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After failed MPL ID tryout, Kenji out to repay RSG trust


Kenneth “Kenji” Villa made history this MPL Philippines Season 10, becoming one of the four players that were able to suit up in all of the league’s 10 seasons.

But that almost did not happen as Kenji, who is joined by Omega Esports’ Billy “Z4pnu” Alfonso, Bren Esports’ Angelo “Pheww” Arcangel, and Nexplay EVOS’ Jeniel “YellyHaze” Bata-anon in the historical group, was not originally part of RSG PH’s roster in the league’s 10th installment.

“Nung time na yun, may chance na rin na maalis ako so ang ginawa pinag-tryout ako (sa RSG PH). Marami kami e, si Exort, Kousei, Heath, ayun,” Kenji revealed to Tiebreaker Times after the team’s 2-0 win against TNC on Friday night.

Kenji admitted that he was not able to train properly during the off-season.

This is why RSG PH, just like what it did with Dexter “Exort” Martinez and Eman “EMANN” Sangco in the past, decided to move the former Omega Esports offlaner to the tryout list prior to the Season 10 roster lock.

But aside from his original team, Kenji shared that he also looked for opportunities overseas, landing a spot in EVOS Legends’ tryouts.

“Itong RSG PH nag-tryout ako saka sa EVOS Legends sa Indonesia,” said the 24-year-old EXP laner.

That, however, did not materialize as the M1 World Champions decided to opt for ONIC PH’s Gerald “Dlar” Trinchera. Good thing for Kenji, though, is that he passed the RSG PH tryouts and the organization welcomed him back with open arms.

“Bale nung bago mag-roster lock, nag-tryout ako kasi nung time na yun aminado ako na hindi ako masyadong naglalaro. So siyempre yung RSG PH, gusto nilang mag-hanap ng players na talagang batak at magaling Sinwerte naman ako, talagang ginalingan ko sa practice kaya nakapasok ako ulit sa lineup,” Kenji said.

“Sobrang thankful talaga ako sa kanila. Nung tryout sinabi ko rin na kung pangit talaga yung laro ko, ako na rin mismo magsasabi na alisin nila ako kasi hindi ko deserve yun e kung pangit yung nilaro ko kaya nung time na yun ginalingan ko talaga para makapasok ulit sa RSG,” he continued.

Looking to make the most out of his second chance, Kenji popped off in his MPL Philippines Season 10 debut and even led RSG PH to its first win of the tournament.

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He finished with two kills, an assist, and three deaths on Ruby in the 14-6 Game One win before putting up an MVP-like performance in Game Two with three kills, three deaths, and seven assists on Uranus in the 24-18 victory that lasted for almost 30 minutes.

Kenji said that it was a huge confidence booster for him, as he wanted to really make an impact in RSG PH’s title-retention bid.

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Last season, RSG PH made its mark in the local scene by winning the MPL Philippines Season Nine title. The same cannot be said for Kenji, though, as he spent most of the team’s campaign riding the bench.

“Sobrang laking confidence-booster kasi nung una medyo kinakabahan din ako e. Talagang biglaan lang din yung pagpasok sakin, siguro three days or two days lang na practice kaya medyo kinakabahan ako kasi baka marami akong errors,” said Kenji.

“Gusto ko mag-champion na ako yung nasa main lineup. Kasi ‘di ko ramdam yung pagkachampion namin nung Season Nine kasi wala naman akong masyadong naitulong. Ngayon kung magpapatuloy (na nasa starting five ako), sana makuha namin yung championship,” he added.

With the opportunity finally in his hands, Kenji is looking to make the most out of the situation and be the spark that RSG PH needs to complete its back-to-back bid.

“Bale siguro itong mga next na matches namin sana mas malinis na yung laro ko and mas mag-improve pa ako.”

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