That’s what Louie Cacho, head of strategy and business development at ONIC Philippines, calls the Mobile Legends offseason, as teams scramble to secure trades and rearrange their rosters to prepare themselves for the next season of MLBB action.
Like other teams, ONIC Philippines has slyly taken advantage of this. Bren Esports and Aura PH announced tryouts, and Nexplay’s Setsuna “Akosi Dogie” Ignacio has teased big changes for his "big three" in his vlog. ONIC, meanwhile, came out with a shareable social media card.
The squad posted silhouettes of what appears to be ML pro players on its Facebook page, along with the caption “Is there a BIG announcement incoming?” It accompanied the post with the hashtag #RosterChanges.
The team even posted a meme several hours later, acknowledging the frenzied speculation its teaser post lit up.
In addition, ONIC player Gerald “Dlar” Trinchera was spotted in a photo uploaded to Facebook post by caster Leo Gaming, an analyst for Work Auster Force. “We called in some reinforcements,” said Leo, tagging Work’s coach John Laurence “Lift” Ruiz.
Fellow caster Midnight has also teased, “Punta na ba Onic.Greed?”
When contacted by Spin.ph, Cacho would not directly comment on all the rumors flying around.
“In general, the MPL transfer season is a pretty chaotic period. We’re currently in the 'baliwan' period where everyone is posting rumors and trying to get fans hyped for actual roster changes. Rumors from ONIC and other teams may be true or false but I definitely don’t want to spoil anything,” he said.
He did, however, elaborate on the strategy his team was pursuing when it comes to offseason trades.
“Our season 7 performance could have been much better as we always want to be challenging for the MPL title but we believe that our team has a lot of talent and potential. It’s all about finding roster moves that maximize the talent we currently have on our roster,” said Cacho.
Last offseason, ONIC figured in what turned out to be one of the season's biggest storylines, as their longtime duo of Johnmar "OhMyV33nus" Villaluna and Danerie "Wise" Del Rosario moved house to eventual champions Blacklist International.
Reinforcing their lineup with Jaylord "Hate" Gonzales, Kairi "Kairi" Rayosdelsol, and Marky “Markyyy” Capacio, ONIC ended the regular season with a 7-6 win-loss record. They then fell to Execration in the lower bracket of the playoffs.