WHAT'S THE outlook for the eight franchises coming into Season 8 of the Mobile Legends Professional League?
Over the past week, as the teams unveiled their rosters for the upcoming season, seasoned analyst and caster Dan “Leo” Cubangay picked apart the exciting new lineups of each team. Across two episodes of his show All Chat, broadcast on the Calamansi app (Google Play, App Store) and co-hosted by Spin.ph, he debated and discussed with rookies from MPL’s Caster Search 2021, taking stock of how they think each team will perform in the hotly awaited new season.
For those who weren’t able to catch the audio livecast, we’re presenting select commentary from the show. You can also listen to each episode on Spotify, Anchor, and wherever you get your pods.
Read the first and second part of this series by tapping below.
Here are their takes on Onic PH and Nexplay EVOS.
Lineup: Gerald “Dlar” Trinchera, Kairi “Kairi” Ygnacio Rayosdelsol, Jaylord “Hate” Gonzales, Marky “Markyyyy” Capacio, Mico “Mico” Quitlong (new), Paul Ian “Beemo” Sergio (new), Nowee “Ryota” Macasa (new), Allen Jedric “Baloyskie” Baloy (new)
Coach: Paul Denver” Yebmaester” Miranda
Leo: Let’s talk about Onic Philippines. This team, oh my god! Right now, this team is white hot and for so many reasons. First, yung mga hindi gumalaw. Si Dlarskie — I hope he sticks to Dlarskie — si Hate, si Kyrie, at saka si Marky. Anong take natin sa apat na nag stay? And I think yung apat na nag-stay may lineup sila. What do you think, Brig?
Bridgitte "Brigida" Ramos: Okay po talaga na iniwan po nila yun eh. Like parang isa sila sa faces of Onic, ganern.
Leo: And I think who they left, yung iniwan nila, parang tinimpla talaga nila. Let me phrase this in a way na parang glass half empty. They took out Jay, right? Now known as Jaymeister, Jay is now with Echo Esports. The reason why I think they took him out was I think more of mechanics, more because of the way he plays. Yung apat na ‘tong nag-stay, feeling ko yung laro lang nila hindi na angkop sa laro ni Jay.
Arjay "Santie" Magcalas: Now, Marky actually is a good player. Ang ganda kung ipapasok na siya for the main lineup. The tricky one here is the tank role. But with Beemo, alam naman nating yung play style ni Beemo with his tank. Ang ganda if possible mag-work yung chemistry ng Onic ngayon, and with the addition of Yebmaester as the coach, talagang solid yung lineup nila ngayon.
Leo: Hell yeah. All right, you mentioned two important names.
First stop, si Beemo. I really like Beemo. I’ve been a fan of his antics since Season 4, and feeling ko siya yung kailangan nila para maging action jackson ang team.
With Beemo now possibly in the driver seat in Pos 5, baka magpalitan sila ni Baloyskie, even Mico. I’m not sure. I think Mico’s a Pos 5, baka ito na yung kailangan nilang update. Santie, tama ba, Pos 5 ba si Miko?
Santie: Pos 5 ata si Mico, coach. Actually, ang maganda magkaroon ng reunion dito for Dlar and Baloyskie. Parang ito na yung tyansa ni Dlar at ni Greed [Baloyskie’s former IGN] na gumawa ulit ng magandang chemistry, if ever mapasok siya ulit for the main lineup.
Leo: Si Baloyskie ang ating prodigal son, diba? The franchise player, the Onic homeboy, na kahit ilayo mo ay babalik at babalik pa rin.
But let’s talk about the other name you mentioned, si Coach Yeb, si pareng Denver Miranda.
I loved Coach Yeb ever since his time with Cignal. I’m so happy that he found his place with Onic, kasi feeling ko ito rin yung kailangan ng Onic. Maliban sa action jackson type of tank, kailangan nila ng parang tunay na kuya.
Brigida: Feeling ko coach, kasi diba po yung Onic, for the past few seasons, nag-seventh or eighth place po sila. First round exit, ganun. Yung pagpasok kay Coach Yeb, pwedeng ito na yung mag-aangat sa Onic.
One more thing to consider: Si Coach Yeb, galing siya sa Cignal. Yung performance din po ng Cignal last season, alam naman po natin. Pero gusto ko pa rin pong makita yung chemistry nilang lahat dito sa bagong Onic.
Leo: Knowing Yeb, he really cares about yung pag-mesh ng players.
Let’s talk about the two other new face dito. For those who don’t know, Mico was once a player for Execration under a different game. I think there’s more to this young man.
Let’s talk about Ryota. Interesting. Santie, what do you think about this pickup from LPE? He did well in Season 7, hindi lang sila pinagpala.
Santie: Ryota is actually a good off-laner. Actually ayun nga eh, together with Beemo, parang sila yung nakikita nating nagpe-perform ng maganda from Laus Playbook Esports. Nabitin lang talaga yung chemistry nila. Mechanically, kita mo, ang daming plays ni Beemo together with Ryota na napapaangat nila, nabi-build up nila yung mismong game. I think yung tricky lang dito is, same role siya with Dlar.
Leo: I think it will come down to meta game choices. Kung kunyare pasok si Ryota, e di kay Ryota. Kung pasok si Dlarskie, e di si Dlar.
Brigida: I’m looking forward kay Greed po. Yung change name niya to Baloyskie, ano rin po ba ang magbabago sa gameplay niya or along with the new members? Kasi nag-full circle po siya: From Dream High Gaming, to Onic, to SunSparks, to Aura po, then back to Onic. Nag-full circle talaga siya.
Santie: For Onic, I really want Ryota and Beemo to perform well. Gusto ko mag-act sila, gusto ko silang dalawa maglaro sa main lineup. Makikita yung skills nila with a different team. I want Beemo and Ryota to reveal themselves.
Leo: Who I’m looking forward to in Onic si Coach Yeb. Sobrang gusto kong makita kung anong gagawin ni Yebmeister dito. Sa player naman? Marky. In game, kulang pa ang nakita natin sa kanya nung Season 7. Ano kaya mapapakita niya kung wala si Iy4knu, kung mas malupit siya if he’s part of the main.
Lineup: Setsuna "Dogie" Ignacio, Renejay "RENEJAY" Barcarse, Tristan "Yawi" Cabrera, Jhon "H2wo" Salonga, James "Jeymz" Gloria, Jeniel "Haze" Bata-Anon (new), Sanford “Sanford” Vinuya (new), Jhonwin “Hesa” Vergara (new)
Coach: John Michael “Zico” Dizon
Leo: Let’s talk about Nexplay EVOS. Confirmed na nandun pa rin yung Big 3, si Renejay, H2WO, and Yawi. They’re now coached by Zico. Hindi na si Dogie, dahil player na si Dogie. He’s in the lineup together with Yellyhaze from Omega, Sanford from the Aether house, tapos may isa pa si Hesa. Santie, I’m not familiar. Sino si Hesa?
Santie: Hesa, teammate siya ni Sanford from Aether house. Hesa Hesa Hesa pa nga naaalala kong pangalan niya. He’s a gold laner. Harith actually ang nakikita kong magandang hero na ginagamit niya. Ang ganda niya pamalit sa gold laner if ever si Renejay yung wala. Tapos kung si Jeymz naman wala, andyan si Sanford. Ang nakuha nila is yung substitute for sidelaners.
Leo: So lahat sila may sub. Technically, lahat sila may sub. Ang wala lang sub ay ang hard tank and that’s Yawi. So bawal magkasakit si Yawi.
Santie: I think Dogie is a good substitute for Yawi kasi teammates talaga ‘tong tatlo: Sanford, Dogie and Hesa, doon sa team nila na Nexplay. Dogie might actually go for Yawi’s position. Ang parang wala ngang kapalit dito would be H2Wo and Yellyhaze, I think.
Leo: I think you’re right. Dogie can play Pos 4 or 5.
This Nexplay Evos, they have four out of their five from the previous season. Nandito syempre ang dati nilang coach, si Dogie, andyan pa rin, pwede maglaro. Ngayon, si Zico na yung nasa driver’s seat. Legit. What do you think is gonna happen to Nexplay EVOS?
Hans "Sonah" Galeria: This is gonna be good for Nexplay EVOS. Zico is a very good drafter, we all know that, pero at the same time, it’s up to the rest of the team kung papaano ba nila gagamitin ‘to. Lalawakan ba nila yung hero pool nila, considering that Zico does have a lot of team compositions that he has in mind?
Yung isa pa siguro na kulang nila before, they’re good individually but they do not have a shot caller before to call the shots whenever it really mattered. Now that they have YellyHaze, now they have Dogie in the lineup, it’s a matter of time kung papaano nila papairalin yung disiplina. Kasi feeling ko, yun lang talaga yung kulang e, yung like disiplina and clutchness sa game.
Leo: This might be the season that they break through, with the help of Zico who himself is not a stranger to the grand finals slot. Andun siya sa lineup na yun sa Onic PH nung nagsimula ang modern El Clasico. And of course, with coach Midnight as their analyst. Napakatalino niya. I am actually glad na hindi na ako analyst, na hindi ko na kailangang kalabanin ang mga ito.
Santie: I’m definitely looking forward to YellyHaze. Hindi natin siya masyadong na-discuss, coach. Haze na galing sa Aether main, a really good player, veteran talaga ‘to since Season 1. Yung addition niya dito and his relationship with Dogie, knowing na Aether Main sila before, di mahirap yung transition niya in building relationships sa mga teammates niya ngayon. Siya yung parang missing piece na lang for Nexplay EVOS nung ni-release nila dito si Exort.
I also want to see more of Renejay. Nahirapan siya doon sa Season 7 because he had challenges outside the game. So yun yung nakaapekto for their Season 7 run, so ngayon ito yung tyansang bumawi. Eto yung tyansang patunayan sa lahat na hindi lang pang Tiktok ang Nexplay EVOS. Syempre kayang-kaya nilang pumalag and possible nga talaga na ma-break na yung 8th place curse nila dito.
Leo: I agree. Natuwa lang ako na brining up mo si Haze. Full circle ‘to. Imagine mo, yung first team mo na kung saan ka nag-champion, ngayon bumalik ka dun? And you have new responsibilities and you’re with much younger players.
Sonah: I am really looking forward to how Hesa’s gonna play. I’ve been hearing his name for quite a long time now, and we named him as “Harith ng Mundo” because of how good he plays Harith. So Oheb versus Hesa is something I’m really looking forward to sa Harith match up.
At the same time, gusto ko rin makita rito kung paano ba ililead ni Dogie yung team now that he’s a player. He used to be on the sidelines, watching every single move. Now, he’s part of the game. How will he operate together with the rest of the squad? Paano nila i-internalize lahat ng learnings na makukuha nila from Zico and Midnight? How were they gonna be able to make a 180 degree turn para masigurado nila na this will be a better season for them?
Leo: I’m looking forward to the hitman, Renejay. Obviously that was an easy answer. I have a very very biased take here: Whenever I see Nexplay, whenever I think of an Aether House personality, si Renejay ang aking bias.
But let’s shift the spotlight. I wanna see Sanford. Excited ako sana makapaglaro si Sanford ng mandalas sa main 5 or ma-switch in siya, more than once, more than a handful of times dahil ito talaga ang magandang proving ground para sa batang player tulad ni Sanford sa MPL. And who knows baka tumanda na rin siyang naglalaro ng ML, tulad ni Haze or ni Dogs, right?