RSG Philippines and their resurgence to MPL PH glory

Photo from Moonton

by Drew Malihan

MAKATI – Coach Brian “Panda” Lim, known for his straightforward approach in managing his players as well as giving “grades” to every performance, believes that this MPL Philippines Season 13, RSG Philippines will be one of the top three teams coming to the playoffs. This was several weeks even before the playoff picture was even confirmed.

And the Korean coach proved himself right, as the Raiders rallied themselves into the top three after a tight race with the now-renamed Fnatic ONIC PH, overtaking them on the penultimate day of the regular season.

With the MSC within the horizon and the MPL Philippines trophy several days away from another champion, it’s up for Coach Panda and the rest of the RSG Philippines boys to show they belong to the biggest stage.


Despite players coming and going at the Raiders’ boot camp, RSG was one of the most consistent teams in the league, with their only finish outside the top four in their debut last Season 8, when they finished 6th.

From there, RSG PH was always in the talks for an MPL-PH spot at either MSC or the M-World Series, eventually getting their hands on an MPL trophy last Season 9, an MSC 2022 trophy, and the first One Esports MPL Invitational title for a Filipino team last year.

The recent success of the Raiders on Filipino soil proved Coach Panda’s boys to be a constant contender in any tournament they participated in, despite a similar constant shift in their roster stemming from Season 10.

Always ready

Just like any RSG PH season before, Coach Panda made sure everyone in the Raiders’ boot camp was ready for a possible call-up to their “task force.”

RSG's Nibor (right) on his debut game. Photo from Moonton

First on the list is Jhondy “Nibor” Ranque, comfortably the team’s arcane player of the season. The 15-year-old, who arrived on the scene without any prior experience in any known amateur teams and is a certified pub game player, only has one series and three games in his tally.

However, he made his limited minutes worthwhile as he was crucial in defeating Smart Omega 2-1, including a solid 4/0/6 with the X.Borg. Nibor’s three games gave him a KDA average of 4.75, showing glimpses of potential for the young enforcer.

And then there was Patrick “rTzy” Lim, who had several seasons in the league under both Work Auster Force and TNC Pro Team before going under Coach Panda’s tutelage.

Despite playing only four total games and two series, rTzy made sure he is someone to fear in the midlane as he once delivered an absurd 5/0/17 KDA with his Novaria against Smart Omega in Week 4. He wrapped up Season 13 with 20.00 KDA average, dying only twice.

The Balikbayan Special

Jonard Cedrix “Demonkite” Caranto and Clarense “Kusey” Camilo arrived home in the country and back to the RSG’s lair after a successful stint in Malaysia and Cambodia, respectively. Demonkite made his name in RSG Malaysia as one of the region’s best junglers when he’s around, and Kousei arriving back home after an MPL-KH trophy and a record-breaking stint with SeeYouSoon in the M5 World Championships.

With John Darry “Irrad” Tuazon and Eman “EMANN” Sangco leaving the Raiders’ nest to take their talents in Indonesia, the two came back with a bang.

Demonkite transitioned from one of the feared killers in the league to one of the best assisters around, tallying 221 assists in total only behind Jaypee “Jaypee” dela Cruz. This is despite the Smiling Demon only showing five heroes in 33 games, with Baxia, Barats, and Fredrinn among his main heroes.

Kusey meanwhile only showed six heroes in the number of same games as Demonkite, but he was also among the feared killers in the league, ranking just behind Kiel “Oheb” Soriano in the total kills this season with 109. Most of them came from the returning-to-the-meta Harith and a mainstay in current gameplay Karrie.

Splash Bro Aqua

Photo from Moonton

If there is one player we can pick among all of RSG PH to keep an eye on, it’s no other than Arvie “Aqua” Antonio, arguably one of the best midlaners today in professional MLBB.

The 21-year-old has perhaps his best season in the MPL this season since entering the league in Season 5 with Blacklist International. In 29 games, Aqua was among the top assist leaders with 183, 11th overall, while being 5th in total kills with 88.

Aqua’s 11 total unique heroes pick also varies, from his dreaded Valentina in Week 7 against Minana EVOS, to a surprise Odette pick against Blacklist in Week 4, which tallied a 7/2/6 and earned them the victory in Game 1. He also had Luo Yi, Angela, and Vexana in his disposal should teams need total map presence, healing, or pure magic damage.

But we will have to highlight his Faramis picks, which appeared five times and gave a 100 percent win rate for RSG. With Aqua in control, the physician-turned-soul-binder has 13 kills, one death, and 45 assists, totaling a whopping 58.00 KDA.

What lies ahead?

Despite RSG sitting at a more comfortable third place and not worrying that much about the stepladder, Coach Panda and the rest of the RSG Philippines must be wary as they will see a date against the now-named Team Liquid Echo, who they haven’t beaten in an MPL stage since October 2023. It will be a battle of playstyles with ECHO’s calculated risk going against RSG’s more objective-based playstyle.

RSG, however, showed a different flavor in the last few weeks as they have shown more all-out-war gameplay and became more explosive than the first five weeks. With some games even ending in blowouts, and Nathanael “Nathzz” Estrologo and Dylan “Light” Catipon getting more kills than their usual output, this is enough to keep other teams on notice.

Of course, they will have to play the way RSG PH used to play: objectives, calculated risks, and team fight-oriented, getting everyone involved in every takedown or major play to reap massive rewards and then victories.

And from there, maybe a few days away from now, Coach Panda will check his notebook and write a perfect 10 for his team.

Follow him on X: @drew_corner