Bren Esports' Game 1 win over Aura PH in their first match in Season 7 on Saturday, March 27, might have one of the weirdest ending in the history of MPL Philippines.
Aura was coming off a successful Base defense against an Enhanced Lord but three mega minions slipped through the players' vision and destroyed the Base to hand Bren the 16-minute victory, with the siege minion dealing the final blow.
Veteran offlaner Ashely "Killuash" Cruz could have saved the game for the two-time MPL champion team but it seemed like he took a pause before hitting the minions.
Killuash later explained his late response.
"Nung Game 1 po kaya na-late ako mag-hit sa minions kasi nanonood po ako kay Baloy (Greed). Naka-advance map ako sa mid kaya ayun (I was watching Greed at the mid lane that's why I was late in hitting the minions)," Killuash told Manila Bulletin in an online chat.
"Alam ko po kasi nagde-def si Jaypee sa top lane namin kaya hindi ko masyado napansin (What I knew then was that Jaypee was defending the top lane and I was not able to notice those minions)," added the 22-year-old pro.
Allen "Greed" Baloy on Kagura was indeed at the mid lane taking on some Bren heroes together with Mark "LORD HADESS" Lazaro's Claude and Benedict "Bennyqt" Gonzales' Esmeralda while Jaypee "Jaypee" Dela Cruz on Jawhead left the top lane to back them up.
Killuash was quick to move on from the error as he played a crucial role in Aura's wins in the next games with his Thamuz and Yu Zhong to complete a 2-1 series comeback over the reigning world and MPL champions.
"Nung Game 2 hindi ko na lang inisip 'yung nangyari nung Game 1 para hindi masira 'yung laro ko (Come Game 2, I did not think of what happened in Game 1 so my performance would not be affected)," he said.
The pride of Malabon City came through with three kills and 12 assists on his Thamuz against a lone death in the 11-minute 18-4 demolition in Game 2.
Using Yu Zhong, Killuash finished with a 4-1-4 kill-death-assist record as he led the charge for Aura in team fights en route to a 17-8 Game 3 triumph in 12 minutes.
"'Pag Thamuz po kasi hero ko alam ko na mabubugbog ko 'yung katapat ko sa lane at swerte lang na lumamang din 'yung mga kampo ko sa lanes nila kaya sobrang walang makapigil sa Thamuz (When I'm using Thamuz, I know I can destroy my opponent in the lane and fortunately my teammates also went ahead in their respective lanes that's why no one can stop my Thamuz)."
"'Sa Game 3, YZ po pinili namin kasi alam namin na mahilig sila sa turtle clash at mini-mirror ko lang 'yung Lapu-Lapu 'pag nagba-backup siya para hindi siya makagulo (We picked YZ in Game 3 because we know that Bren likes turtle clash and I'm just mirroring their Lapu-Lapu when he backs them up so he could not bother the team)."
Killuash added that he was happy with the victory not just because he made bounce-back efforts after that Game 1 loss but also Aura's lineup adjustment against Bren paid off.
Jungler LORD HADESS made his MPL Season 7 debut in place of tank Chan "Rafflesia" Fajura while Jaypee transitioned from the core to tank role.