Three-team race for last two playoff seats heats MPL-PH Week 6

Photos from MPL Philippines

by Drew Malihan

MAKATI - With the MPL Philippines Season 12 regular season now down to its last ten matches, four teams have already secured their playoff spots prior to the sixth week of the double round-robin.

Defending champions ECHO have already secured not just their playoff spot but an upper bracket slot, ensuring them at least fourth place, while AP.Bren, Blacklist International, and RSG Philippines secured their postseason appearances last weekend.

Three teams were in contention for the last two playoff seats: ONIC Philippines, currently at the fifth spot; Smart Omega at sixth, and; Minana EVOS, with the three separated by just two points in the regular season table.

ONIC Philippines

ONIC Philippines, on paper, have the leisure of a rather easier schedule, with a three-match weekend starting with a Friday face-off with already-eliminated TNC Pro Team, but with the Phoenix Army having a habit of upsetting teams above them, the Sonics have no reasons to be complacent.

The next two matches will be all-important as the team will face teams chasing them as with a series against Minana EVOS on Saturday and Smart Omega to close their regular season campaign.

ONIC however has another luck in their side as they not only have an easier sched, but they have defeated all three teams during their Week 3 campaign.

Mark Kevin "Bluffzy" delos Reyes and his team should win at least two of the three matches to secure their spot nonetheless, but they will need all three points from their TNC match to boost their playoff chances.

ECHO can also be a huge help for them as a win over Minana EVOS, regardless of a sweep or a 2-1, will also ease ONIC PH's chances.

Smart Omega

Aside from ONIC, they boys of Smart Omega will definitely look forward for an ECHO win over Minana EVOS to amplify their chances at a spot in the MPL PH playoff picture.

However, unlike the men in yellow, the Barangay will have a rather tougher schedule to bear with as they will be in a three-series weekend as well with matches over AP.Bren on Friday, RSG Philippines on Saturday, and a crucial head-to-head against ONIC PH to end their regular season campaign.

Their past campaign in Week 3 did not fare well in their favor as they only won against AP.Bren but lost to RSG in a sweep and a crucial 2-1 defeat to ONIC Philippines, so they just don't need to repeat the 2-1 win over the Hive but to even the odds against the Raiders and the Sonics.

Should Minana get the upset win against the Orcas, they will need to win all their remaining matches to have assurance of a playoff spot.

Minana EVOS

The cards are stacked against Dominic "Domeng" del Rosario and Minana EVOS.

The Tigers will need all the points and luck available as they not only trail both ONIC and Omega in the current rankings but they have fewer games to play as well as they only have two series to grab points heading into Week 6.

Things won't be easy for Minana EVOS as they will face the defending champions ECHO on Friday as well as a winner-takes-all match against ONIC Philippines. They must win both games with a sweep and hope that both the Barangay and the Sonics drop at least two of their three games to even have a shot.

Should they win 2-1 against ECHO, ONIC and OMG will need a sweep in their Friday matches and, and if they lose the match, both teams will simply have to win their first games and it will be the end of the road for them regardless of their final game against ONIC.

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