MANILA - Smart Omega Esports will release its entire Mobile Legends: Bang Bang roster, the team announced Friday, being the second team post-ML:BB Professional League Season 7 (MPL 7) to release its entire squad after MPL 7 runner-up Execration in June.
Departing with Jiane “Kenji” Villa, Jeniel “Haze” Bata-anon, EJ “Heath” Esperanza, Salic “Hadjizy” Imam, Jankurt “KurtTzy” Matira, and Adrian “Toshi” Bacallo means they will be pursuing their ML:BB careers elsewhere, as MPL Season 8 approaches.
“We are proud that we were a huge part of your growth as a professional athlete. We fully understand that in order for an athlete and an organization to grow further, a huge change in the environment is necessary, in which we support everyone's decision for this change wholeheartedly,” the team said in a statement Friday evening.
Smart Omega thanked their wards for their efforts with the squad, pairing it with a tribute video.
"Thank you for being our family and friend for all these years. Good luck on your journey! Don't forget that we'll always be your family," they added.
The decorated squad, of which included two representatives in 2019’s SEA Games, were Season 6’s silver finishers, next to Bren Esports.
They were also one of the country’s representatives in the M2 championships in Singapore earlier this year, finishing at 5th to 6th after falling in the playoffs.
Entering Season 7 with a new coach and lineup change, they wound up in the upper bracket playoffs - but were eliminated after losses against Aura PH and Execration, respectively.