The 10th iteration of the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Professional League – Philippines (MPL-PH) has just finished its regular season in an exciting fashion.
Now, the playoffs are happening from October 20 to October 23, 2022. What can we expect from the postseason of the most compelling professional esports league in the country?
Backdoors, comebacks, and other exciting matters
The MPL-PH is no stranger to death-defying games. In fact, the past seasons’ most memorable moments could usually be pinpointed in games where a heartstopping base lock would come from out of nowhere to seal an unsuspecting victory.
Season 10 on the other hand, has so far been filled to the brim with the craziest backdoors, comebacks, and base races you will see in a MOBA game. In Week 1, we saw Nexplay Evos’ Mico “Micophobia” Quitlong pull off a fast one ala-Baloyskie with his Natalia against TNC. Meanwhile, Week 6 saw ECHO Philippines complete the wildest three-man tower tank against BREN.
While the return of the live audience certainly plays a role in the propensity of players to display higher levels of in-game showmanship, the bigger contributor may just be the assassin-heavy meta that defines the 1.6.84 patch, as well as the continued dominance of high-critical damage dealing heroes in the Gold Lane such as Beatrix and Claude.
With an even grander stage and a title at stake, expect to see even more explosive plays in the playoffs.
The rookies will come to play
Every MPL-PH season has featured at least one or two freshmen shining with superstar potential. This season, the race for Best Rookie will be very tight as ONIC, ECHO, and BREN’s strong candidates will continue to be fielded in the playoffs.
ONIC Philippines was somewhat underestimated by many in the preseason due to the majority of the roster being taken from amateur team Monster Anarchy. What was yet to be known then was the fact that they play some pretty good MLBB. Each of ONIC’s five rookies had an outstanding regular season, but if we had to pick the true standouts, it would be Mid-Laner Frince “SUPER FRINCE” Ramirez and captain Ralph “Rapidoot” Adrales.
Everyone was surprised when ECHO Philippines decided to shake its all-star main five by adding two young rookies. With the move now proving to be a fruitful one as ECHO sits 1st place in the standings, a tough race for star mid-laner Alston “Sanji” Pabico of the Orca’s newly-formed “SanSan connection” for Best Rookie will be in order.
Similarly, Bren Esports also recruited two amateur rookies in the form of Michael “KyleTzy” Sayson and Rowgien “Owgwen” Unigo. Coach Ducky’s decision seems to have paid off in dividends with the duo having orchestrated BREN’s return to the playoffs after three long seasons with their aggressive, fast-paced gameplay.
The most competitive season ever
The Best Rookie race isn’t the only contention that has had our heads turning this season, as the championship race also looks to be the tightest it has been in forever.
The return of the iconic “Veewise” tandem was the main talk of the town coming into Season 10. With Blacklist International putting up a stellar regular season performance, everyone’s eyes are glued on whether they can take back their trophy for the 3rd time and secure the coveted M4 slot.
On the other hand, MPL-PH powerhouses ECHO Philippines and Smart Omega will return to the playoffs for a 7th straight season. With both teams enjoying MVP-level performances from their respective talismans Karl “KarlTzy” Nepomuceno and Grant “Kelra” Pillas, many are wondering whether this season will finally be the one where they can win the trophy.
Expectations were high for Season 9 and MSC 2022 champions RSG Philippines as they looked to defend their title from many would-be usurpers. Unfortunately, it has not been smooth sailing for the Raiders as they sit at a measly 6th-place finish despite giving a good showing. Can RSG Philippines surprise fans again with another dominant playoff run? One thing is for sure, the road to victory will be harder than last time.