During Week 1’s head-to-head match between Smart Omega and Onic Philippines, the former revealed a surprising lineup in the opener, shifting goldlaner Duane “Kelra” Pillas into the jungler role.
The switch yielded remarkable results in Game 1 as Kelra performed flawlessly with the Harith pick, guiding Omega to a 9-0 annihilation in terms of the kill score with a 4-0-4 KDA.
For Kelra, this change held more significance than merely implementing a strategy against opposing teams.
“Gusto ko rin talaga magjungle against Onic kasi nga andun si Raizen. Parang nag-RG lang ako eh nung nakalaban ko siya. Parang RG lang palipat-lipat ng role,” explained Kelra.
Despite taking the initial hit, he admitted that his former Smart Omega teammate was on a higher level compared to him due to his lack of exposure in the role, which ultimately led to Onic’s series win.
“Lamang lang siya sa akin sa experience kasi kahapon lang yata ako nagjungle ulit,” he said.
He further explained that aside from experience, there are still many techniques in the jungler role that he has yet to acquire to become more effective in that position.
“Yung decision siguro pag mag-loord dance kasi parang wala naman akong alam dun sa mga ganun. Kasi di naman talaga ako jungler. Dun lang talaga ako nahirapan sa lord dance. Pero kung retri or kahit anong micro, kaya ko yun.”
While their initial attempt fell short against Onic, Omega midlaner Patrick “E2max” Caidic mentioned that the “jungler Kelra” strategy is here to stay.
“Nakita naman namin na gumana eh. Possible pa rin talaga siya sa mga susunod na laban,” he said.
It appears that Kelra’s flexibility is one of the factors that the rest of the MPL Philippines need to be wary of in the second half of the season.