PHNOM PENH – ECHO’s jungler, Karl “KarlTzy” Nepomuceno, admitted that pressure played a role in the team’s shocking 3-0 loss to ONIC Esports in the 2023 Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Southeast Asia Cup semifinals last Saturday.
KarlTzy said that the team’s goal of reaching an all-Filipino grand final affected their game and placed unnecessary weight on their shoulders, preventing them from performing at their best against the reigning MPL Indonesia champion at Aeon Mall Mean Chey here on Saturday.
“Unang una, sorry sa mga sumuporta sa amin,” KarlTzy told Tiebreaker Times.
“Pangalawa, masyado lang din kaming pressured mag-laro sakin kasi ang daming taong gustong maging PH versus PH e.
“Sana ‘di na lang muna namin inisip yung mga ganung pangyayari. Ayun, bawi na lang kami sa susunod,” he added.
KarlTzy also admitted that ONIC Esports was the better team in the series.
“Siguro ano lang po, parang kaninang laban mas confident sila gumalaw sa amin tapos siguro ano mas gutom lang sila manalo kesa sa amin sa laban na yun,” KarlTzy said as ECHO settled for a third-place finish after escaping home team Burn X Flash.
After losing the first two games, ECHO tried to turn things around in Game 3, putting on a performance of a lifetime that pushed the Indonesians to the edge.
A wild back-and-forth affair ensued in the last 10 minutes before ONIC Esports finally executed a five-man wipe that they needed to fend off the Filipinos, resulting in the longest game of the tournament at 39 minutes and 50 seconds.
Despite the loss, KarlTzy remains upbeat about ECHO’s future. He also stated that he will use the loss as motivation as he continues to pursue the elusive MSC crown.
“Syempre po, tuloy pa rin po yung pag-try [sa pagkuha ng MSC]. Kami po as a team ito pa lang po yung unang talo namin [after ng MPL PH Season 10] so ‘di po dapat kami ma-down.”