The largest esports league in the country has returned, as 10 teams will compete for the opportunity to be hailed as champions in the fifth season of the Mobile Legends Bang Bang Professional League. Beyond fans’ expectations, the opening matches brought forth new strategies in the MLBB meta and served as a teaser of the things that we should expect in the current season.
Let us recap the first two days of Season 5 and analyze what transpired during the matches.
There’s no better way to open MPL but with a bang, as superstar teams Bren Esports and Sunsparks battled it out at the initial salvo of the tourney. The first game of their BO3 series saw Bren playing as the early aggressors to the defending champs. Despite a well-sustained draft, Sunsparks forced Bren to overcommit and relied on Killuash’s mastery of Chou to secure Game 1.
However, Bren held their ground and employed a unique combination of Khufra, Granger, and Kimmy to even the odds and finish Game 2 swiftly. Latching on to their momentum and recognizing Sunsparks’ split-push potential, Bren barred Killuash’s trump hero Chou in the draft phase and leveraged Coco’s Uranus to pin the defending champs and come out of the rubble as victors.
The first game in Geek Fam and ULVL’s BO3 match showcased a battle of objectives in the early phases of the bout. Both teams played their cards well in maintaining their economy and tried every opportunity to outgun each other in terms of resource hunting. Despite several technical pauses and a strong double-marksman draft from Geek Fam, the former Team Gosu PH squad led by Basic crushed the latter in a game of attrition, landing the newcomers their first win in the series.
ULVL wasted no time and employed a CC-heavy lineup of Khufra, Zhask, and Chang’e to best Geek Fam’s Diggie-Uranus duo and secure the Basic-led team a quick, decisive victory. Coupled by Kimmy’s cover fire and an efficient Flameshot strategy, winning the match proved inevitable for ULVL.
Blacklist International and STI came to MPL Season Five with vindication, as both teams wanted to prove that they have what it takes to go toe-to-toe with the strongest teams in the scene. The former EVOS PH team utilized an interesting strategy in Game 1, as they employed Natalya as a support character and made use of her silence-type passive to set up ambushes for both Ling and Helcurt. Moreso, Riddler logged in 11 kills for his Karrie as Blacklist triumphed over STI in the first game.
STI attempted to turn the tides in Game 2 by fielding two mages and two marksmen for their draft. While the team started out strong, the absence of a tank character proved fatal for the eOlympians as Aqua activated his Ling mid-way and dished out kills left and right to help Blacklist “break the code” in their debut.
It’s a battle between veterans and newcomers as Sterling Global Dragons squared off against BSB in the second match of Day 2. The Dragons showed why they are a force to reckon with in the first game by employing a durable lineup that hampered BSB at all fronts. BSB managed to spring back at Game 2, however, as they restrict SGD with any opportunities for a sweep through a crafty triple-tank strategy courtesy of Lolita, Esmeralda, and Grock.
Not wanting to end their Season 5 debut in defeat, SGD retaliated and brandished their experience in the deciding game. Toshi clutched five kills and provided sufficient firepower for SGD, while Haze served as a pillar of support for the entirety of the game, ending in a 2-1 win for the Dragons.
It was Execration who dealt the then-rookie squad Onic PH their only loss in the preliminary phase of MPL Season 4. With a reinvigorated roster, and an ironclad will to secure the championship, Onic PH is out for blood.
In Game 1, Fuzaken steered away from the tank role and picked Diggie to play as a support alongside OhMyV33nus’ Nana, while Wise’s Karrie became the offensive core of Onic PH’s strategy. With the two M1 stalwarts on his back, Wise dished out 12 kills against the players of Execration and carried Onic PH to take Game 1. Keeping true to their captain’s words during the introduction, Onic PH overwhelmed Execration with a splashing 18-0 lead, landing a 2-0 victory to cap off Week 1.
Catch MPL Season 5 live from Fridays to Sundays at 6:00 PM on MLBB’s YouTube and Facebook pages. You may also watch the games up close at Illumination Studios in Makati.
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