KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- (UPDATE) RSG Philippines will move on to the next round of the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Southeast Asia Cup upper bracket after winning over Myanmar's Falcon at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre at the playoffs opener here, Tuesday.
The MPL - Philippines Season 9 champion sent Falcon, heralded as the tournament's underdogs, down to the lower bracket.
After losing Game 2 after a valiant comeback by Falcon in the late-game, RSG Philippines bounced back in Game 3 to move on to the next round.
Falcon zeroed in on MPL Philippines Season 9 Finals most valuable player Nathanael "Nathzzzz" Estrologo in the early game of Game 1 in an effort to try and pull ahead.
But Nathzzz and Eman "EMANN" Sangco used their late-game capabilities to their advantage, as the Kingslayers pulled ahead in terms of map control around the 11th minute, and never looked back to draw first blood.
RSG Philippines pulled ahead early into Game 2, drawing four kills and wiping out all of the Myanmar team's turrets within 10 minutes.
Falcon, however, fought back, as Pyae "JustiN" Sone Khant's Johnson and Silent exploited the lack of late-game damage from the Filipino champions to even out the series in the long, 30-minute matchup.
"I told them to reset, don't mind the loss. 'Cause every time we lose, we come back stronger, so we reset and come back," RSG coach Karl "Giee" Barrientos said in the post-match press conference following their win.
RSG Philippines surprised everyone by allowing Falcon to pick up the Valentina, known for copying the ultimate skills of the opponent.
But they were able to pull through as conceal plays by Dylan "Light" Catipon's Franco paired with aggressive stand-offs by EMANN's Beatrix sealed the upper bracket semis spot for RSG.
Giee revealed that they really allowed the Valentina to come through in the drafts.
"I planned to give Valentina because our comfort picks [were] open. And their comfort picks [include] Beatrix, right? So we took Beatrix instead of Valentina and we know that hero is overpowered. We decided to give it to them because we know that beat that pick," Giee said.
EMANN racked the MVP recognition in Games 1 and 3 with his Claude and Beatrix. JustiN earned the MVP honors in Game 2.
RSG Philippines will see action next on June 16, Thursday, with their opponents yet to be determined.