Just a few weeks ago, AP.Bren was reeling from a stinging third-place finish at the MPL Invitational 2023 that put their M5 World Championship title bid into question after losing to non-M5 bound teams and with Indonesian powerhouse Onic Esports skipping the tournament.
The reigning IESF World Champions dominated the early stages of the MPLI, reaching the upper bracket finals without dropping a single game.
That’s when disaster struck as they got swept by Echo before succumbing to a 2-1 loss to RSG Philippines in the lower bracket finals to relegate them to a third-place finish.
As painful as it was, AP.Bren Francis “Duckey” Glindro believes it was still a successful campaign for the team as it exposed the holes in their gameplay before they try to make a run for a second world title.
“I think it’s kind of bittersweet na matalo sa MPLI 2023. Number one ayaw namin natatalo eh. That’s for sure. But sweeter actually siya kasi nakita na namin yung butas dun sa naging preparation namin coming into MPLI which shows na yun nga nga, medyo impatient. So after MPLI, we focused on having that conscious effort na maging maingat at maging patient,” he said.
“There are several things din na napansin namin na hindi ko na kayang idiscuss ngayon kasi obviously it’s gonna be part ng preparation namin or ng mga strategies namin. All I’m saying is yung pasensya talaga yung medyo nawala samin nung MPLI. It’s a good thing na yun nga na natalo kami but it’s definitely a bad feeling na matalo.”
AP.Bren’s discipline was very much evident in the M5 debut against Burmese Ghouls where they played very calculatedly to pull off a sweep.
In the first lord fight of Game 1, AP.Bren danced around the lord pit for more than minute, resetting the lord a couple of times before finally deciding to commit after Rowgien “Owgwen” Unigo (Edith) executed a timely Onward set-up on the enemy jungler to give space to Michael “KyleTzy” Sayson (Nolan) to comfortably secure the objective.
In Game 2, AP.Bren’s patience once again pivotal as they came back for a 4-1 kill deficit and stuck to their winning conditions to finally emerge victorious in a tight 26-minute encounter.
The Hornets will look to continue with their rejuvenated game as they face Singapore’s Team Flasha and Mongolia’s Team Lilgun in the group stage of the global spectacle to punch their ticket to the double-elimination playoff round.