It wasn’t the dominant run that Lyceum of the Philippines University had in the inaugural season of the Collegiate Center of Esports, but the Pirates remained kings in the Land of Dawn nonetheless.
The Pirates ruled the second season of the CCE Mobile Legends Bang Bang tournament following a masterclass, reverse sweep in the grand finale of the season against the Letran Cyberknights in four games last Saturday at the Mall of Asia Music Hall.
“Lagi kong sinasabi sa team ko na kahit kami nag-champion sa season one, kailangan alisin namin sa utak ‘yun para hindi kami makampente,” Lyceum team captain Paul “Fae” Huang said after ruling the tournament presented by Galaxy Racer and Smart, with SM Mall of Asia, Cyberzone, Legion by Lenovo, Mountain Dew, Hawk Bags, Fantech, Huawei AppGallery as sponsors, and MPL-Philippines serving as an official partner.
“Pumasok kami sa season 2 na ‘to na hindi iniisip na kami ang malakas, na lahat ng makakalaban namin rerespetuhin namin, so hayun ang pinaka-importanteng mindset para sa amin,” he added.
Unlike their first season, the Pirates had to grind through the lower bracket before being bested by the Cyberknights in the first game of the finals, sending doubts into the minds of the Lyceum faithful.
Behind the newly-buffed Carmilla of Kurt “Xeero” Pugao, who finished with a 7-1-14 KDA, and the damage of Jade “ImbaDeeJade” Mercado’s Beatrix which amassed a whooping 121,713 damage dealt in the game, Letran took the first game and was poised to continue its mastery over the Pirates.
But that was the last time the Pirates stumbled as the now two-time season MVP Mark Kenneth “Mark” Delos Reyes started stamping his class against the Cyberknights to swing the favor their way.
Seeing how the Carmilla – Beatrix combo blasted them in game one, Lyceum stole those two heroes from Letran with Mark taking Carmilla (3-0-7) and Remarch “LUST” Eusebio playing the deadly marksman for an MVP performance following a 7-0-5 outing and lead Lyceum to a breezy game two win.
Letran tried to go ahead in the third game as they finally banned the Carmilla hero, and up until the second lord-take of the game, they looked like they were going to go ahead.
But Mark, playing Akai as Lyceum’s main jungler, secured two crucial kills while winning the retribution war against Xeero to turn the tide around in the 13th minute of the game.
By the time the third lord came, there was no stopping Lust’s Brody and Fae’s Valentina as they got the wipeout soon after winning the battle for the crucial objective to win the third game.
It was a mere formality for the Pirates in the final game as it was Ralph “Alas” Araz’ Khufra and Fae’s Xavier who gave Letran fits, with Alas joining hands with Merlin “Merl1n” Lintan’s Pacquito and Mark’s Martis in the frontline—allowing Fae, their team captain, to kite the bulkier opponents from the back, resulting to a 7-0-13 MVP performance to wrap up the series for Lyceum.
“Naging mindset lang namin, reset lang. Inalis namin sa utak namin ‘yung game one na walang nangyari, ‘di natalo, and then at the same time nirespeto namin ‘yung kalaban kaya sa tingin ko napunta samin ‘yung panalo,” Fae continued.
Aside from Mark, Lyceum’s other members were recognized for their brilliance, with Alas being named the best tank of the season for his splendid role at position five and Merl1n being named the best exp laner.
Letran’s mid-laner in Mark “Choco Mael O” Arellano got a consolation after winning the best support while Arellano’s Zhyrence “Rence” Assistin was named the best marksman of the tournament, winning the best gold laner.
With another successful season, CCE president Stanley Lao and commissioner Waiyip Chong are grateful for how the tournament has grown as it has partnered up with the giants of Esports like the MPL, and Huawei—with all the players playing in brand new Huawei Nova 10 pros in the finals.
“I’m really ecstatic with the turnout of Season 2. I’m very happy seeing how all schools prepared for this tournament, everyone definitely improved but at the end of the day, it’s still Lyceum,” said Lao.