KUALA LUMPUR – The Eighth Hall of the Malaysia International Trade and International Exchange Centre was in an uproar on Friday night.
And it was because Orange Esports – the last hometown bet in the 2022 Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Southeast Asia Cup – just sent Omega Esports to the brink of elimination.
With their team already a win away from advancing to the lower bracket semis, the Malaysian fans jeered at the Filipino squad as they walked down the stage after Game Three.
To be fair, no one could blame them.
After all, just a few hours ago, they witnessed how Todak – the reigning MPL Malaysia titlist – bowed out of the tournament via a 1-3 loss at the hands of Falcon Esports.
But that certain moment proved the extra push that Omega Esports star Duane “Kelra” Pillas needed in the series.
Sadly for locals, that brief celebration and display of confidence became the main reason why they went home empty-handed on that fateful night.
Kelra, who used the jeers as motivation entering the next match, put on a performance of a lifetime. He scored the first Savage of the tournament to help Omega Esports send the series to a do-or-die Game Five.
In the end, Kelra had the last laugh. And he made sure to throw back what the Malaysian fans served them when they lost Game Three.
“Kinakantahan kami e, ‘di ko alam kung ano yung kinakanta nila.
“‘Di ko alam, parang may iba na minumura na nga kami e. Tapos habang dumadaan kami kumakaway sila, nagbaba-bye sila sa amin after nung Game Three,” Kelra told Tiebreaker Times moments after he led Omega Esports to an emphatic 3-2 comeback.
“Kaya talaga ako, nanggigil dahil doon. Kaya bumawi talaga ako kasi ganun talaga ako mabilis ma-motivate, lalo na kapag tina-trashtalk ako. Doon lang naman ako nanta-trashtalk, hindi naman ako nangunguna sa ganun e,” he added.
Indeed, it was a huge night for the 17-year-old gold laner, who just notched the third Savage of his career. But he quickly shrugged it off, stressing that winning is the only important thing for him.
“Yung nararamdaman ko syempre masaya, pero parang wala lang naman kasi sa’kin yung Savage. Kasi ang mahalaga, yung manalo kami,” said Kelra.
Heading into the most crucial stretch of the lower bracket, Kelra vowed to give his all to deliver Omega Esports its first official international title.
“Bukas ganoon pa rin, kahit gaano pa karaming laro ‘yan kahit 20 games pa, best of 10, best of 100, lalaban kami. Ganun pa rin yung ieexpect sa amin.”