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Friends turn foes: H2wo Bests Old Pals Yawi, Renejay

Dethan Dario

The thrill of competition is definitely alive and well in the MPL Philippines Season 11.

John Paul “H2wo” Salonga, who used to be part of the formidable “Big 3” with Renejay “RENEJAY” Barcase and Tristan “Yawi” Cabrera during their time in Nexplay EVOS, faced his former teammates in the first round of the tournament. However, this time, he was on the other side of the stage, playing for RSG Slate Philippines.

In an impressive display of skill and teamwork, H2wo and RSG Slate Philippines lived up to their Kingslayers nickname by defeating defending champions Blacklist International, where RENEJAY played, with a clean 2-0 sweep. They then pulled off a huge 2-0 win against M4 World Champion ECHO, with Yawi as the starting roamer.

For H2wo, it was strange to be playing against his old friends, especially after spending so many seasons together. “Nakakapanibago kasi ang tagal ng seasons na magkasama kami ni Renejay eh. Tapos di ako sanay na magkaiba kami ng team,” he said.

Despite the odd feeling, H2wo was relieved to secure a win against the defending champions, particularly given their dominating performance leading up to the game in Week 4. “Ang sarap sa feeling kasi alam namin yung team ni Yawi sobrang lakas talaga. Lalo na nung nag-M4 world champion sila. Kaya ayun, nice game kay Yawi. Sarap sa feeling kasi nakatalo kami ng M4 world champion,” he shared.

Looking ahead, H2wo believes the win against ECHO should serve as a fitting momentum for RSG Slate Philippines heading into the second half of the regular season. He sees the victory as a huge confidence booster for the reigning MSC champions, especially after a roller coaster start to the season.

“Importante samin yung pagkapanalo sa Echo kasi ito na yung step ng momentum namin since papasok na yung second round ng regular season namin. Papasok kami nang may confidence. Ito na yung sinasabi ni Light na di naghehesitate,” H2wo explained.

It may be bittersweet to compete against former teammates, but for H2wo and RSG Slate Philippines, it’s all about the thrill of the game and the pursuit of glory. As the MPL Philippines Season 11 continues, we can expect more exciting matches and intense rivalries to unfold, reminding us that love and friendship may endure, but competition is what truly fuels the spirit of esports.

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