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Filipino League of Legends: Wild Rift hopefuls Rex Regum Qeon bowed out of the Wild Rift Icons Global Championship in Singapore, after losing against Chinese powerhouse Fun Plus Phoenix (FPX) 3-0 in the quarterfinals of the Knockout Stage on Friday (1 July).
As the third seed of Wild Rift Champions Southeast Asia (WCS), RRQ showcased their signature flexible playstyle as they became one of the few teams in the Play-ins and the Group Stage that managed to take a game off the strong contenders from China's Wild Rift League (WRL).
During the Play-Ins, RRQ beat Unsold Stuff Gaming before losing to WRL squad JD Gaming, but not without taking a game from their Chinese opponents.
Similar results occurred in the Group Stage, as they defeated Sengoku Gaming twice but fell to J Team 2-1.
They also quickly won the fans over with their friendliness towards other teams and their light-hearted demeanor in all the matches they played.
How the series went
RRQ arrived on stage for their Knockouts showdown with FPX in style with their team name and the names of their loved ones on their cheeks, showing everyone that they were about to give their all in this match.
In the first game, RRQ drafted according to their strengths, putting Sean Khierby “Helios” Miranda Palisoc on his formidable Zed pick, which allowed him to take first blood in the mid lane.
Both teams tried to trade turrets in the early game.
RRQ tried to speed up the game by finding kills in the side lanes. However, FPX were able to slowly gain a lead against the WCS team with a better scaling competition and superior team fighting skills, securing the Rift Herald and the Dragon mid-game.
And in 18 minutes and with a 13-7 kill lead, FPX took the first game of the series in dominant fashion.
In game two, RRQ once again took first blood in the bot lane. FPX found another opportunity to punish in the jungle taking two kills from RRQ.
The Chinese powerhouse continued to dominate the map, winning teamfight after teamfight as a sneaky Zhang “Fadou” Shijun popped off on his Zed pick.
After a 17-minute encounter, FPX destroyed RRQ’s base to take a commanding 2-0 series lead.
With their tournament lives on the line, RRQ switched up the tempo in game three, placing their members on their signature champions, and Eric “Exosen” Allen Gubatan on a more proactive Thresh pick.
RRQ were able to dominate the early game taking kills in the laning phase and bursting down the top and bottom lane turrets.
But FPX kept on finding ways to slow down RRQ’s aggression catching up to the Filipino team’s early gold lead. RRQ continued to push for more kills down the mid lane, winning some teamfights as FPX tried to find avenues to remain in equal control of the game.
As Yu “0711” Hong continued to scale on his Jax pick, the tides began to turn in favour of the Chinese powerhouse.
While FPX were taking down the Baron, Helios opened up the mid lane’s inhibitor turret. However, FPX traded two inhibitor turrets.
Both teams continued to dance back and forth through the map, with FPX winning at every meeting point. And after 24 minutes and a 17-12 kill lead, FPX secured the series 3-0 sweep to secure their spot in the semifinals and send RRQ packing.
RRQ bow out of Wild Rift Icons in 5th-8th place and US$80,000 in consolation, with high spirits and smiles on their faces, knowing they’ve given their all.
In the post-match interview, RRQ's Marc "Marky" Ilagan shared his favourite experience in Icons.
“My favourite experience is our bonding here as a team. Even if it’s our first time and my team members are new. They’re so interesting that we could still give a fight,” said Marky.
Helios, on the other hand, laughed and said that his favourite memory was “When I solo-killed [FPX midlaner Ke “Yezi” Zhi].”
Helios and Marky also took the opportunity to thank their fans.
“Thank you sa panonood sa [amin sa] Wild Rift Icons at patuloy pa rin kayo sumuporta sa amin kahit natalo kami ngayon (Thank you for watching us at the Wild Rift Icons. We hope that you continue to support us even if we lost today)," said Helios.
“Sa [mga] nanonood diyan sa Pinas sa watch party: Sorry kasi natalo kami at hanggang dito lang ang nakaya namin, Top 8. Pero sa susunod kung mabibigyan kami ng pagkakataon, mas lalo naming pagbubutihin. At sana patuloy niyo pa rin kami suportahan (To those who were watching us in the Philippines at the Watch party: We’re sorry that we lost and we can only make it as far as Top 8. But if we are given a chance next time, we’ll do even better. And we hope that you continue to support us)," said Marky.
Exosen and Charles “Chazz” Roman Esguerra also tweeted messages to their fans as well.
“Out of the tournament but we learned from this hopefully we can come back again. Thank you to everyone who supported us <3 We will not forget all of you,” Exosen said in his tweet.
“GG. Played our hearts out but still not enough, we will come back stronger!” Chazz tweeted.
Aside from RRQ, Rolster Y also got eliminated in 5th-8th place and will take home US$80,000 after losing against Nova Esports.
The quarterfinals will continue on Saturday (2 July) where WRL 4th seed J Team will face WCS second seed Flash Wolves while WRL second seed JD Gaming will go against WCS first seed Team Flash.
Meanwhile, FPX will move forward to the semifinals where they will face Nova Esports. The winner of the semifinals will move forward to the finals, which will take place on 9 July.
Anna is a freelance writer and photographer. She is a gamer who loves RPGs and platformers, and is a League of Legends geek. She's also a food enthusiast who loves a good cup of black coffee.