OB.Neon Esports came through with an emphatic bounce back in the second half of the group stage to qualify for the playoffs of the ONE Esports Singapore Major on Tuesday, March 30.
Despite losing stand-in Rafael “Rappy” Sicat Palo due to him having close contact with a COVID-19 case and taking in Singaporean pro Yang “Deth” Wu Heng as the “best option available”, Neon managed to save its tournament life with impressive results against heavily favored teams.
Sitting at the bottom of the eight-team standings with a lone win out of eight games, Neon began Day 2 with a bang as it blemished South American dark horse Thunder Predator’s erstwhile flawless record.
Erin Jasper “Yopaj” Ferrer got hold of a traditional midlaner in Templar Assassin and utterly shredded Thunder Predator, posting a perfect record of 14 kills and eight assists in the 31-minute 38-13 rout in Game 2 to force a series draw.
Yopaj once again took charge in Game 1 against European giant Alliance as his Puck finished with 16 kills and 10 assists against a lone death in a 33-17 demolition before Neon settled for a 1-1 stalemate.
The Filipino squad then pulled off a stunning 2-0 sweep another European bet Team Liquid behind the monstrous Nature’s Prophet of offlaner-turned-carry Andrei “debil_2000” Ong (also known as Skem).
Skem’s NP posted a total of 30 kills and 30 assists against only four deaths in the swift series that lasted for only 64 minutes.
Neon’s qualification for the playoffs was formally sealed after Liquid beat Alliance in Game 1 of their encounter.
Alliance is the lone team to crash out from the group stage after garnering only four wins in 14 games.
Skem and the gang ended the group stage with a 5-9 record for an assured spot in the 4th-7th places.
Neon will start its playoffs campaign in the lower bracket against a yet to be determined opponent.