By REYNALD MAGALLON
Nexplay Evos scored a crucial 2-0 victory over TNC Pro Team as it leaped to third spot of the standing in the MPL Philippines Season 8 on Sunday, October 3.
NXP got full three points following two come-from-behind wins over TNC to finish with 18 points after Week 6 of the regular season. For now, NXP avoided the logjam in the middle of the standings by having a two-point cushion over RSG Philippines, Omega Esports and ECHO which are all tied from fourth to sixth place with 16 points.
NXP banked on its clutch plays to recover from TNC’s blistering starts twice in the series.
TNC had an excellent series opener after making an early 6-0 lead over NXP. The Phoenix, however, failed to capitalize to that early cushion and eventually fell prey to NXPE’s late game lineup anchored on their double marksman setup.
John Paul “H2wo” Salonga on his jungle Natan and Johnwin “Hesa” Vergara on his gold lane Claude joined hands as they unloaded the damage during the team fights. H2wo finished with a perfect score line of six kills and two assists without a death while Hesa added two kills, eight assists against a single death.
Jeniel “Yellyhaze” Bata-Anon provided the zone and protection for their double cores with a perfect 2-0-9 KDA on his Eve to help NXP take the first point of the series after 21 minutes and an 11-9 tally in Game 1.
Just like in the opener, TNC was comfortably ahead with Daniel “Chuu” Chu having his way on his Hayabusa in the early game. Chuu even had a solo kill on H2wo to control the jungle battle early on.
TNC, however, had some crucial misplays. A pick off on 3martyzy’ Esmeralda in the top lane and a shutdown on Chuuu’s Hayabusa after a deep dive in the midlane allowed NXPE to come back. NXP took advantage of that as it leaned on its double core setup with Hesa’s Lunox and H2wo’s Yi Sun-Shin to once again carry the team in the late game.
Hesa was superb on his Lunox with a 7-1-2 KDA but it was Yellyhaze’s Pharsa who took the MVP honors with an all-game long brilliance of seven kills, 10 assists against two deaths.
With the loss and only two more games to play, TNC’s hopes to qualify to the playoffs got dimmer with only 11 points with a 3-8 record. It will now need to sweep its remaining games and pray that the teams above them in the standings also lose its games.