Week 3 is an interesting period for MPL Philippines as it marks the first week of action featuring the newly implemented 1.8.20 patch.
The recent update has buffed several healing heroes, reminiscent of the healing meta in Season 7 when Execration, led by Patrick “E2max” Caidic, Duane “Kelra” Pillas, and Joshua “Ch4knu” Mangilog, emerged victorious in the MLBB Southeast Asian Cup 2021 championship. This provided E2max with an opportunity to crack a joke with his former rival Jonmar “OhMyV33nus” Villaluna, who popularized the healing meta.
“Nung matapos ang patch,” E2max recalled his funny encounter with former Blacklist International roamer Jonmar “OhMyV33nus” Villaluna, “nag-chat ako kay V33nus, sabi ko, ‘Pinapabalik ka na yata ni Moonton. Lahat ng hero mo binuff.’ Natawa lang siya tas nag-good luck.”
The familiarity with the new meta worked well for Omega as they defeated the reigning IESF world champions. They picked Angela in both Games 2 and 3, with Ch4knu and E2max taking turns using the hero, resulting in victories for Omega.
“Sobrang ganda nga ng update eh kasi talagang binuff ang mga support utility,” explained E2max, “Before, talaga, gumagamit din kami ng mga ganyang hero.”
Smart Omega head coach Ronel “Stronger” Tan revealed that the team experimented with the meta right away, using it in scrims and witnessing significant improvement after the switch.
“Yun yung ginamit nila nung nag-champion sila sa MSC, yung ganung playstyle,” he said. “So from there, tiningnan namin kung ano yung mga hero na pwede naming gamitin. Kaya sa scrim pa lang, tinry na namin kung ano magiging resulta. Yung resulta ng scrims namin mas maganda nung mga nakaraang linggo, kaya nag-decide kami na ituloy ang ganitong playstyle.”
The shift in the meta also provided Kelra with unwavering confidence in diving into teamfights, knowing that their composition provides him with the sustain he needs to survive lengthy skirmishes.
“Nasa isip ko noon, walang makakapatay sa akin kasi may Angela kami. Max item na rin ako kaya naisip ko na kaya ko kahit lima. Kaya sobrang kampante ko,” Kelra said about how the Angela pick impacted his mentality.
Omega has now won two consecutive games, and their newfound strategy will once again be tested as they face RSG Philippines on September 23.