MANILA - TNC Pro Team mid-laner Joemarie "Escalera" Delos Santos was hailed the best rookie of Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Professional League Season 9, the league announced Friday.
Escalera earned the most cumulative points with 38, followed by teammates EXP-laner Mark "Kramm" Genzon Rustana (35), and gold laner Robee Bryan "Yasuwo" Pormocille (10)
In an interview with reporters last Saturday after advancing into the MPL - Philippines Season 9 playoffs, Escalera said his motivation to play hard was fueled by his father getting sick.
"Binuhay niya po ako na mabuting tao atsaka, hindi niya po ako ginutom. Tapos nung na-stroke po siya para sa'kin parang hindi ko na siya pababayaan - sila ni mama at si papa," said Escalera, whose in-game name stemmed from his former roots as a jeepney driver.
Escalera racked 212 assists throughout the season, averaging 4.82 dimes per game.
Escalera was known to have started his career in amateur squad ArkAngel, shining in his Season 9 debut for TNC Pro Team.
TNC placed 3rd in MPL-Philippines Season 9 after a sweep by eventual Grand Finalists Omega Esports in the lower bracket finals.