Echo delivered a compelling debut as they swept Blacklist International 2-0 to begin their quest for a title retention in the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Professional League (MPL) Philippines Season 12 at the Shooting Gallery Studios in Makati City.
This match marked a rematch of the M4 World Championship grand finals and the MPL Philippines Season 11 grand finals, in both of which Echo emerged victorious with a clean sweep.
The win marked the return of MDL Philippines Season 1 Finals MVP Jaypee “JayPee” Dela Cruz, replacing star roamer Tristan “Yawi” Cabrera in their season debut.
“Kasama sa plano namin. Tactics din. Hindi lang para sa Blacklist, pati yung buong liga. Panggulat kung sino yung papalaruin namin dun sa dalawa,” said Echo coach Robert “Tictac” Reyes. on the decision of switching Yawi with JayPee.
In Game 1, the Orcas efficiently dispatched the Codebreakers, securing all the turtles and the lord in a 14-minute game. They achieved this on the back of a 9-5 kill lead, spearheaded by Karl “KarlTzy” Nepomuceno’s (Martis) perfect 7-0-1 KDA, taking a 1-0 lead.
During Game 2, Blacklist managed to withstand Echo’s early game dominance, extending the match deep into the late game. However, Jaypee “JayPee” Dela Cruz’s brilliant Way of the Dragon set-up play during a 20th-minute lord dance triggered a 3-0 wipe that helped Echo secure the luminous lord and clinch the series.
Benedict “Bennyqt” Gonzales led Echo in the kills department with a masterful 5-0-7 KDA.
Echo comes into this tournament following a third-place finish at the MLBB Southeast Asian Cup, where they fell to the eventual champions, Onic Esports from Indonesia.