Sanford shines in debut as NXPE claims third seed at Omega’s expense
Sanford “Sanford” Vinuya turned heads in his debut as he helped Nexplay Evos beat Omega Esports, 2-1, to claim the third seed at the end of the MPL Philippines Season 8 regular season, Sunday October 10.
After experimenting with their lineups in Games 1 and 2, both teams took Game 3 seriously with the 13-year-old rookie making the big plays for his NXPE.
Substituting Tristan “Yawi” Cabre, one who played in the first two games, Sanford, on his signing Benedetta, had an immediate impact in securing first blood in Game 3.
He made another clutch play while stealing Lord of Omega in a messy clash in the 11th minute of the game.
This Lord fight also saw NXPE complete a four-way Omega wipe.
The team, led by Setsuna “Dogie” Ignacio on his Hylos, then made a lane push to end the series with a 9-6 tally and 11 minutes into the game.
Sanford won Game 3 MVP honors with a 2-0-5 KDA while John Paul Salonga added 4-2-3.
NXPE played in Game 1 with five unusual flame fire spells on all of their heroes.
Omega, who played his second group led by Billy “Z4pnu” Alfonso, made NXPE pay for the ploy, taking a 39-4 victory to open the series.
It was Omega’s turn to experiment in Game 2, this time using the Diggie Power Strat. That didn’t work out, however, as NXPE picked up a 61-26 win to tie the series.
With this victory, NXPE will face the No. 6 RSG Philippines in the play-in.
The winner will have the right to face the No. 2 Onic Philippines in the upper bracket.
Omega, meanwhile, will take on ECHO in the play-in with the chance to take on defending champions Blacklist International in the upper bracket at stake.
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