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Photo from Coach Dale

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Coach Dale Vitug retires, granted release by ECHO


ECHO Philippines coach Steven “Dale” Vitug is hanging up his gaming phone, Thursday afternoon.

Team manager Mitch Liwanag confirmed the news to Tiebreaker Times.

“Yes, confirmed. He’s retiring,” said the long-time esports executive.

The organization already bid its goodbye to the veteran tactician through a heartfelt Facebook post.

“Thank you, Coach Dale, for all the times you’ve been there to guide and lead us to victory. In all the games we went through together — the wins and losses,” said the organization.

“You have been a huge part of our recent seasons, and we’re grateful for all that you did for us. We’re wishing you all the success in your future endeavors.”

The player-turned-coach made quite a mark in Mobile Legends.

He helped the Philippine national team nab the gold medal in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games in Manila. He then led Omega Esports to the M2 World Championship. There, they finished at a respectable 5th-6th place.

Dale then joined Aura PH as its strategic coach back in Season Seven. He joined hands with then-coach Michael “Arcadia” Bocado. The team went on to finish at fourth place after playing a pawn in Execration’s Cinderella run in the lower bracket.

Come Season Eight, after the team rebranded to ECHO, the former Omega Esports tactician assumed the coaching gig after Arcadia was tasked to handle the organization’s esports squads as its head coach.

ECHO had a strong start to the season but eventually spiraled down the standings due after being hampered by COVID-19 mid-season.

With some players out, ECHO was in danger of missing the playoffs entire before putting up a brave last stand to secure their slot in the final week of the regular season.

#ReadMore  SMART Omega overwhelmed by RRQ Hoshi, drops to showdown with Alter Ego in M2

The team then bowed out of the playoffs via a 1-3 result against Omega Esports, ending the tournament at 5th-6th place.

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