Having faced losses in Week 2—one from the MSC champs and one from the undefeated 'super team'—both ONIC and TNC face off in Week 3 with the hopes of redeeming themselves and regaining momentum as the competition progresses. TNC stands tall in 2nd place in the current standings as the runner-ups struggle to find the grace they had in the previous season, currently in 5th place. Who will prevail as the dark horse of the competition faces off against ONIC-PH?
It felt like a classic ONIC game as they easily secured the first turtle objective and Dlar's Uranus took the first blood against Kramm's Esmeralda. However, the Phoenix squad remained patient until they were able to push back the opposing team. Despite having bad standings in MPL-PH, TNC made Kagura work as Escalera masterfully does outplays against ONIC-PH.
It was indeed a marksman showdown as Markyyyyy's Beatrix goes against Yasuwo's Clint. However, it was a better rotation coming from TNC's mid lane in the early game, coupled with Yasuwo's precise positioning, that allowed them to tear down the heroes of ONIC-PH in the mid-game. This specific play, amongst many others, secured the first game for TNC as Escalera gets a pick-off against Hatred's Pharsa, helping them secure the 2nd lord take, near wipeout play, leaving Kairi alone to defend their base. To no avail, the lord mercilessly marches down, tearing everything in its path as the Phoenixes burns the runner-ups for Game #1.
"The early bird catches the worm," felt like the tagline that ONIC-PH was driving on as they became aggressive early on in the game. With Baloy's hyper aggressive Rafaela game, backed by Hatred's expertise in Kagura, they were able to give ample space for Kairi's Ling to roam around the map and farm freely.
The Phoenix Squad was unable to react as each member of the M3 representative goes all-in against the rookie team, executing a nearly perfect play with only one (1) death. It's ONIC time, indeed, as they shut down TNC for Game #2.
It was vintage ONIC fashion as they dominated against TNC by giving them a taste of the team's famous 'BANANA SPLIT' strategy, winning and devastating their own lanes, and reconvening to tear down objectives from all across the map. With almost similar picks from the first game, the early game was easily in favour of ONIC. They displayed utmost patience and discipline, seemingly moving as one, as they march towards the base of their opposing team. Coming from the loss from the first game, it is as if ONIC is now displaying their composure and excellence that made them M3 representative. You just cannot count the 2nd best team in the world out of the game as they extinguish the flame that is the Phoenix Squad, ONIC takes game #3 and the series.
GAME 1 (17:47) - ONIC 7 (L); TNC 16 (W)
GAME 2 (13:54) - TNC 1 (L); ONIC 13 (W)
GAME 3 (17:25) - ONIC 7 (W); TNC 0 (L)