ECHO and RSG Philippines have met once again in the playoffs, however the stakes are even more crucial this time around since the second M4 ticket and Grand Finals slot is on the line. ECHO took the win in their previous encounter, but RSG looked even hungrier than ever as they were heads on towards defending their MPL championship. This series will revolve around who wants the championship and the M4 ticket more: the determined Raiders of RSG PH, or the promising House of HIghlights of ECHO?
Both teams aimed to neutralize each other, respecting comfort picks and countering prominent heroes. RSG grabbed notable heroes in the current meta such as the Paquito and Claude, while ECHO secured the Pharsa and Esmeralda for reliable damage and teamfight potential. Overall, both teams ended up with standard picks in the meta; good reap damaged with dependable frontliners.
ECHO and RSG constantly kept an eye on each other as soon as the first game commenced; the game was relatively slow until the first turtle fight transpired, wherein RSG was able to secure the objective in exchange for Nathzz's life. Slow and steady was the name of the early game, and crucial skirmishes only occured around neutral objectives. Nevertheless, the gold remained relatively even between both teams. Eventually, ECHO found a way to cripple the Raiders through Yawi's constant pick-offs onto Light, slowly giving the Orcas the upper hand. ECHO also secured the first Lord with the same process - picking off Light and later on finding vulnerable members of RSG PH. By the 11th minute, ECHO stood loud with a seven thousand gold lead, however RSG was still persistent but careful during small teamfights. ECHO maintained their lead as they secured the next Lord, eventually opening up the mid lane of RSG PH. With another compelling and concluding Way of the Dragon from Yawi's Chou, picking off Demonkite, RSG had no choice but to remain on the back foot and eventually trembling before the Orcas.
ECHO wiped out RSG PH after a flashy team fight, which led to them finding the enemy base and starting off the series with winning the first game.
Because of Yawi's performance in Game #1, the Chou ended up as ECHO's first pick for the second game of the series. Both teams' compositions were well-rounded with area damage and control, but Light was now able to secure Khufra, one of his notable comfort picks. ECHO's compostion was unusual for this game, with Barats on the hands of KarlTzy, and SanFord's Grock in the EXP Lane.
Game #2 was more explosive as compared to Game #1, with 7 fast kills in 5 minutes, as both teams focused on skirmishes due to enemies being alone or out of position. However, similar to the previous game, ECHO once again was able to look for free kills with no tradeoff from RSG. Despite RSG on a deficit as the first Lord spawned, the Raiders were brave enough to contest, picking off several members of ECHO and eventually slaying the first Lord of the game, which gave them some room to breathe. Bringing back their fighting spirit, RSG was able to bounce back an equalize the game against their opponents. After rounds of back-and-forth clashes, ECHO prevailed with its teamfighting prowess and composure.
With a hard-fought win, ECHO won once again 2-0, a step closer towards the Grand Finals and a ticket to the M4 World Championship.
With Yawi's Chou being a nuisance for the side of RSG, the Raiders decided to deny it and take it for themselves. Everything else during the first phase of the draft was relatively standard and "textbook." With Chou now on the hands of Light, Yawi ended up drafting the Ruby, which will make things interesting for this third game.
The tension and pressure was definitely felt in Game #3, as RSG was in dire need to win in order to keep their MPL dream alive. The early and mid game were all about skirmishes around objectives and exchanges of kills. Although ECHO dominated these stages of the game, RSG were able to find some pick offs and even snatched the Lord from the Orcas' grasp. It was all a matter of who had a better initiation and macro gameplay as both teams slowly crept into the late game. With constant pick offs onto Bennyqt and EMANN's insane reap damage, RSG snowballed their way to victory.
RSG continued to hang on to their MPL dreams as they take the third game from ECHO, 2-1.
Following their strategy in the previous game, RSG once again snatched the Chou as their first pick, as well as drafting the Claude once again on their side. ECHO on the other hand drafted the Akai for KarlTzy and Sanji's Pharsa for reliable damage and crowd control. Moreover, ECHO took a different direction with their draft and picked a roam Kadita for sneaky bush pick off plays.
The early game was pretty much one-sided in favor of the Orcas, securing the first two turtles and securing four kills in the first four minutes of the game. Due to Kadita's surprise factor, ECHO were able to cripple down RSG's sidelanes, taking down the outer turrets early into the game. ECHO had a five thousand gold lead as the first Lord spawned, which was secured by the Orcas in exhcange forYawi's life. SanFord was also a notable player in this game as well, picking off EMANN, a crucial source of damage for the side of the Raiders. It was a snowball-filled match for the Orcas, continuously finding key players from the opposing side, eventually seeking their way to victory.
The Orcas, loud and proud, have booked their ticket to the M4 stage after defeating the defending MPL champions, RSG, 3-1.
GAME 1 (17:05) - RSG 4 (L); ECHO 17 (W)
GAME 2 (18:59) - ECHO 17 (W); RSG 12 (L)
GAME 3 (18:06) - RSG 18 (W); ECHO 13 (L)
GAME 4 (14:31) - RSG 5 (L); ECHO 15 (W)