COACH Brian “Panda” Lim’s RSG PH spoiled a potential rematch of the M3 World Championship by sending Onic PH to the lower bracket with a convincing 3-1 series win in the Sibol qualifiers.
The series was a Kagura, Khufra, and Ruby masterclass from Arvie “Aqua” Antonio, Dylan “Light” Catipon and Kenneth Jiane “Kenji” Villa respectively.
It likewise marked RSG’s resilience in dealing with Onic PH’s signature split pushing game, which was the primary theme of the matchup.
Back-and-forth tower rushes from RSG PH
Onic PH unveiled their signature objective-based gameplan as they starved the Raiders of resources in Game 1. Though RSG was pushed inside their base, their defensive stance was worth applauding as they were constantly gunning for Mark “Markyyyyy” Capacio’s Clint and Allen Jedric “Baloyskie” Baloy’s Lylia.
Unfortunately, they suffered from a clutch conceal play on the 21st minute.
This Game 1 setback turned out to be a minor issue, as RSG was able to find the response from Onic’s split pushing game. In Game 2, Joshwell Christian “Iy4knu” Manaog’s Popol and Kupa was a tower-melting menace for the Filipino Hedgehog.
Then in Game 3, Onic tried to execute their signature gameplan with their own version of the Popol and Kupa tandem, but the Raiders already unleashed their counterplan.
Light and Kenji show
The tandem of Light and Kenji was a showstopper for Onic PH as their setups have always caught the World runner ups off guard.
Light functions as a counterattacking Khufra player, using his combo after a setup from Kenji or a sudden entrance from Demonkite's Hayabusa in Game 3, while Kenji serves as an alternative option, with his Esmeralda serving follow-up damage courtesy of her ult.
But ultimately, it was his Light's Ruby that deserved plaudits. In Game 1, he was crucial in RSG’s defensive stance. Then in Game 4, his stuns slowed down Jaylord “Hatred” Gonzales’ Ling.
The water demon unleashed
While the likes of Kairi “Kairi” Rayosdelsol, Karl “KarlTzy” Nepomuceno, and Salic “Hadji” Imam would oftentimes garner the spotlight for their sudden explosions, one should also take a closer look at the Demonkite and Aqua duo.
Aqua’s Kagura has always been a sneaky threat with his bush play, and there were many times when he was able to annihilate Markyyyyy.
Then along comes Demonkite, who literally exploded against Onic with his Bane, Hayabusa, Fanny, and Balmond picks. He even became the team’s initiation option, clearly seen in Game 3 as he masterfully capitalized on Hayabusa’s invulnerable frame.
Overall RSG, proved that they deserved their showdown against Blacklist International in the upper bracket, while Onic PH will have to grind their way at the lower bracket.
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