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    ECHO PH's bootcamp chemistry on display in leadup to Season 9

    Initially, country manager Mitch Liwanag feared they were a 'time bomb'
    Feb 13, 2022
    PHOTO: ECHO PH/Facebook

    MANAGING egos is a concern that most “super teams” would have to address whether in traditional sports or in esports.

    It's something that even casters Manjean Faldas and Theo "Uomi" Ignacio brought up in a Spin.ph Zoom In episode.

    In an earlier interview with Spin.ph, ECHO PH country manager Mitch Liwanag had this on her mind when the organization was assembling the star-studded roster for Season 9.

    “At first naghe-hesitate ako kase they’re veterans. I felt like they are a ticking time bomb,” she recounted.

    The new ECHO PH is a stew of varying personalities, and she didn't know how everyone would mix.

    “Iba-iba kase personality nila and nalaman ko na may issue si ganito, may attitude problem si ganyan, so nagda-doubt ako. Parang ang hirap humawak ng players na may big personality.”

    But, to be honest, this was something she'd already expected, as she was recruiting franchise players who'd already made a name for themselves.


    "Matagal na sila sa MPL," she reflected. "Matagal na sila sa larangan na ito. Sabi ko kay [Coach] Arc(adia), ‘Natatakot ako na gumawa ng ganitong team kase for sure malalaki yung mga ulo ng mga yan.'”

    She added: “Sabi ko kay Arc, mahirap yata silang katrabaho, sobrang sakit sa ulo kase sa totoo lang sa mga naging katrabaho kong esports players, mahirap talaga silang katrabaho. Matigas ang ulo.


      “Part of growing up naman iyon, ang hirap talaga as in mahirap kontrolin yung pagiging professional nila at pagiging bata kase ang kinuha niyo puro bata walang matatanda, sino magha-handle sa kanila, ang magiging team captain?”

      But the new ECHO PH ended up surprising her.

      A deeper bond inside the ECHO PH bootcamp

      It was hard not to be apprehensive, given the buzz surrounding ECHO's new players at the close of Season 8. There has been speculation that Karl “KarlTzy” Nepomuceno lost the hunger to win more trophies after an immaculate M2 performance. Plus, during his Bren days, he would throw shade at Frediemar “3MarTzy” Serafico, who would end up becoming his teammate.

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      Then there’s the common misconception that surrounds Tristan “Yawi” Cabrera, given his background playing for one of the most controversial teams in Nexplay EVOS.

      But Liwanag revealed that egos and attitudes didn't even pop up inside the bootcamp. In fact, the opposite occurred as the team immediately gelled with each other.

      “Nung nandun na ako sa bootcamp, nakita ko na kung gaano sila ka-close. Nag-uumpisa palang, hindi sila mapaghiwalay. Para silang magkakapatid,” she said.

      Inside the bootcamp, Yawi and 3MarTzy even became fast friends.

      "Sabi ko, ‘Ano ba ito coach, nagulat ako sa chemistry nila bilang magkakaibigan.'”

      Get more of the latest sports news & updates on SPIN.ph

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      PHOTO: ECHO PH/Facebook
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