That was the central theme of TNC's roster reveal video for Season 11. After a disastrous Season 10 where the team's biggest strength of abusing the Demon Slayer emblem became their kryptonite, the following season could be a glimmer of hope for the Phoenix.
0-4 in the overall standings, without even landing a single game win, it seems the Phoenix's hopes of reaching the playoffs are already beyond them.
As to why they were struggling? Bren Esports revealed some potential issues about the team in the post-match press conference.
Is the roster shift a problem?
The previous week saw TNC juggle between two teams, where Jomarie "Escalera" Santos and Ben Selos "Benthings" Maglaque would alternate in leading their respective teams. While Escalera would handle the veterans, Benthings was tasked to manage the newcomers.
Back in Season 9, Nexplay EVOS was renowned for their roster shifts as Coach John Michael "Zico" Dizon would constantly make tweaks left and right.
Omega's former captain Patrick James "E2MAX" Caidic wasn't a fan of Zico's approach, saying: "Hindi rin advisable papalit-palit. Yung momentum kase masisira lalo na sa mga players once na hinahati kayo sa scrimr. Imbes na mas marami kang natututunan dahil sa haba ng nilalaro mo, ang nangyayari putol-putol pa."
And going back to TNC in Season 11, does Bren share the sentiments that E2MAX had? Angelo Kyle "Pheww" Arcangel feels that the roster changes have psychologically affected the team.
"Yung ngayon naman, hindi ko alam kung anong nangyari e. Parang ang gulo ng playstyle nila, lalo na noong papalit-palit sila ng player. Yung last week, noong Game 1 itong team, Game 2 itong team naman," said the Bren captain.
"Para sa akin, napakahirap ng ganoon e. Lalo na kung yung player, natalo noong Game 1, syempre gustong bumawi sa Game 2 yun e. Makakaapekto sa mental nila yun e."
Coach Francis "Duckeyyy" Glindro would also agree that the team's mentality has taken a dip.
“I’d say yung performance nila...mukhang nagsu-suffer sila mentally. Nanggaling na kami kase diyan e. Same exact setup, 10 players, sobrang hirap niya when both of the teams are actually losing because it’s really contagious kung masama yung pakiramdam. Nobody wants to lose!"
Failing to adapt?
TNC's failure to adapt and their predictability has made them into an easy target in Season 10 and it seems history has once again repeated in this season.
While many would point the fingers at their obsession with the Demon Slayer emblem in Season 10, David Charles "FlapTzy" Canon revealed that the team's movements are becoming predictable.
“Siguro ano po, feeling ko parang basang-basa na kase, nakakalaban namin sila sa RG e. Tapos nakita namin galaw nila tapos noong mga past seasons, every game nila pinapanood namin parang same lang yung ginagawa nila na galawan," started the EXP laner.
"Ayun parang naintindihan namin tapos ang ginagawa namin, nire-review namin lahat tapos ginagawan namin ng solusyon para masira yung ikot nila."
While their current record are signs that TNC should now press the panic button, the team still has six more weeks to redeem themselves.
Time is ticking for Coaches Jemson "Scholar" Glean Ignacio, Laurence "Lift" Ruiz, 413, and Right to finally look for a solution in Season 11.
And in case the team is need of an inspiration both Coaches Duckeyyy and former TNC head coach Vrendon "Vren" Lin would give words of encouragement.
"I would say, there’s still chance, just don’t give up on hope. We’ve been there, malulusutan nila eventually," said Coach Duckeyyy, referring to Bren's early struggles in Season 9.
Vren added: "Kung may mapapayo ako sa kanila, taasan lang nila yung mental fortitude nila."
"As a once a TNC member, yun talaga yung pinaka-core as a trait ng team e. Yung mental fortitude nila malakas e, coming from Season 10, they also didn’t have a good run and I think hindi pa huli ang lahat sa kanila, kaya tiwala pa rin sa sarili. Biyaheng Tagumpay," expressed the former TNC head coach.