ONIC PH took on Nexplay EVOS in the first match of Day 2 in the Mobile Legends Professional League Season 8 Playoffs. It was right out of the frying pan and into the fire for Nexplay EVOS, who had just broken their first-round playoff curse yesterday, but took on the split-pushing squad today, October 22, in the playoff second round.
The fan favorites were handily dispatched by the second-seeders, 3-0. But their playoff push survives as they're relegated to the lower bracket.
MPL-PH Playoffs Day 2 Recap: ONIC vs Nexplay
Nexplay kicked off the series opener with Jawhead for Tristan "Yawi" Cabrera and Esmeralda for Renejay "RENEJAY" Barcarse. Meanwhile, ONIC picked up the highly contested Selena and Claude for their draft.
Yawi’s Jawhead picked up the first blood for Nexplay but ONIC’s careful positioning around Gerald "Dlar" Trinchera’s signature Uranus guaranteed them the Turtles of the early game. ONIC’s regular season prowess and form in objective taking with towers continued well into the playoffs as they took control of the mid game.
Despite Yawi’s decent start for NXP, he struggled with 6 deaths in 9 minutes to set the tempo in the opposite side's favor. ONIC sped like a hedgehog and trampled all over the Nexplay base to secure a quick 13 minute win behind the unkillable Dlar.
In Game 2, ONIC went with the Yu Zhong, Kimmy, and Kagura mix they'd found success with in the past. Nexplay backed on a late game line up with their signature Natan pick, and they managed to secure their key tandem of Selena and Khufra to bide time.
An early scuffle around the Turtle went in favor of ONIC to jump start their advantage, but NXP refused to let the early game get away from them. Jeniel "YellyHaze" Bata-Anon's beautiful Selena play let them secure the next two Turtles to bring them back into the game.
The mid game scuffle for the Lord ended in ONIC’s favor as they once again took the precarious lead in this close Game 2. With ONIC threatening to take over the map, NXP tried to split up the map — to no avail as RENEJAY constantly kept getting picked off on his Benedetta.
ONIC eventually just overpowered NXP as they secure a commanding 2-0 lead.
Staring down a trip to the lower bracket, NXP changed things up in Game 3 with a draft revolving around Pharsa, Lapu Lapu, and Hayabusa. ONIC struck back in the draft with Ling, Paquito, and Selena.
ONIC once again took control of the Turtles thanks to Kairi’s Ling. Despite picking his signature Lapu Lapu, RENEJAY was shut down effectively early on by ONIC’s kill squad rotations. The mid game was when ONIC’s line up really started to shine with Ling always on the hunt, and easily be supported by Selena and Aldous. NXP tried to stave off the aggression with Pharsa’s Feathered Air Strike but it was far from enough. ONIC continued their dominance in MPL S8 with a convincing sweep against the NXP upstarts.
Who will ONIC, Nexplay face next?
NXP drop to the lower bracket while ONIC secure a date with the winners of the Blacklist International and Omega match later today. In the post-match interview, Coach Yeb spoke about the quick average time wins of ONIC in the series.
"Hindi namin plano magbigay ng game so syempre gusto namin na tapusin kaagad kung kaya," he said.
He also mentioned how his casual coaching style is better for the mental health of his players. "Ang target ko is tanggalin yung pressure sa mga players kase most of the time kung pressured sila, hindi mo talaga malalabas yung best mo."
From a rock bottom 0-13 showing last season as Cignal’s shot caller, the much improved Coach Yeb brings his ONIC boys closer to the MPL crown.
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