By Drew Malihan
MANILA--Three games - two decisive wins and one unorthodox stance - and Aura keep their fire glowing.
Rafflesia and company crawled back from a game down by two close games with another Diggie strategy in Game 3 to beat a hungry Omega PH squad 2-1 in Week 3 of MPL-PH Season 6.
Aura extended their streak to two as they handed Haze and company their third loss of the tournament.
The two-time champs opted to a more close-game match-up in the first game with Roger and a triple tank of Balmond, Baxia, and Uranus, while Omega went for more range with Yi Sun-shin, Jawhead, and Chang'e.
It was a close fight in the early game with both teams testing the waters and patiently waiting for any opponent errors.
But Omega's moment came in the 11th minute at the sanctuary lord's lair, as Aura's captain Rafflesia and Killuash were slain at the expense of Haze's Chang'e.
Omega's dominance continued in the late game as KutTzy's Jawhead eliminates Greed's Pharsa, leaving Aura with four melee heroes to fight Omega's long-range tactics.
Hadjizy's Yi Sun-shin grabbed the MVP nod with a 4/0/5 KDA as Omega took the first game 12 kills to five.
Omega drafted back Chang'e, Chou, and Alice, while Aura opt for Lancelot at core with Rafflesia's Khaleed acting as support.
Aura looked more aggressive, getting more objectives and experience to activate their ultimate skills before Omega even obtained Level 4.
The two-time champs secured the first sanctuary lord but only traded a two-for-two as Greed and Killuash were slain by Omega's retaliation.
A more patient Aura showed up in the late game, killing Toshi's Alice and Haze's Chou to force the remaining Omega members to defend to npo avail.
Jaypee's Lancelot tallied a 6/2/6 KDA, enough for an MVP nod as Aura forced a rubber match 16-8.
Omega tried to close the game with Khaleed, Atlas and the classic Chou Haze, while Aura drafted a core of Yi Sun-shin and Natalia and another unorthodox pick in Rafflesia's Diggie.
Rafflesia executed yet another martyr strategy, prompting Haze and Hadjizy to focus on Diggie rather than on objectives.
With every tower toppling on Aura's favor, all seemed to wrapped up as the gold count went in favor of the defending champs despite having an inferior kill count.
Omega were forced to defend their base against a buffed Aura squad but to no avail as they fell one by one thanks to Yi Sun-shin and Natalia.
Rafflesia took the MVP honors despite having a 0/17/10 KDA as Aura get the win with only 15 kills to Aura's 20.
Aura will look to extend their win streak against a winless Blu Fire team on Saturday, while Omega will try to end their two-game losing streak against BSB.
Follow him on Twitter: @drewmalihan