Reigning MPL Philippines champion ECHO dominated EVO Esports, 2-0, to kick-start its title drive in the 2023 Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Southeast Asia Cup on a winning note on Saturday at the Aeon Mall Mean Chey in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
ECHO head coach Archie “Tictac” Reyes admitted that the team had a chip on their shoulder entering the regional meet.
“Siguro yung pressure sa amin ngayon is since kami yung M4 champs, so lahat nung mata ng teams nasa amin so lahat nung mga ginagawa namin… lahat sila nakatutok so ang challenge talaga is ‘wag kami mabasa,” said Tictac.
Tristan “Yawi” Cabrera’s signature Chou was all over the play in Game One, initiating key pickoffs that allowed ECHO to overcome a blunder in the first Lord fight that saw EVO Esports steal the big objective right under their nose.
ECHO went on a siege after securing the next Lord in the 15th minute to finish off the Laotian squad and take a quick 1-0 series lead.
Yawi delivered seven assists along with a kill while Alston “Sanji” Pabico (Yve) fired six kills along with a game-high eight assists in the lopsided 15-2 Game 1 win in 15 minutes and 36 seconds of play.
ECHO wasted no time in the second match, annihilating EVO Esports, 21-8, in almost 15 minutes of action to close in on one of the two playoff spots in Group A.
Benedict “Bennyqt” Gonzales (Beatrix) dropped 12 kills and two assists against one death in the Game 2 win.
The reigning world champion will end its group stage campaign against Fire Flux Impunity of Turkiye on Sunday at 8:00 p.m.