MANILA -- (UPDATE) Nexplay EVOS is through to the next round of the MPL Season 8 playoffs after eliminating RSG Philippines in a 3-0 sweep, to start the series.
Early map control defined Game 1 in favor of Nexplay, who dominated behind Tristan "YAWI" Cabrera's Jawhead setting up vital plays, ending Game 1 with the MVP recognition and 9 assists to his name.
RSG had control of the map for most of Game 2 but after taking down Joshwell Christian "Iy4knu" Manaog and Jonard Cedrix "Demonkite" Caranto 20 minutes into the game, Nexplay were able to come from behind to draw match point, 2-0.
Jhonwin "Hesa" Dela Merced Vergara emerged the MVP for Game 2 with a 4/1/7 kill-death-assist record.
With RSG holding on to dear life, both teams dragged Game 3 to a 36-minute showdown, with RSG winning most of the skirmishes. But clutch moves and split-pushes helped Nexplay EVOS outwit the kingslayers and secure the sweep.
It was John Paul "H2wo" Salonga's shot-calling that earned him the MVP recognition for Game 3, after logging a 6/3/6 KDA record with his Paquito.
RSG Philippines debuted in 2021 after its base organization in Malaysia decided to mount a team in the Philippines, acquiring the services of 2019 Southeast Asian Games head coach Brian "Panda" Lim and a mix of veteran and rookie players to boost its playoff campaign.
Before elimination, RSG was already reeling from a 4-game losing streak, surviving the playoff hunt when it managed to grab a point in its last regular season game against Onic Philippines in a 2-1 loss.
RSG was 2-8 in the regular season's last 10 games, and is ending its campaign with five straight losses.
This is also the first time Nexplay is entering the next round of the playoffs, since debuting in Season 6.
"Natanggal na rin 'yung sumpa sa first round exit, kasi di ba dati tanggal agad sa first round. Ngayon wala na. Top 4 na, let's go!" John Paul "H2Wo" Salonga said in a post-match interview.
Nexplay EVOS will face Onic Philippines Friday at 3 p.m.
COACH: John Michael "Zico" Dizon
Jeniel "yellyHaze" Bata-Anon (captain)
John Paul "H2wo" Salonga
Renejay "RENEJAY" Barcarse
Tristan "YAWI" Cabrera
Setsuna "DOGIE" Ignacio
Sanford Marin "SanFord" Vinuya
Jhonwin Dela Merced "Hesa" Vergara
James "Jeymz" Gloria
RSG PHILIPPINES roster
COACH: Brian "Panda" Lim (Changrok Im)
Kenneth Jiane "Kenji" Villa (captain)
Earvin John "Heath" Esperanza
Arvie C. "Aqua" Antonio
Joshwell Christian "Iy4knu" Manaog
Jonard Cedrix "Demonkite" Caranto
Eman "Emann" Sangco
Dexter "Exort" Martinez
Nathanael "Nathz" Estrologo
Elyson Edouard "WRECKER" Caranza