THE VERY first day of the regular season of the MPL-PH season 8 was headlined by an El Clasico rivalry between Onic PH and Echo, as well as a battle between the upstart TNC roster against defending MPL-PH champions Blacklist International.
In the first series, Onic PH dominated their longtime rivals — rebranding themselves as Echo for this new season — with a commanding 2-0 sweep.
It seemed Echo would gain the upper hand in Game 1, given their hyper aggressive early game and counterattacking strategy led by Jankurt Russel “KurtTzy” Matira’s Ruby and Rion “Rk3” Kudo’s Kagura.
However, as the match progressed, they became susceptible to Kairi “Kairi” Rayosdelsol’s split pushing and farming antics. By the 18th minute, Onic delivered the finishing touches as they secured the Lord and exterminated the key members of Echo, leading to their victory.
While Game 1 was a close encounter between the two teams, the next game was a dominant display by Onic as they drafted an extremely aggressive wave clear lineup, featuring Gerald “Dlarskie” Trinchera’s X.Borg and Allen Jedric “Baloyskie” Baloy’s surprise Lylia pick. Their poke damage was enough to smother Echo’s lineup.
Their victory ended Paul Denver “Coach Yeb” Miranda’s 13-series losing streak as a head coach. It has likewise given Onic the momentum against their next opponents, the new look Omega Esports team, consisting of the previous MSC 2021 champions.
Blacklist International takes on TNC
As Onic celebrated their victory, the other series likewise experienced a similar outcome as Blacklist International easily breezed their way past TNC. Even amid the latest patch updates, the codebreakers stuck with their signature healing and “ultimate bonding strategy” against the reformed up-and-coming squad.
TNC tried their best to hold their ground against Blacklist International’s heavy sustain lineup in Game 1. However, their efforts were in vain, due to Danerie James “Wise” Del Rosario’s sudden entrance in the 19th minute. He was crucial in attacking the backlines of TNC, leading to Blacklist’s game winning Lord push.
In the second game, TNC’s efforts never yielded any results as they were completely bedazzled by Edward “Edward” Jay Dapadap’s Paquito setups and the wave clear and poking antics of Kiel Calvin “OHEB” Soriano’s Hayabusa and Wise’s Kimmy pick. They were forced to yield in the 11th minute.
Both Blacklist and TNC will face Nexplay EVOS in their next matches.
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