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A resurgent Smart Omega Esports Philippines (OMG) have secured a Top 3 finish at the Mobile Legends Professional League (MPL) Philippines Season 9 Playoffs after they swept ONIC Philippines 3-0 in the lower bracket semifinals on Saturday (30 April).
After falling to the second-seeded TNC Pro Team in the upper bracket semifinals, “Baranggay” Omega bounced back against ONIC to advance to the lower bracket finals.
Here's how OMG secured a Top 3 finish.
Battle of the junglers
ONIC opened the series by picking up the Xavier for Jaylord “Hatred” Gonzales for his global presence and burst damage.
OMG responded with the Karina for Dean Christian "Raizen" Sumagui and the Beatrix for Grant Duane "Kelra" Pillas, signaling some early aggression.
To counter OMG’s aggressive start, ONIC drafted the Baxia for Allen Jedric “Baloyskie” Baloy and the Uranus for Gerald “Dlarskie” Trinchera to protect Kairi “Kairi” Ygnacio Rayosdelsol’s farm with his Lancelot. ONIC finished their lineup with the Brody for Mark Christian “Markyyyyy” Capacio.
As for OMG, they rounded out their lineup with Patrick James "E2MAX" Caidic’s Lylia for more magic damage as well as the Masha and Khufra duo for Renz Errol "Renzio" Salonga Cadua and Joshua "Ch4knu" Mangilog to complete their frontline.
While ONIC responded well to OMG’s early aggression, they were unable to hold their lead for long.
Both junglers played aggressively from the jump, getting two kills apiece while the rest of their teams farmed the sidelines.
But at the end of the early game, Kairi’s Lancelot edged out Raizen’s Karina, having a 5/0/2 stat line after the first seven minutes. His accurate movements around the map allowed ONIC to punish Karina’s dives for kills.
ONIC also opted to trade resources with OMG, taking buffs while conceding the turtles to keep themselves apace with OMG’s early timings.
Unfortunately for ONIC, a disastrous team fight near the first lord of the game gave OMG a lead that they never relinquished.
ONIC’s heroes pushed too far into the lord pit despite Lancelot’s ability to steal lords from a considerable distance.
While Kairi managed to steal the lord, OMG routed ONIC in the ensuing team fight, killing four ONIC heroes while not losing one of their own in the process.
ONIC’s mistakes started to pile up from there, with Baloyskie’s Baxia rolling into four OMG heroes in the middle lane bush and immediately dying.
That death allowed OMG to comfortably take the second and final lord.
After the lord fell at the top lane, Ch4knu caught both of ONIC’s damage dealers with a Flicker-Tyrant’s Rage combo, allowing Beatrix and Karina to mop up the squishy heroes.
ONIC’s last-ditch attempt to hold did not work as Kelra’s Beatrix locked onto ONIC’s base to take game one.
Ch4knu took the MVP award for game one after a 0/2/9 performance, including the beautiful setup to end the game with his Khufra.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it
With the problems Raizen posed in game one, ONIC decided to take the Karina for themselves. They also picked up the Khufra and Angela to take advantage of their midgame timings.
Despite not having the Karina, OMG went back to their winning formula, taking Beatrix and Masha again while also grabbing the Franco for Ch4knu. Raizen’s Baxia and E2MAX’s Cecilion were also added into the mix for more teamfight control.
OMG decided to attack before ONIC’s ultimates were fully operational as they grabbed a kill on Dlarskie’s Dyrroth and Baloyskie’s Khufra to start the game.
Meanwhile, ONIC focused on objectives and buffs to position themselves well once their power spikes come.
Things started to turn against ONIC during the first lord fight. A good initiation by Baloyskie’s Khufra helped ONIC take down Franco but E2MAX’s Cecilion brought ONIC’s heroes low enough with Bats Feast to distract ONIC from the main objective.
Raizen’s Baxia won the retribution battle for the first lord of the game and it was the turning point that OMG needed. Using the lord, OMG took down most of ONIC’s outer towers.
Ch4knu also connected with an Iron Hook onto Baloyskie hiding in the bush to position themselves well as the second lord spawned.
A missed Flicker-Tyrant’s Rage combo by Baloyskie cost him his life while Dlarskie’s Dyrroth was caught by Ch4knu’s Bloody hunt, quickly removing two heroes on the side of ONIC.
OMG handily won the team fight as they got a three-for-nothing exchange with Kelra getting a Triple Kill. Then, with a 4,000 gold lead and the second lord on their side, OMG marched down the middle lane to end the game.
Kelra instantly deleted Markyyyyy’s Brody in the bottom lane with Renner’s Apathy and finished off the hooked Dyrroth. With only three heroes up for ONIC, OMG locked onto ONIC’s base to go up 2-0 in the match.
Ch4knu won the MVP award again with a 0/2/6 performance from his Franco.
The new “Filipino Sniper”?
Having had a good time with his Beatrix in the first two games, OMG quickly snatched it again for Kelra along with Ch4knu’s Franco.
Both teams swapped core heroes, with OMG taking Karina for Raizen and ONIC taking Baxia for Kairi.
OMG also picked E2MAX’s Lylia and Renzio’s Dyrroth for additional physical and magical burst damage, which prompted ONIC to take Baloyskie’s Rafaela for more sustainability.
Sensing blood in the water, Kelra saved his best performance for last. Two minutes into the match, his Beatrix solo-killed Markyyyyy’s Brody in the top lane.
While ONIC secured early advantages with four quick kills on the board, OMG were winning the gold lane.
After an Iron Hook-Bloody Hunt initiation onto Kairi’s Baxia, OMG’s heroes collapsed onto ONIC. They took down four heroes for the price of Kelra’s Beatrix, who got a Double Kill for his efforts.
Beatrix’s successful early game allowed OMG to take control for the rest of the game.
To pour salt in the wound, ONIC took four heroes to the top lane to kill Kelra, but the slippery marksman managed to get away, allowing Raizen’s Karina to finish off the wounded Rafaela in return.
Both teams contested the final turtle of the game, resulting in a three-for-three exchange.
Unfortunately for ONIC, Kelra grabbed himself a Triple Kill with his Beatrix to go up to 8/1/0 seven minutes into the game. OMG’s gold lead ballooned to 7,000 two minutes later.
OMG’s unstoppable sniper foiled ONIC’s desperation attempt near the lord pit as Kelra sniped Dlarskie’s Khufra after another Iron Hook from Ch4knu’s Franco. Without their initiator, ONIC conceded the lord and mounted a final defense of their base.
As the lord fell, so did all of ONIC’s remaining towers. OMG ended the game with a concealed Iron Hook onto Markyyyyy, removing ONIC’s primary damage dealer.
Baloyskie’s Rafaela counter-initiated but was quickly taken down as well.
In the end, ONIC managed to kill Kelra’s Beatrix. Unfortunately for them, it came at the cost of their base and their hopes of going back to the finals.
Kelra won the match-clinching MVP award with his best Beatrix performance of the day, finishing with an 11/2/1 stat line.
With their victory, OMG secured at least a Top 3 finish as well as US$10,000 in winnings. They will have a rematch with TNC in the lower bracket finals to determine who will challenge RSG Philippines for the MPL PH Season 9 championship in the grand finals.
Meanwhile, ONIC bows out of the tournament in 4th place and with US$5,000 in consolation.