Onic PH has finally done the unthinkable by removing the thickest thorn on their way to the MPL-PH playoffs: the two-time champions Aura PH. Amid doubts on Onic following their recent performance in the regular season, the white-clad avengers returned to their macro roots and outplayed the champions in dominating fashion.
The two teams faced each other in the finale of the league’s fourth season. Looking to make a statement as newcomers in the MPL, Onic easily trounced the former Sunsparks team to secure a 2-0 lead in the match. However, the boys in blue threw everything they had in their bucket to force a clincher. After a series of arrival plays and a surprise backdoor strategy that shocked the fanbase, Sunsparks bested Onic to claim their first MPL trophy.
Galvanized from their Season 4 loss, Onic reorganized their ranks and added former Sunsparks tank player Fuzaken to the fold in a bid to settle their score with the defending champions, while the boys in blue recruited former Arkangel carry Killuash and prodigy support player Greed to cement their position in the tourney. Both teams displayed remarkable performance as the M1 veterans led the pack in Season 5.
Onic survived a 50-minute battle with SGD and eliminated Season 2 champions Bren Esports to engage Sunsparks once again in the finale. In a huge contrast to their Season 4 meeting, the defending champs exploited Onic’s weaknesses and even outplayed the challengers with a sneaky tower dive from Greed to retain their hold to the championship.
Aura picked a tanky draft punctuated by Roger and Khufra while Onic opted for an aggro setup to repel the two-time champs in Game 1. The Season 5 runner-ups leveraged their mastery of macro decision making and took a page from Bren’s playbook to deter Aura from mounting pressure at the side lanes. Onic also picked off Jaypee and Rafflesia at every turn to mitigate any potential power spikes from the champions.
With Aura choked of their resources and backed at a corner, Onic broke through the middle lane and took Game 1 decisively.
Not wanting to let go of the momentum, Onic outdrafted Aura and forced the champs to field a squishy roster in the second game. This played well in the Season 5 runner-ups’ favor as Onic mercilessly contained Aura on the map. Moreover, the white-clad team unleashed Dlar like a mad beast to destroy the champs’ turrets and snuff Aura’s carries one by one.
While Greed’s Natalia managed to slip through Onic’s sights and mount a split push at the bottom lane, the Season 5 runner-ups wasted no time and barreled their way to Aura’s base, ending the game with a dominating victory.
The 0-2 defeat has cost Aura PH the first seed in the playoffs, putting them in a bracket of death alongside Bren Esports, Nexplay Solid, and their nemesis Onic. Furthermore, the two rivals will square off at the initial phase of the playoffs in a best-of-five showdown – a far cry from their recent battles in Seasons 4 and 5.
Will Aura manage to survive through the playoffs, or will Onic finally unseat the champs this season?
The die has been cast, and the curtains have risen for the final stage of MPL-PH Season 6.
Catch the playoffs of MPL-PH Season 6 from Oct. 22 to 25 on GGNetwork’s Facebook page.
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