By REYNALD MAGALLON
ECHO survived a gallant stand from TNC Pro Team on a last gasp split push from Benedict “BennyQT” Gonzales and Aaron “Hadess” Lazaro to take a 2-1 victory in MPL Philippines Season 8 on Sunday, Sept. 26.
Momentum was on the side of TNC with Frediemar “3martzy” Serafico nearly unkillable in his Uranus while Daniel “Chuuu” Chu’s Yi-Sun Shin dominated the team fights late in Game 3. But an extended standoff between the two teams in the Lord Dance at the 20-minute mark allowed BennyQT’s Chou to create space in the bottom lane.
With Christian “Rafflesia” Fajura disrupting TNC’s lord attempt, BennyQT and Hadess on his Ling took advantage and sneaked behind TNC players for a tower lock to end Game 3 in 20 minutes.
It was a nip-and-tuck affair before ECHO’s split push attempt, evident in the 14-14 score line at the end of the deciding game.
Jankurt “Kurtzy” Matira on his Thamuz was named MVP of the game after securing four early kills to pace ECHO. He finished with 5-3-3 KDA while Hadess added four kills, nine assists against three deaths.
It was ECHO who drew first blood in the series with BennyQT on his surprise gold lane Argus pick. He led the way with six skills and eight assists against a single death to take an easy 20-11 Game 1 win.
Echo had the chance to end the series in Game 2 but TNC was determined to salvage some points and pump some life to its dismal campaign. Chuuu’s YSS and Patrick “P-God” Grecia’s Nana, who finished with 10-2-8 and 6-1-12 KDAs respectively, conspired in Game 2 to put up some resistance this time around, after getting swept in all of their five losses.
ECHO, though, displayed poise and better shot calls in crunch time to seal the win. It now forced a tie with RSG at third place of the standings with 16 points apiece. ECHO improved to a 5-6 win-loss card while TNC absorbed its sixth straight loss for a 2-7 slate with seven points across the board.