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    For Sponge Cola’s Yael Yuzon, Mobile Legends is 'so close to how basketball works'

    Oct 7, 2021

    IF YAEL Yuzon could slot his band's Mobile Legends theme song into a hyper-specific streaming algorithm, he’d tag it “anthemic sports punk.”

    “But with elements of trap,” he said. “You know, like —” And then, over a Viber call, he beatboxed a hip hop rhythm, which you can hear echoed in the verse parts of their song “Alamat”.

    “Alamat”, created and performed by Yuzon and his band Sponge Cola, was commissioned by the game developer Moonton through esports and gaming talent agency Rumble Royale — and Yuzon can’t believe he never thought about pitching an ML theme song before.

    After all, he’s an avid fan of the game, with about 7,000 matches under his belt.

    “If you do the math, there's 365 days in a year, and I've been playing for two years. I play a lot of games,” Yuzon said in an interview with Spin Life.

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      It took him four hours, in total, to pump out the first demo for the song, writing and composing inside the It’s Showtime bubble, where he was staying along with his wife Karylle. In the middle of it, he suffered a bit of songwriter’s block. “The first chorus did not end well,” he recalled. So Yuzon just loaded up a game of Mobile Legends, and just like that, inspiration flowed back into him to wrap the whole thing up.

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      “It's like when you're on fire in basketball, it's like, every single shot you take, parang ang laki ng ring, ang liit ng bola. At a certain point ganyan yung nangyari. In songwriting, it translates,” he said.

      Yael Yuzon compares Mobile Legends to basketball

      An avid athlete, Yael Yuzon compares a lot of things to basketball. But, in his opinion, it’s an absolutely apt comparison for Mobile Legends.

      “It's five people. You can have a really good carry, and that can take you somewhere. But you need five people who know what they're doing, who know their roles.If the team isn't fundamentally sound, later on that's going to bite you in the ass,” he explained.

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        It’s that spirit of teamwork that animates “Alamat.”

        “When I sing ‘Sama-samang lilipad,’ it’s like... One great player can't make a difference. You got to have a team plan,” said Yuzon.

        It’s a team plan that requires everyone working (to insert a bad music pun) in concert. “You can have four really good guys, and you have one person na magaling pag may sariling plan — 'I'm gonna be the hero, I'm gonna steal the buff' — yeah, that also cost us the game,” Yuzon said, shaking his head. “You could have used the shot clock!”

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        He stopped himself.

        “Well, there's no shot clock in Mobile Legends. But yeah, metaphorically.”

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