“Di naman mawawala yung pressure.”
Those were the first words that newly-appointed ECHO head coach Archie “Tictac” Reyes uttered when asked about the pressure of replacing Michael “Arcadia” Bocado for the upcoming MPL Philippines Season 10.
For the first time in his career, the 41-year-old Tictac – who has been in the MPL scene ever since the beginning – felt immense pressure creeping into his veins.
“Actually sobrang saya pero behind that yung pressure talaga, sobrang napakalaki kasi ECHO ‘to e, ang laki ng expectations sa team lalo na may super team kami dito ‘di ba so ayun, yun lang talaga. Yung pressure talaga,” said Tictac.
And who could blame him? The person he replaced is considered as one of the best and brightest minds not just in the MPL Philippines but in the whole world. In fact, the person he took over from was so good that he even landed a coaching gig in arguably one of the most storied Mobile Legends: Bang Bang franchises in the scene.
Good thing for him, though, is that Arcadia – who engineered and completed Sunsparks’ two-peat bid back in Season Five – left him with a ton of lessons during their time together in Season Nine that he can build on moving forward. He plans to continue all that in ECHO’s upcoming campaign.
“Kung ano yung pinamana sa amin ni coach Arcadia, kung ano yung itinuro sa amin ni coach Arcadia, tinutuloy ko lang so para iwas din sa pressure,” said Tictac.
“Syempre yung mga fans may mga bash, may mga haters, sakin ‘wag na lang pansinin kumbaga gagawin ko na lang yung best ko para no regrets, ganun lang.”
Dealing with young ones is not something that is new to Tictac. After all, he already coached in the big league before, handling Happy Feet in the MPL Philippines’ second installment. He also served as the team manager of Liyab Esports’ League of Legends team before finding his way to ECHO.
“Yung relationship sa team, sa mga boys natin okay naman. Actually, tinuturing ko silang mga anak,” said Tictac, who is also the father of two beautiful children. “Kung ano yung binibigay ko na respeto sa kanila, nababalik din nila yun. Kasi once na tinreat mo yung player na hindi maganda, babalik sa’yo yun e. So in a nice way, strict ako sa disiplina in a nice way na para siyang nagpapalaki ng anak, ganun.”
Tictac will also have assistant coach Robert “Trebor” Sanchez by his side in his return to the main stage. Trebor, who previously served as deputy in ONIC PH, will be in charge of the team’s draft and strategies.
The ex-Liyab Esports team manager said that the addition of the former BSB standout is a huge boost for the side of ECHO, who welcomed five new additions to its roster in hopes of utilizing a two-team system in Season 10.
“Si coach Trebor napakalaking tulong kasi more on technical siya e. Alam niya yung technicals ng game so sobrang laking tulong para sa buong team. Nagaanalyze rin siya, lahat ng technicalities ng game sa kaniya yun,” said Tictac, who played for Aether Main prior to Season One.
“Actually, meron kaming two teams e. Different identities yung both teams, parehas silang competitive so makikita niyo na lang sa MPL kung paano namin gagamitin yung two teams namin,” he added, noting that the team fielded in two teams in the SIBOL qualifiers for the IESF a month ago.
After working on the team’s discipline — one of the main problems in their previous campaign — all throughout the off-season, Tictac is confident that ECHO has what it takes to get over the hump in Season 10.
“Syempre lahat naman ng teams ang goal is mag-champion, ‘di ba? Pero bago natin makuha yun syempre step by step natin. ‘Di naman natin minamadali, kumbaga may process talaga para makuha natin yung goal na yun. Lahat naman champion ang goal.”