THE SECOND match of the first day of the MPL PH Season 8 playoffs featured SEA powerhouse Omega Esports against their rivals, ECHO PH, a team led by veteran and former MPL champion, Christian ‘Rafflesia’ Fajura, and super rookie, Rion ‘Rk3’ Kudo.
It was win-or-go-home for these two and all gloves were be off. But Omega proved their veteran chops with a 3-1 victory.
MPL-PH Day 1 Recap: Omega vs ECHO
In Game 1, ECHO went with a more classic lineup featuring Chou, Pharsa, and Alice, while Omega tried a more experimental roster of Barats, Mathilda, and Luo Yi.
The early game potential of Omega’s line up secured multiple Turtles for their team as they ramped up the pressure. The pressure was on for Jaymark "Hadess" Lazaro and his Granger for ECHO to come back from Omega’s early aggression, but his efforts went to waste as Dean "Raizen" Sumagui managed to secure the Lord at the 11th minute mark and kick off Omega's streamroll Game 1 victory.
In Game 2, ECHO once again selected a similar draft from their series opener while their foes picked up Ling and Angela — a large curve from their earlier draft. This time around, the early game was controlled by ECHO with the early Turtle control behind Hadess’ Paquito. Omega managed to turn things their way in the mid game, thanks to the global presence of Raizen’s Ling.
In response, Rk3’s Pharsa managed to prolong the game with the defensive prowess of Feathered Air Strike, complimented by the Paquito, drawing the series at one apiece.
Seeing the impact of Pharsa, ECHO once again picked her in Game 3 while Omega responded with their Mathilda and Alice combo. The first Turtle was secured by ECHO but the aggression of Raizen’s Hayabusa racked up early kills for Omega within the 8th minute mark.
The Omega deathball couldn’t be stopped after the momentum set up Raizen’s frame perfect aggression, bolstering Omega's chances of going to the next round with their 2-1 series lead.
With their backs against the wall, ECHO selected the Yu Zhong and YSS combo, while Omega placed their trust in the Lancelot and Luo Yi tandem. ECHO had a game plan, shutting down Duane "Kelra" Pillas on his Aldous very early on with Rafflesia’s Chou piling up the pressure. Raizen’s heroics on his Lancelot brought it back for Omega in the mid game, but ECHO answered with Rafflesia's surprise assaults with his Mathilda.
However, Omega's clutch heroics at the tail end of the match placed the final nail in the coffin. It began in the 9th minute where Joshua "Ch4knu" Mangilog made a crucial Khufra combo on Rafflesia. Rk3 and his heroics carried on in the 11th minute, while Patrick James "E2MAX" Caidic's Luo Yi made the diversion setup, allowing Ch4knu to save Kelra from the jaws of death and sealing the fate of ECHO PH's playoff hopes.
The entire series saw Raizen's incredible form, which E2MAX praised in the post-match interview.
"Mas gutom, mas focused," said the team veteran.
Their victory over ECHO showed their championship caliber prestige which could once again appear in their much awaited rematch against the reigning MPL champions, Blacklist International.
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