RSG PH came to their matchup as the heavy underdogs against the Indonesian champions, Onic Esports.
Though they valiantly stood their ground with an impressive Game 1 victory and some solid counterattacking plays in Games 2 and 3, their efforts weren't able to nab the victory, eliminating them in the 2021 MPL: Invitational.
Blacklist International now remains as the only Filipino squad left in the running, while Indonesia stands tall with three teams in the finale.
Trench warfare early on in RSG vs. Onic
Both teams are known for their early aggressive rotations, clearly evident in all three games. Both teams featured lethal roamers like Jawhead, Paquito, Rafaela, and Hylos, combined with strong early damage dealers like Bane and Lylia.
In Game 1, RSG PH won the early skirmishes as the "DemonHeath" tandem of Earvin John "Heath" Esperanza and Jonard Cedrix "Demonkite" Caranto overwhelmed their foes. The movement speed from Heath's Hylos and Demonkite's poking skills with his Paquito allowed RSG to surprise their foes.
This, combined with the early damage output from Arvie "Aqua" Antonio's Lylia and Eman "Emann" Sangco's Natan, allowed RSG to secure important kills.
Meanwhile, Game 2 was Onic's time to shine with their Paquito and Khufra combo aggressively harassing RSG's foothold of the jungle. To make matters worse for RSG, Adriand Larsen "Drian" Wong's Bane was constantly kiting RSG's momentum.
They even followed up in Game 3 with a potent Rafaela and Hylos combo, adding more survivability and movement speed. This combined with the solid early game from Drian's Natan created a massive hurdle for the Filipino squad.
RSG tries to salvage what's left
After a horrid start, RSG desperately tried to pull off a miracle. In Game 2, Kenneth Jiane "Kenji" Villa made crucial pulls with his Ruby in the 7th and 11th minute. This gave RSG the momentum to counterattack.
They sent up another desperate prayer in Game 3 with Demonkite's Bane properly executing his Deadly Catch ability, which instantly lowered Onic's HP at the start of teamfights.
Though they valiantly tried to snatch a win over the heavy favorites, their efforts were laid to waste, with some surprise followups from Muhammad Satrya "Butsss" Sanubari's Esmeralda and Drian's Natan in Game 3.
RSG's reserves once again stood their ground
RSG's victory in Game 1 proved that Kenji and Emann are worthy key players that Coach Brian "Panda" Lim could utilize.
Emann's Natan was seen providing the poke damage in the entire match, reaching his zenith in the final clash where he contributed to Onic's wipeout.
While he was wrecking havoc with his Natan, Kenji's Uranus was cutting the minion waves, allowing his team to eliminate the turrets.
He even made a crucial play in the 11th minute where he sacrificed his life by tower diving in front of Calvin "CW" Winata's Harith. While the sacrifice may seem questionable, his death caused enough distraction for his teammates to secure the Lord.