The biggest Mobile Legends (ML) tournament in the region comes to the Philippines as the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Southeast Asia Cup (MSC) 2019 opens Wednesday.
Defending champions Bren Esports will be facing great adversaries in Onic Esports, Geek Fam, and even fellow Filipino team ArkAngel. We asked top players, coaches, and analysts in the Philippine professional ML scene on their take and who they think will win the tournament.
Jules Marcelo, known as Lex from MPL Finalist SGD Omega, said: "The top four teams emerging from the brackets are Bren Esports, ArkAngel, Louvre and Onic. And I think Bren and Onic will face off in the Finals. Onic will own the first game but Bren Esports will win in a reverse sweep fashion."
Manjean Faldas, a shoutcaster for the MSC 2019, thinks a Filipino team will make it to the top. "Either ArkAngel or Bren Esports. My support for the Filipino teams is rooted on their outstanding performances as of late. But if I will have to choose, I do feel that Bren will win. Aside from how clean they look when they play, I can feel that they are very hungry to win the championship and defend their throne. Their hunger is their trigger to prepare in winning the entire tournament."
Bren Esports, ArkAngel, and Onic -- the teams that everyone is looking forward to watching -- were grouped separately after the draw. Bren Esports is in Group A with Geek Fam (Malaysia) and IDNS (Thailand). Meanwhile, ArkAngel is in Group B with EVOS (Singapore) and Overlockers (Vietnam). Onic Esports (Indonesia) is in Group D with Burmese Ghouls (Burma) and Wawa Gaming (Laos). Lastly, Group C comprises of RSO (Burma), DG (Cambodia) and Louvre (Indonesia).
Kevin Reyes, known as Bluffzy, the coach of Cignal Ultra also thinks that Bren will be the champions: "I think it's really Bren Esports who'll win the championship. Especially if [Coco] and [Yuji] are given their comfort heroes. You'll really notice if you watch them or play against them - if both of them are allowed to play well, their map rotations are going to be much better and more fluid. And that's scary. [Coco] always gets his farm because his other four teammates can easily find kills around the map without him. This four-protect-one or 4-1 strategy allows [Coco] to farm well while the other four members are getting easy objectives and skirmishes."
Bluffzy, however, warns Bren Esports about what can cost them the game. "As much as possible, don't over-chase in the first two to three minutes. When Bren Esports lose, it's not because they're a weaker team, but mainly because they are overly aggressive and can get ahead of themselves." Bluffzy is currently the coach of Cignal Ultra, the team that defeated Bren Esports in the MPL Season 2 Finals.
Ged Umali, known as Gedd from MPL Season 2 and 3 3rd runners-up EVOS PH, thinks that it is MPL Season 3 Champions ArkAngel who will take the championship: "To list it down here are some of the key factors for them to claim the throne: One, [Coach Panda] plays a huge role in this competition because he knows very well to execute the plays, creates effective strategies and have a good analysis on the opponents weaknesses. Two, team chemistry is one of the key to their victory in the last MPL Season 3 as their execution of skills, focus firing, and objectives were very on point. Three, hero pool -- they can play a huge variety of meta heroes that blended well with the team."
MSC will run its group stages from June 19 to 20, then its playoffs from June 21 to 23. The playoffs will be broadcast live from the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.