2MAX a 2nd chance by saying, “Sabi ko, sige tanungin mo muna yung head coach (probably referring to Ynot). So, nag-usap sila hanggang gabi.”

      Even during game week, Amethyst was supposed to be chosen, but E2MAX was able to convince Pakbet to field him.

      “So si Amethyst pa rin yung naglalaro noong Monday so pagka-gabi sabi ko, try ko si E2MAX. Noong naglaro kami sa scrim noong Monday, sobrang smooth yung laro namin so sabi namin, sige try natin si E2MAX, hanggang buong week na ito,” recalled Pakbet.

      And to fix the chemistry issues he had with Ch4knu and even Raizen, Pakbet asked the trio to play matches together.

      He said: “Sinabihan ko nga sina Raizen, si Ch4knu, at si E2MAX na tatlo lang silang magra-rank game para mabuo yung chemistry nila. Kase hindi sila nagco-connect eh. So ngayon um-okay na!”

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      It was a new beginning for Omega, further highlighted by Ch4knu’s decision to change the color of his hair, which Pakbet revealed was inspired by a TikTok video.

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