A RISING young breed of Pinoy imports in Mobile Legends has excited many esports fans and observers.
In a guest column for Spin.ph, senior marketing manager for MLBB esports Tonyo Silva wrote, “The shifts of professional esports players from one team to another — in this case, one country to another — prove that opportunities are abundant and possibilities are limitless in mobile esports.”
But coaches who are currently imports in foreign teams also want to temper expectations, especially for pros who want to take their talents abroad.
Coach Denver “Yeb” Miranda, who moved from Onic PH to Onic Indonesia, told Spin.ph that he is still in touch with many of his former players, many of whom had already moved to teams abroad.
“Halos every day, kausap ko yung mga previous players ko sa Onic PH. So medyo alam ko yung galaw sa iba’t ibang teams. Mostly, nahihirapan sila,” he said in a recent Spin Zoom In episode.
“Guys, sila pa lang nahihirapan na. Paano pa kayo? Mahihirapan din kayo.”
This is how Yeb describes the ordeal faced by all imports. "Kasi, as a player, lilipat ka sa isang team na iba yung culture, iba yung lahat, pati yung paglalaro nila, ikaw yung mag-a-adapt e. Hindi ikaw yung magtuturo sa kanila e. So yung lakas mo, as [a] Pinoy [...] medyo, syempre, di naman bababa, pero mag-iiba,” he explained.
Coaches, opined John Michael “Zico” Dizon, might have an easier time. Zico formerly coached Nexplay EVOS before heading to Cambodia to mentor Burn X Flash.
“Ako kasi, di ako nahirapan, kasi nagtuturo ako, sila yung mag-a-adjust sa akin. English yung communications namin, so kailangan nila akong intindihin. Kaya nila ako kinuha, kasi gusto nilang matuto,” he said.
But Zico agreed with Coach Yeb: Players will likely have a rough time of it. “Kasi yung mga titingnan mo diyan, malalayo ka sa pamilya mo, isasakripisyo mo yung sarili mo. Hindi kasi isang season lang yung contract e. Masyadong maikli yun. Malaking factor rin talaga sa offer.”
He added, laughing, “Alam natin ang mga Pinoy, mapipili yan e.”
But for now, here is Zico’s blunt advice for Filipino pIayers who want to head abroad: “If player ka na may team ka diyan sa Pinas at malakas ka, mag-stay ka lang muna.”
MLBB import wave will not stop, forecast coaches
Despite the difficulties they will surely encounter, Zico is sure, though, that more and more Filipino players will choose to become imports.
“Feel ko talaga, lalaki,” he predicted. “Lalo na pag kami mga nauna [ay] mag-succeed. Syempre, mas lalo tataas tingin ng ibang regions sa ating mga Pinoy, kaya magiging mas interesado sila na kumuha pa [ng mga Filipino player].”
The wave might even become a tsunami if the Philippines continues its run of unbeaten Mobile Legends supremacy.
“Tama yung sinabi ni Zico. If magkita kami for example ni Zico sa M4, tas isa sa manalo sa M4 Pinoy na naman, wala, tuloy-tuloy ‘to. Kasi na-a-acknowledge na nila tayo,” said Yeb.
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