This is a Test of Skill and Passion
The regular season kicks off with the top 10 teams of the MPL facing off in a round robin format where each team plays 1 match, consisting of 2 games against each other. Besides league points, each game won gives the winning team a USD 250 cash prize. The league not only tests a team’s skill against the other competitors, it also gives them an opportunity to show how well they know their own strengths and weaknesses as well as their opponents’. Furthermore, the 7-week league means that teams will need to pace themselves, and carefully strategise ahead of each weeks’ matches, thus testing their stamina as well.
The first week has already shown great promise that the league will be exciting. Some results proved to be unexpected while others reinforced just how strong their team actually is.
Day 1 Matches
Team Saiyan vs Equalizer | 2 – 0
The kings of Malaysia have shown time and time again why they are number 1. They dismantled Equalizer in two short matches, the first being one of the fastest we’ve seen lasting only 9:15. The amount of polish and mastery of the game they have shown is truly a sight to see. Equalizer – the all Sabahan rookie team showed their inexperience. They had good picks but failed cope with the intense pressure Team Saiyan put on them. They really do have to hustle if they want to prove that they have a shot at winning. Hopefully this baptism of fire will spark better performances moving forward.
Team Saiyan has displayed a near perfect performance in these two matches. Playing aggressively without toying with their opponents just goes to show that they mean business. Time and time again they were able to find flaws in the plays of Equalizer and acted accordingly. Performing in unison with each member of the team showing mastery in their roles and synergy with other members.
IDNS SG vs MyA | 2 – 0
IDNS SG’s skill and passion for the game is without comparison. They took down MyA – widely regarded as the second best team in Malaysia – in the first game with 8:47 the fastest time we have seen so far in the MPL regular season. MyA may be one of the top teams of Malaysia but IDNS SG’s performance revealed a massive gap between their skill levels. However MyA was able to put up a fight in game 2 but ultimately fell to the superior strategy and coordination of IDNS SG.
IDNS SG overwhelmed MyA with numerous early game pick offs followed up by a mid game takedown. The synergy and teamwork IDNS has shown is a key factor in pulling such a win off. During the 2nd game however MyA tried a similar strategy but IDNS was able to adapt quickly, taking objectives and securing only necessary teamfights, then going for the Base once they had the opportunity.
Day 2 Matches
Mystic Burden vs MyA3 | 1 – 1
Both teams were filled with surprises wherein the first game kicked off with both teams drafting unorthodox line ups. Both teams however were able to adjust well enough to each other’s strategies. MyA3 took down MCB during game 1 with a stronger team fight performance. However MCB turned it around completely by changing their focus to the objectives taking game 2. Both teams were able to show just how flexible they are during both games through adapting to each other’s movements and strategy. This was one of the more evenly matched pairings we’ve seen so far.
Being a jack of all trades and a master of none isn’t necessarily a bad thing as MCB has shown their ability to switch up their strategy even until now having drafted a team fight line up in game 1 and an objective line up in game 2. Reading MyA3’s movements and playing around that in game 2 allowed MCB to secure so many towers during the mid game helping them secure their late game items winning them the game.
Louvre SG vs Tyrants | 0 – 2 (Studio Match)
Although being an experienced team is a big factor in winning a professional tournament it doesn’t always mean an ensured victory. Louvre was one of the top teams of Singapore having a pedigree in the pro-scene. So it was to everyone’s surprise that they were bested 2-for-2 during their match against Tyrants. Louvre actually defeated Tyrants 2 -0 during the qualifiers, so it was sweet revenge for the Singaporean ‘band of brothers.’
Tyrants showed the world that a band of friends with the passion for the game has a shot in becoming the next esports athletes. Through hard work and preparation they were able to consistently out perform a top team like Louvre. With Louvre losing most of the fights and being unable to secure both kills and objectives, Tyrants slowly but surely chipped at Louvre’s defences, and secured a hard-fought victory. With a dynamic draft and an interesting strategy featuring the first Zhask of the regular season, let’s hope they continue to experiment and perhaps challenge the stranglehold of IDNS SG and Team Saiyan.
Employing an unorthodox strategy is becoming a more common choice in the MPL; Tyrants ditched the marksman role in favour of a mage, forcing the enemy team to adapt to the line-up; and they opted to defend their mage with a 2 tank line up. Their unique draft, playing around Zhask, caught Louvre by surprise in game 2, helping them secure a well-fought victory.
Falcon 7 vs Team Eksdi | 0 – 2
Playing defensively and only taking calculated risks was the style employed by Team Eksdi against Falcon7’s defensive play-style. Both teams took their time when trying to start team fights – only taking the ones in favour to them. However Team Eksdi’s patience and aggressive defence payed off against Falcon7 after proving effective against the sometimes passive Falcon7.
Taking only a few calculated risks and coupled with a strong defensive playstyle is Team Eksdi’s greatest asset. They took their time playing smart against Falcon7, reacting and engaging when possible. Ultimately they won both games because of their well planned counter ganks.
Day 3 Matches
Equalizer vs Team Eksdi | 0 – 2
Equalizer, being the dark horse of the tournament managed to show that they can go toe-to-toe with a team as experienced as Team Eksdi. Having Orca back into the roster was a definite morale and skill boost for the team. Taking the lead in the early game both objectively and on the score board shows that Equalizer are no pushovers. Unfortunately even with a seemingly insurmountable lead during game 1 their misplays ultimately lead to their down fall. They seemed to almost have a chance at beating Team Eksdi when they won a teamfight near Lord. But instead of pushing turrets, they decided to try to kill Lord with only 3 members who were not at full health, and without their main damage dealer. This meant that Team Eksdi were able to respawn and stole the Lord kill from right under their noses. From then, coming back was nigh impossible.
Team Eksdi’s composure and patience was an invaluable factor of their victory. Despite being heavily outplayed during the early game of both games they were still able to make sound decisions by punishing Equalizer’s misplays and focusing on objectives that they can take.
Despite sitting near the bottom of the table, Equalizer’s performance has seen marked improvement. With two extremely difficult games was two painful loses. But if they can learn from their mistakes and pick themselves up, they might stand a chance ahead of the coming week’s matches.
Though Team Eksdi drafted an aggressive team fight line up they played defensively to cope with their losses during the early game. Patiently waiting for Equalizer to make mistakes and punishing them accordingly one of them was stealing Lord after suffering heavy losses from a previous team fight. Split pushing and applying pressure was also given a big emphasis to ensure that they were not losing objectives against Equalizer.
MyA vs Falcon7 | 2 – 0
After being shaken by their loss against IDNS SG, MyA was able to get back on their feet taking on Falcon7 with almost surgical precision in their team coordination. MyA plowed through Falcon7 with superior positioning and tactics. Their win of both games gave them the morale boost they needed moving up in the regular season.
Using two tanks to protect their Karrie allowed her to effectively deal damage got MyA a Maniac (4 consecutive kills) in the process. Using their down time to secure objectives and buffs around the map helped them create a lead in their team’s item builds in return allowed them to overpower Falcon7 during most of the team fights.
Are You Ready for the Next Week?
Given the exciting matches we’ve seen in the 1st week there are surely more to come during the upcoming weeks of the regular season. You can watch the English cast of the matches live on the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang and eGG Network Facebook pages. For the Malay cast, on the MLBB Facebook page, remember to switch your region to Malaysia. Stay tuned for more content and heart-pounding action.
The Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Professional League (MPL) is an esports league organized by Moonton (Mobile Legends’ developer) and eGG Network (a gaming and esports TV channel) for players based in Malaysia and Singapore. The league features a USD 100,000 prize pool and its purpose is to provide a platform for players to play competitively; to develop their skills and open up possibilities for a career in esports. From qualifiers to playoffs, the league will run for 5 months (November 2017 – April 2018). The regular season runs from (12 January 2018 – 11 March 2018)