The co-coach of the MPL PH champions shares his outlook on the meta and the team’s mentality.
Coach Vren and AP.Bren are sailing smoothly on this M5. After going undefeated in the group stage, they kept their upper bracket spot after defeating Cambodia’s See You Soon and Indonesia’s second-seed Geek Fam. Now, the team is getting ready for their fated clash against Indonesia’s Sky Kings ONIC Esports on December 16.
While everyone’s pegged AP.Bren and ONIC as the strongest teams in M5, coach Vren believes that they could have been facing fellow Filipino team Blacklist International in a few days instead. “I was really surprised na napa-abot nila ng game five against what I would say are the tournament favorites,” said coach Vren in regards to Blacklist and ONIC’s match earlier in the tournament.
It was a nail-biting series, with many situations going down to the wire for both teams. Blacklist played some of the best Mobile Legends they have shown all year but victory ultimately went to ONIC. “They didn’t underperform, but they even bested my expectations coming into [that] series.”
Working with and around the meta
One of the more interesting things to happen during that match was unique hero picks being made by both teams. “Standard naman that every team has their own strats coming into every series,” says AP.Bren’s coach. “It depends talaga on how they believe it can work and how many trigger points they have to check in order for them to say ‘let’s do this.’”
In a tournament where the winning meta has been found out, it was exciting to see teams experimenting onstage. Teams need every advantage they can muster but coach Vren also warns about getting carried away with this strategy. “It’s really risky to use pocket strats in this current meta, which for the longest time has been very stagnant.” He points to the prevalence of fighter jungler heroes and how limited their assassin counterparts are in comparison. Stale as it may be, it’s what wins games and in a tournament of this caliber that’s really what matters. “Okay naman sila, pero I would not prefer it.”
On the maturity of AP.Bren’s players
It’s no secret that AP.Bren has been through a lot this past year. From training, local and international tournaments, and traveling, it’d be an understatement to say that the team’s been very busy. “Off cam, di nalalaman ng lahat kung paano yung struggle namina sa lahat ng tournaments at biniyahe namin,” says Vren.
Despite all that, from the way AP.Bren is going right now it seems none of that pressure is getting to them. Coach Vren attributes that to how every single member of the team has grown to overcome these challenges. “Kumbaga self maturity na kami sa bagay-bagay. And the end process nun, chill kami and naeenjoy na namin yung game.”
It’s clear that all the struggles AP.Bren went through has earned them more than just trophies. We’ll have to see if that’ll be enough to win them the M5 World Championship.
Banner photo by Moonton Games.