If there is one organization in MLBB’s esports scene that can truly claim a legacy, it would be Bren Esports. Over the span of its five-year existence, Bren’s MLBB team has secured the Season 6 MPL-PH Championship, the 2018 MSC (formerly as Aether Main} Championship, and the M2 World title.
With the organization experiencing a decline in the past three seasons, how has this storied organization been able to restore the “malakas” in “Bren lang malakas?”
After winning it all in 2020, it seemed that the sky was the limit for what heights Bren would be able to reach. After all, what organization wouldn’t retain their championship lineup and staff?
Despite fielding a roster consisting of veterans such as Carlito “Ribo” Jr, David, Angelo “Pheww” Arcangel, and Allan “Lusty” Castromayor Jr., then-rising stars “FlapTzy” Canon and Karl Gabriel “KarlTzy” Nepomuceno, and led by iconic head coach Francis “Ducky” Glindro, Bren would take a regressive 4th place spot in Season 7, and an even worse 7th place finish in Season 8.
Reinventing the old guard
With two consecutive seasons outside of international competition, Bren sought to shake things up for 2022. This meant the voluntary hiatus of their legendary players, the exit of star jungler KarlTzy, and the arrival of amateur standouts among the likes of Vincent “JOY BOY” Guzman and Marco “SUPER MARCO” Requitano, as well as Assistant Coach Jian “Pauloxpert” Munsayac.
While this iteration of Bren did not deliver a return to championship form, it did see its rookies shine with jungler Vincent “Pandora” Unigo and star roamer JOY BOY both making waves with notable individual performances against Blacklist International and Echo Philippines.
Trusting the process
Seeing the potential that was brimming in his squad, Coach Ducky’s task of rebuilding a competitive squad looked to bear fruit. A whirlwind of departures and additions came to order with the exits of legendary veterans such as Ribo and Lusty, and the arrival of two more amateur stars in jungler Michael “KyleTzy” Sayson and roamer Rowgien “Owgwen” Unigo.
The revamped squad made an impression right from the get-go with the team’s aggressive kill-first playstyle. By the end of the 1st round, Bren would pick up gritty wins against powerhouses such as Smart Omega, Nexplay Evos, and TNC Pro Team, as well as an MVP of the Week nod for KyleTzy’s stellar Lancelot performance, mirroring the moves of Bren’s former star jungler himself.
Despite experiencing more than a few heartbreak losses in the form of swift backdoor plays from Echo Philippines and Blacklist International, Bren’s rise to relevance would not be denied.
As of Season 10’s 6th week, Bren has already exceeded its Season 9 performance with six series wins, owing to its solid team chemistry and heroic individual performances.
In terms of the team’s expectations for the playoffs, Coach Ducky looks to continue trusting the process of long-term development for his players, explaining: “We structured our training program so that long term, our players will be able to play high-level, as well as sell themselves in a manner that is humble.”
Banner images from MPL Philippines’ Facebook.