Winning the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang title in the Philippine pro scene proved elusive for coach John Michael "Zico" Dizon.
Packing his bags and traveling to Cambodia, the former Nexplay EVOS tactician plunged himself into a different culture, and environment as he suited up as Burn x Flash's head coach.
For Zico, it was a good way to prove his doubters wrong.
"Sobrang importante sa 'ming manalo kasi gusto ko patunayan sarili ko [mula] sa mga nagda-doubt. Kasi sobrang daming tao na nag-doubt sa 'kin noong nasa Nexplay pa ako," Zico said in a virtual conference with Filipino esports media, Tuesday morning (almost noon in Manila.)
"Ngayon, gusto ko patunayan sa kanila na kaya ko magpa-champion ng isang team, which is nagawa ko na and sobrang proud ako sa sarili ko."
It was a statement for Coach Zico as the first team to send SeeYouSoon out of finals contention in MPL Cambodia's brief tenure, and booking a finals showdown with another breakout team, Logic Esports.
In the grand finals, Burn x Flash reached match point after two quick wins, before Logic Esports drew Game 3, which Zico assumed responsibility for.
"Ang play ng Logic is nagfa-fast clear sila. And lugi kami kung magdadalawang core kami which is 'yun ang nangyari. Binaog nila si Celichma, binaog nila si Hesa [sa kills]. Dun kami natalo, so after niyan bumalik kami sa tank na core kasi ang hirap pag kinlose nila 'yung dalawa wala, kailangan namin si Hesa lang ang hard-carry," Zico said.
Logic Esports even went close to drawing match point until Burn x Flash pulled the rug from under them. At the time, he was already trying to mentally condition himself for a possible comeback loss against Logic.
"Naghahanda na rin ako in case na matalo. Sobrang hirap din if matalo kami noon. Feel ko matatalo kami buong series kasi mawawala 'yung morale nila as a team kahit sabihin natin na i-cheer up natin sila. Iba pa rin kasi 'yung talagang feeling na manalo," Zico said.
Burn x Flash enjoys the privilege of being the first ML:BB team to qualify for the world championships to be held in Jakarta, Indonesia in January.
With the longer break, as other teams all over the world continue to fight for their slots to the global ML:BB stage, they will waste no time and continue practicing.
"Ngayon, focus kami muna magpa-practice kami. Ayoko lang mag-participate lang sa M4. Gusto ko manalo kami."