MANILA -- (UPDATE) Execration's entire Mobile Legends: Bang Bang team is taking its talents to Smart Omega, Smart Omega announced Monday night.
Smart Omega will be taking in Execration’s Billy Jazha “Z4pnu” Alfonso, Renz Errol “Renzio” Cadua, Kiel Vj “Kielvj” Cruzem, Grant Duane “Kelra” Pillas, Patrick James “E2MAX” Caidic, and Joshua “Ch4knu” Mangilog, under its wing, after the entire Execration squad was released late last month.
Smart Omega will also take in chief tactician Jaime “Pakbet” Abalos, and develop rookie players Robert Remar “Hito” Candoy, Dian Felix “Dian” Cruz, Dean Christian “Raizen” Sumagui, and Romeire “Allidap” Padilla.
Just last week, Smart Omega released Jiane “Kenji” Villa, Jeniel “Haze” Bata-anon, EJ “Heath” Esperanza, Salic “Hadjizy” Imam, Jankurt “KurtTzy” Matira, and Adrian “Toshi” Bacallo. Bata-anon has recently signed with Nexplay Esports, while Imam has signed with MPL7 champs Blacklist International.
Jude Turcuato, head of Sports at PLDT and Smart, said they are excited about the roster revamp.
“We are extremely excited about this development in the Smart Omega team. These young men have shown their passion, determination, and heart in their gameplay, and we are more than happy to support their growth and development in the professional esports industry,” he said.
“We would also like to thank our former players who have decided to move on with their careers. We wish them all the best,” he added.
Z4pnu thanked Smart Omega for taking them under their wing.
“Maraming salamat sa pagtanggap sa amin dito. Gagawin namin ang best namin. Para sa amin, start pa lang ito ng aming journey at pinapangako namin na gagawin naming lahat ng makakaya namin,” he said.
Smart Omega’s new roster had weathered through a Cinderella run when they were still under Execration, managing to eliminate world champs Bren Esports in Season 7 of the ML:BB Professional League en route to the grand finals, where they eventually fell to Blacklist International.
They were able to avenge their loss in the ML:BB Southeast Asia Cup via a 3-1 victory against Blacklist International in the grand finals to eventually be crowned as the kings of Southeast Asia.
Z4pnu also urged fans to support them in their new journey as Smart Omega’s wards.
“Ang message ko naman sa fans, sana suportahan niyo pa rin kami kahit may bago kaming team, sama-sama pa rin kaming lalaban sa mga tournament. At alam ko, lahat kayo nandyan. Maraming salamat,” he said.
The new Smart Omega lineup is slated to battle Blacklist International on Wednesday in an exhibition match titled “Battle of the Legends," Smart announced in a separate release Wednesday.
The new roster will be facing former Smart Omega player Hadjizy, and Blacklist’s MPL7 championship core consisting of Jonmar “OhMyV33nus” Villaluna, Dexter “DEX STAR” Alaba, Kiel “Oheb” Soriano, Danerie James “Wise” Del Rosario, Edward “EDWARD” Dapadap, Mark Jayson "ESON" Gerardo.
The match will be streamed on Smart’s official Facebook page.