By REYNALD MAGALLON
Karl “Karltzy” Nepomuceno was finally back to his deadly form as he flexed his surprise jungle Natan pick and pulled Bren Esports to their first back-to-back wins in MPL Philippine Season 8 on Friday, September 24.
Usually played as a mid laner or a gold laner in the current meta, Karltzy shocked Nexplay EVOS on his jungle Natan with a 7-4-6 KDA in Game 1. Although NXPE was able to shut them down with an 18-16 victory, Karltzy’s Natan wreaked havoc in the next two matches to help Bren pull off the 2-1 reverse sweep.
He put up nine kills and nine assists against three deaths in Game 2 and then followed it up with five kills, and five assists against a lone death performance in the series clincher.
Bren head coach Francis “Ducky” Glindro later revealed that the team purposely picked Natan as Karltzy’s hero since his signature heroes Lancelot and Hayabusa were not available following a revamp in the latest patch.
Ducky bared that the hero Natan was reminiscent of hero Claude which is part of Karltzy’s hero pool in their championship runs in MPL Season 6 and M2 World Championships.
“He is adjusting well. I mean mga heroes nya rin naman ‘yung mga na-buff particularly nga ‘yung Natan so it’s a good thing,” explained Duckey referring to the latest Mobile Legends patch that buffed several marksman heroes.
“Reminiscent kasi siya kay Claude eh so since Claude has been nerfed, ayon, mukang nainlove naman si Karl dun sa hero,” he added.
Karltzy’s stellar performance on jungle Natan did not come as a surprise for their veteran gold laner CJ “Ribo” Ribo who also provided the clutch plays on his Alice and Chou picks in Games 2 and 3.
“Napractice nya naman kasi masyado iyon eh, tsaka ang dami ding na-ban na hero ngayon kasi nag patch katulad nga nung mga puro assassin,” said the multi-titled skipper.
With Karltzy and the rest of the team finding their groove once again, Allan “Lusty” Castromayor is hoping that they could make another push to avoid the bottom two spots of the standings and reach the playoffs.
The team struggled in the early goings of the tournament and even had to tweak their line up from time to time to find their winning combination.
“Kami pa rin lima maglalaro. Kapag nakapasok kami ng playoffs, kami pa rin yun kasi nabalik na naming ‘yung chemistry naming tsaka ‘di na kami nagkakailangan,” said the veteran roamer.
They will need more of that chemistry and Karltzy’s vintage performance when the team locks horns with title contender Onic Philippines at 8PM on Saturday.