by Drew Malihan
MANILA - Echo Philippines claimed a much-needed as they dealt TNC their seventh loss of the season with a 2-1 outing in Week 5 of MPL Philippines Season 8.
A split push comeback from Hadess and Bennyqt sealed the deal for a back-and-forth affair for Echo, who improves to five wins and six losses in the season.
Toshi remains in the main five of TNC along with Light, P-God, 3marTzy, and Chuuu, while Echo went to their main quintet of Bennyqt, Rafflesia, Hadess, Rk3, and KurtTzy.
TNC went to a double mage, double assassin seetup of Harith, Pharsa, Benedetta, and Yi Sun-shin with Jawhead at roam, while Echo went full sustain with Rafaela, Thamus, Baxia, Grock, and the debut of Argus in Season 8.
Echo went on to protect Bennyqt with the Argus as Rafflesia and Rk3 went on full support role, getting much-needed gold for their prized laner, while Hadess and KurtTzy went to do their jungling and offlaning duties.
TNC went to no choice but to trade the gold lane with the experience lane, but Echo went to get their objectives including three turtles to Hadess' side.
Echo, with the lord in their side, went for a GG push but on overextension spelled doom to three heroes including Hadess, but sustains from Rk3 and Bennyqt kept their chances alive.
With their power spikes expiring on the late game, Echo went to a full GG push from the top lane, getting the two mages before calling GGs in the first game with Rk3's Rafaela getting a 4/2/12 KDA with 80 percent kill participation, Hadess's 2/1/14 with the Baxia, and Bennyqt's 6/1/8 in Argus.
Echo went to another sustain four with Phoveus, Rafaela, Gloo, and X.Borg with a gold lane Natan while TNC went to a double assassin with Yi Sun-shin and Benedetta, along with Ruby, Khufra, and a surprise Nana pick.
TNC went to an early game, abusing Nana's Molina's stuns, setting up for TNC kills while Chuuu and 3marTzy get their objectives.
Echo answered with five-man team fights but with 3marTzy's split push capability pressured KurtTzy's Phoveus to defend and outnumbered Echo in team fights.
With the timers falling to 18th minute, TNC went to finish the game with the Nana and Yi Sun-shin initiative to burst down Echo's heroes and went to a GG push before the 19th minute, getting all five heroes despite their sustain, with Chuuu's 10/2/8 and P-God's 6/1/12 KDA to force a third game.
Echo now went to full-assassin mode with the Angela-Ling combination and Bennyqt with the Chou while TNC went to a triple tank setup with Khufra, Ruby, and Uranus with the surprise Kadita pick in support.
TNC found themselves having a hard time with the aggression of Hadess and Rk3 with the Ange-Ling combo, getting significant pickoffs including three turtles in the process.
However, significant pickoffs from Light and 3marTzy's sustain hold on TNC's competition lifeline, while Bennyqt's Chou went to a split push to pressure TNC to delegate one back to the base.
However, despite all the challenges that 3marTzy poses with his signature sustain Uranus, and all TNC heroes in the lord pit Bennyqt, along with Hadess' Ling, went to the split GG push to trip down the Phoenix army and get the win with Hadess' 4/3/9, Bennyqt's 3/1/2, and KurtTzy's 5/3/3.
The former Aura squad secures a top four finish to end their Week 5 campaign with 16 points, four points ahead of Bren Esports.
Echo's win also signifies a sure ticket for Blacklist International in the upcoming playoffs as TNC's max possible points drops down to 22, while the defending champions has 23.
Echo will try to extend their streak as they will go against NXP Evos while TNC will try to avoid a possible elimination against RSG, both on October 1.
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