Current Events January 19, 2023
ECHO ended the dynasty of Blacklist International, breaking the almost adamantine code and triumphantly taking home the title of the best Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Team in the world last January 15 in Jakarta, Indonesia.
In a clean 4-0 sweep in a best-of-seven series, the Orcas dominated the M4 Championship Grand Finals and decimated the proven-and-tested strategy of Blacklist International.
Millions of Filipino fans witnessed the epic showdown of the two teams with the Livestream and coverage of Smart, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang’s longtime official telco partner in the Philippines.
Blacklist International, the defending champs, had a steady climb from the playoff to the knockout matches, securing the first slot in the grand finals after defeating ECHO in the upper bracket finals.
The boys in purple and white had to face off RRQ Hoshi, branded as the King of Kings of MLBB, trampling over the Indonesian team’s home court, 3-1.
It was a rematch of the upper bracket finals at the M4 World Championship and MPL Philippines Season 10, where Blacklist International reclaimed the crown and strengthened the dynasty it built.
However, in an almost unexpected turn of events, the agents had no direct answer as to how they would reverse ECHO’s decoding of their game plan — the Ultimate Bonding Experience (UBE) strategy.
So what codes did ECHO break to secure a dominating match against the unyielding spirit of Blacklist International?
Here are five components of the ECHO Express Strategy that brought them to victory:
Blacklist Team Captain Johnmar “OhMyV33nus” Villaluna has always been the focal point on why the UBE Strategy worked for almost two years in a row.
Playing the Estes card was the team’s key to victory. In all four games, ECHO respected The Queen and banned Estes from all four games, and in some instances, ECHO gave its roamer Tristan “Yawi” Cabrera signature V33 heroes to deny her comfort picks further.
V33 had repeatedly said during interviews at the M4 Stage that not banning her Estes was the downfall of several teams during the tournament.
ECHO listened, and ECHO won.
The ECHO Express Strategy revolves around massive crowd control skills to enable one or two burst heroes to annihilate opponents freely.
In all four games, ECHO always had at least 90 percent of their heroes having massive crowd control skills, prioritizing hero picks such as Fredrinn, Lolita, Akai, Gloo, Franco, Kaja, and Barats.
Karl “Karltzy” Nepumoceno, the first player to ever win the M Series twice, was completely activated as the utility jungle of ECHO in all four matches thanks to the multiple layers of crowd control skills from him and his teammates.
This strategy allowed them to secure neutral objectives, pickoff opponents, push turrets and end almost all four games — except for the last one — in under 15 minutes.
It is no secret that finding the right targets should be the name of the game, but masterful execution is a whole other discussion.
In all four games, ECHO rookie experience lane player Sanford “Sanford” Vinuya showed the world how to prioritize the right target skillfully. He is only 16 years old.
For instance, in Game 3, his strategic use of Lapu-Lapu’s ultimate after a crucial game-deciding fight at the Lord pit slowed down the retreat of four Blacklist star players, including the mid lane artillery mage, gold lane marksman, experience lane fighter, and roamer.
Less than 30 seconds later, ECHO closed the match with that play, 3-0.
Another crucial moment was in Game 4 when Sanford baited out the enemy jungler with his Gloo.
He used this opportunity to dash into the enemy marksman, removing the chance for Blacklist to defend their base and crown.
Another rookie who showed tenacity even at 17 is Alston “Sanji” Pabico, the mid-lane mage of ECHO.
His explosive use of long-range artillery Yve and Pharsa allowed ECHO to prioritize objectives and pick enemies off due to his commanding presence.
But Sanji was not a one-trick pony. He can also be flexible.
When both Yve and Pharsa were unavailable for him to use, Sanji went for an assassin mage hero that made its debut in the M4 Stage only at the Grand Finals: Gusion.
Sanji’s use of the hero was a masterclass on pickoffs.
He finds a triple kill after a successful turtle take, prioritizing low-health opponents and diving into long-range heroes during Game 3.
They say victory takes patience and discipline, and Benedict “Bennyqt” Gonzales is the epitome of these two essential pro-player characters at the championship match.
From diligently farming the gold lane for minutes to get his power spike before joining team fights to pummeling enemies like a thunderstorm, Bennyqt was a force to be reckoned with.
He knew he was crucial in the latter parts of the game. Hence, he patiently waited for his correct timings and positioned himself to hit the enemies freely.
This strategy allowed him to reap the benefits of his late-game heroes, Brody and Lunox.
In the second match of the series, his hero Brody hid in a bush in the river area in anticipation of a turtle take.
He stayed in that position for 33 seconds, resisting the urge to hit enemies that came near his area.
In Game 2, he revealed himself when his teammates started to engage.
He began hitting enemies with his skills down to his ult and flicker, slaying the enemy marksman, M3 MVP Kiel “Oheb” Soriano, and taking the turtle for his team.
If there is one thing that Bennyqt’s patience taught us, it’s that patience may get you the MVP of the whole tournament.
During the finals game, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang developer Moonton unveiled that the Philippines will be hosting the upcoming M5 World Championship in December.
The Philippines holds the number of crowns in the Mobile Legends World Championship. Bren Esports for M2, Blacklist for M3, and Echo Philippines for M4.
The M4 World Championship featured 16 teams from 12 different regions.
As the longtime official telco partner of MLBB in the Philippines, Smart has cemented its position as a staunch supporter of e-Sports – including e-Sports athletes, fans, game publishers, and tournament organizers – in the country.
Filipino gamers can enjoy leveled-up gaming experiences powered by Smart, the Philippines’ Fastest and Best mobile network, according to Ookla, the global leader in mobile and broadband intelligence.
Ookla recognized Smart as the Philippines’ Best Mobile Network after dominating two crucial Ookla Speedtest Awards categories, namely the “Fastest Mobile Network” and “Best Mobile Coverage,” in Q1-Q2 2022.
In compliance with the SIM Registration Law, Smart encourages all its subscribers to have their SIM registered.
Smart Prepaid and TNT subscribers can visit the SIM Registration Portal.
On the other hand, Smart Postpaid users need to confirm their personal information and IDs submitted for their postpaid plan application by texting YES to 5858. They will receive a confirmation message from Smart on successful SIM Registration and get 3 GB FREE data.
Learn more about how Smart enables subscribers to level up their gameplay by checking out Giga Games.