BOTH teams suffered from heavy losses against the resurgent Bren Esports. Both teams were determined to regain their momentum.
But perhaps Nexplay EVOS was looking more desperate, as their recent losses have nearly pushed them off the edge of playoff contention.
Then again, it also seemed that Onic PH was slowly becoming predictable with their recent losses. However, their 2-0 victory over Nexplay today has maintained their status as a title contender.
This was evident in Game 1 where Onic completely dismantled Nexplay with their aggressive poke damage lineup. The combined efforts of Mark Christian “Markyyyyy” Ectobanez’s Kimmy, Kairi “Kairi” Rayosdelsol’s Ling, and Allen Jedric “Baloyskie” Baloy’s Lylia forced John Paul “H2wo” Salonga’s Alucard to struggle in the early game.
This strategy, combined with Paul Ian “Beemo” Sergio’s ability to lock down on Jeniel “YellyHaze” Bata-Anon’s Selena (with the ML vet struggling to trap key targets) gave Onic the edge in Game 1.
Their momentum carried forward to Game 2, but this time with a surprise package from Kairi’s Karina pick. That hero’s presence allowed Onic to once again dominate the early stages of the game.
This was the first time that Karina was used this season.
Though Onic was able to systematically push the turrets, they were dealt an uphill battle. given the snowballed damage outburst from H2wo’s Natan. He proved to be a threatening presence, until the 20th minute where Onic finally addressed Nexplay’s unyielding defensive stance, giving them their second straight win.
Their recent victory has given them 7 series wins and 22 points, only second to Blacklist’s unblemished record.
ONIC addresses ongoing controversy
During the post-match interview, Markyyyyy expressed the reasons for the team’s decision to select Karina.
“Bigla lang pumasok sa isip ni Kairi, gusto niyang gamitin. Chi-neer up lang namin si Kairi. Kaya mo yan, may tiwala kami sa iyo dahil ikaw ang idol naming lahat!” he said.
Besides talking about Karina’s sudden deployment, his teammate, Karl Mico “Micophobia” Tarala explained that the recent redrafting issue that occurred in their matchup against Omega Esports was one of the catalysts behind their victory.
Mico declared, “Gigil na gigil kaming manalo dahil sa na-receive namin na pagba-bash, tapos na-0-2 kami kahapon, kaya sobrang gigil na gigil kami ngayon!”
He added, “Para sa lahat ng basher, sana itigil niyo na yung pamba-bash niyo dahil hindi po kasalanan ng players, tsaka coach, pati ng management, yung mga nangyari noong nakaraan.”
ECHO PH outlasts TNC, keeping them out of playoff contention
TNC’s hopes of reaching the top 6 are looking dimmer as they stumbled against ECHO in a gruelling 3-game slugfest.
In Game 1, ECHO opted to select a sustainable and aggressive lineup featuring Baxia, Thamuz, Rafaela, and, surprisingly, Argus. Both Christian “Rafflesia” Fajura’s Grock and Jaymark Aaron “Hadess” Lazaro’s Baxia made crucial plays in limiting Patrick “P-GOD” Grecia’s Pharsa, ultimately securing their victory.
The Phoenix managed to avenge their loss in Game 2 as they drafted a burst centric lineup that limited ECHO’s sustainability. TNC nearly had the edge in Game 3, but they were thwarted by a 20th minute surprise Inhibitor push from Hadess’ Ling and Frederic Benedict “Bennyqt” Gonzales’ Chou.
Blacklist International capitalizes on RSG PH’s late game flaws and secures a 2-0 sweep
RSG’s early aggression strategy in Game 1 nearly gave them the victory, but for a a crucial mistake where Nathanael “Nathzz” Estrologo accidentally overextended in the 14th minute, allowing the codebreakers to snatch a victory.
The following game was a stomp as RSG struggled to contend with Kiel “OHEB” Soriano’s damage outburst and Blacklist’s signature ‘UBE’ strategy.
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