Basketball and Volleyball aren’t the only sports where Filipinos are overflowing with talent. Since the inception of the MLBB esports scene, Filipinos have captured two SEA Games Medals, three MLBB Southeast Asia Cups, and two M-Series World Championships.
While such a trophy case can rightfully be attributed to the Philippines’ amazing talent pool of players and coaches, such abundance could also spell hindrance for those left without a spot to fill.
With such an ultra-competitive scene, many of the country’s best MLBB players and coaches have actually taken their talents to foreign leagues with the hope of replicating their success in the Philippines. Here are three of the most noteworthy so far.
Hate – Team SMG (Malaysia)
As the first Filipino import in MPL Malaysia, Jaylord “Hatred” Gonzales was happy to secure a spot in the storied Team SMG organization. High expectations were set for the 20-year-old player, who is known for making wild plays in the mid-lane with his signature Kagura.
Despite being able to successfully translate his immaculate in-game ability into the Malaysian meta, success still seems to be far away from Team SMG as they take a 4th place finish in their group. Such a performance has been attributed to the team’s lack of synergy and chemistry due to the fact that the squad had only been assembled as late as July this year.
With the team looking to battle it out at the lower bracket against RED Esports in MPL Malaysia’s Season 10 Playoffs, we will surely be treated to seeing Hatred’s insane moves in the clutch.
Hesa – Burn x Flash (Cambodia)
Jhonwin “Hesa” Vergara was one of the unsung heroes in Nexplay Evos’s topsy-turvy Season 8 and Season 9 campaigns. Known for his reliable performances in the gold lane with his massive hero pool, the 19-year-old was one of the players foregone by NXPE before their roster shakeup for MPL-PH Season 10.
With his exit from local competition, Hesa remained steadfast in remaining in the MLBB scene; a goal which led him to the streets of Cambodia. Joining Burn x Flash with fellow NXPE alumnus Michael “MP The King” Endino and Coach John “Zico” Dizon, Hesa instantly tore up MPL Cambodia with his next-level micro ability and deadly killer instinct in the gold lane, raking up huge numbers in every match.
Kairi – ONIC Esports (Indonesia)
Of all of the players in the ONIC Philippines exodus, Kairi “Kairi” Rayosdelsol’s high-profile exit was the most perplexing. Pegged as one of the best junglers in the world, ONIC PH fans were left wondering as to why their team’s beloved star player decided to take his talents elsewhere and become the first-ever Filipino player to be imported to a foreign country.
Nicknamed “The Future”, the 17-year-old player racked up endless memorable performances in his four seasons with ONIC Philippines, earning two MVP of the week nods and being included in the Best Team Award in Season 8. Such a promising legacy in MPL Philippines would be cut-short for Kairi as he and his longtime Coach Paul “Yeb” Miranda’s big move to Indonesia’s ONIC Esports was announced via a big press conference on July 4, 2022.
Since then, the star jungler’s move to ONIC Esports (Indonesia) has unfolded to be a groundbreaking success, with his kill-heavy assassin playstyle making massive contributions to ONIC Esports’ current 1st place spot.
As the frontrunner for Regular Season MVP—while also ranking 2nd in MPL Indonesia’s KDA Averages and 4th in Jungler Hero Pool variety—the Future will be the key player to watch should ONIC Esports secure a coveted M4 spot.