While other teams were busy revamping their rosters with rookies during the offseason, some teams kept their hearts intact ahead of the MPL Season 9 action.
These are the teams that have performed well or exceeded expectations over the past season. For them, minor tweaks could serve as a key to taking the MPL PH S9 crown.
Kingslayers is back for S9
Departures: Iy4knu (S9 break)
Additions: Light, Kousei
Led by MPL PH S8 Best Rookie Jhonard “Demonkite” Caranto, many thought RSG Philippines would earn a playoff spot in their first season in the league.
Earning the league’s Kingslayers label, RSG showed they could compete with the best after knocking out Onic Philippines, Omega Esports and Bren Esports in the regular season.
With strong additions in Dylan “Light” Catipon and Clarense “Kousei” Camillo, RSG only got better in their second season in the league. The team even performed well in the off-season, highlighted by an impressive run in the top bracket in Sibol qualifying where they beat Omega and Onic along the way.
Christian “Iy4knu” Manaog, who is taking a break from S9, was the only victim of their intact squad which featured a perfect blend of youth in Demonkite and Nathanael “Nathzz” Crisologo and experience in the likes of EJ “Heath” Esperanza and Kenneth “Kenji Villa.
If everything falls into place, RSG might have a legitimate chance to kill the kings in S9.
Can Omega finally get over the hump?
Departures: Hito, Drian
Additions: Amethyst, Overplayed
Omega Esports has been up there with the top predators in the league, but it just couldn’t find that last push to finally win it all.
With a core intact that included the same crew that won the MLBB Southeast Asia Cup for Execration last year, the team is finally looking to get over the hump and give Billy “Z4pnu” Alfonso his first-ever MPL trophy in S9.
Key amateur-scene pickups Jhonville “OUTPLAYED” Villar and Jefferson “Amethyst” Santos and the rumored return of Kielvj “Kielvj” Hernandez to the top five could be the missing piece to solve the puzzle.
However, that will be easier said than done, especially if the bump the team tried to overcome was the same team that knocked them out twice, in the last two seasons – their rival, Blacklist International.
Will it finally be Onic time in S9
Additions: Bluffzy (assistant coach), Trebor (assistant coach)
It’s hard to change a formation that has dominated the world stage like Onic Philippines did in the U3 World Championship. Outside of the Grand Finals loss to Blacklist, Onic completely destroyed every opponent he faced in M3, even the contenders for it.
Onic features the same terrific line-up he had in S8 and M3 and yet the team continues to find ways to improve for the upcoming season. Adding the coaching minds of Trebor and Bluffzy to the already brilliant Denver coach “Yebmaester” Miranda would certainly add new flavor to the team’s patented Banana Split strategy.
After a solid performance in M3, Kairi “Kairi” Rayosdelsol is surely brimming with confidence heading into S9. It would also be interesting to see how the rest of the league reacts to the duo of Allen “Baloyskie” Baloy and Jaylord “Hatred” Gonzales.
After two heartbreaking second places last year, will it finally be Onic’s time this season?
The three peat and the new shade of BLCK
Departures: Wise (S9 break), OhmyV33nus (S9 break)
Additions: Kevier, Master the Basics (assistant coach)
After a dominating run last year that culminated in the M3 World Championship and MPL S7 and S8 titles, it’s hard to imagine Blacklist International will pay without its key players in Jonmar “OhmyV33nus” Villaluna and Danerie “Wise” Del. Rosario this season. .
The void left by V33wise’s absence may be a huge hole to fill, but the two-time MPL champions have shown they’re up for the challenge and have some tricks up their sleeves for their three-way bid. rounds.
All eyes will be on his new jungler Kent “Kevier” Lopez who should take Blacklist to the next level with his Assassin picks. Renowned content creator Aniel “MASTER THE BASICS” Jiandani also joins the reigning champions as an assistant coach.
Blacklist remained a contender with the MVP trio of Kiel “Oheb” Soriano, Edward “EDWARD” Dapadap and new captain Salic “Hadji” Imam still in the fold. Veteran player Jayson “Eson” Gerardo is also reprising his top five roles as he seeks to secure leadership in OhmyV33nus’ absence.
The Blacklist may be an entirely different team right now, but they still have the target in mind. Coach Kristoffer “Bon Chan” Ricaplaza and his wards will have to dig deep to defend the crown against the rest of the league.
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