Nexplay EVOS ends first round playoff curse

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Nexplay EVOS ends first round playoff curse
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WILD cards RSG PH and fan favorites Nexplay EVOS kicked off the playoffs of the 8th Season of the Mobile Legends-Professional League, with the veteran squad sweeping the newbies, 3-0, in the first postseason faceoff of the league. 

RSG PH entered the ladder at sixth in ranking, but with a storied coach in Brian “Panda” Lim, they can still shock a team like Nexplay EVOS on a good day. With star rookies Nathanael “Nathzz” Estrologo and Jonard  Cedrix “Demonkite” Caranto, RSG could have that much needed resurgence in the playoffs.  

Nexplay EVOS, on the other hand, are the old kids on the block. While they did not impress in their performances in Season 6 and Season 7, their so-called big three of Renejay “RENEJAY” Barcarse, Tristan “Yawi” Cabrera ,and John Paul “H2wo” Salonga have stuck around, hoping for a much stronger playoff performance this time around.

With coach John Michael “Zico” Dizon and analyst Neil “Midnight” De Guzman, bringing new life to their knowledge, discipline, and strategies, Nexplay EVOS come into this match-up a clear favorite.

MPL-PH Playoffs: Nexplay vs RSG game recap

Game 1 had NXP go with a very good early draft with Eudora and Jawhead. RSG went with their signature Paquito and Rafaela in the series opener. The map control and Turtles in the early game were clearly in NXP’s favor. 

NXP secured RSG’s first Tier 3 tower at the 13th minute mark behind the locomotive power of H2wo’s Yi Sun-shin. RSG tried to put up a fight, but their no initiator lineup really struggled to keep up with their opponent’s aggression as NXP took a 1-0 lead in a 19-minute rout.  

In Game 2, NXP again went with the YSS as well as the highly successful Estes, while RSG decided to try their luck with Kagura and Esmeralda while still picking Paquito. (Interestingly, this was YellyHaze’s first ever Estes game of the season.) RSG managed to sneak in the first Turtle of the game thanks to Demonkite’s Paquito. But then RENEJAY’s Thamz had a beautiful outplay against the Esmeralda of Nathzz early on that really fired up NXP. 

However, Heath was the man of the mid game for RSG, setting things up for his team as his Ruby allowed Iy4knu’s Kimmie and Demonkite’s Paquito to dominate. But NXP had a stellar hold on their base with their two late-game marksmen in YSS and Natan as RSG crumbled in the latter stages, leading to a 2-0 lead for the fan favorite squad.  

RSG now faced a do-or-die Game 3 matchup with their tournament lives on the line. Demonkite’s early game momentum allowed RSG to have a good start against the bruisers of NXP, but H2wo’s Paquito fought back hard and NXP started to build momentum after taking away the second Turtle.

RSG struggled to keep up with the map control in the mid game and it also didn’t help that NXP’s lineup scaled well in the late game courtesy of Jhonwin Dela Merced “Hesa” Vergara’s double Malefic Roar build, sweeping the newly formed team. 

Throughout the season, RSG has never won a single game against Nexplay. 

In the post-match interview, Nexplay talisman H2wo, expressed his relief of finalling ending the team’s first round playoff curse. 

“Natanggal na rin yung sumpa na first round exit dahil since Season 6 tanggal kami sa first round pero ngayon Top 4 na let’s go!” he said.

For their first ever playoff series win, NXP secure a date with Onic PH in the next round.  

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