RSG, Echo PH complete MPL playoff lineup; Blacklist still top seed after sweep of Omega
MANILA (2ND UPDATE) —Bren Esports were eliminated from playoff contention in Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Season 8, after falling 2-0 to Echo Philippines, who punched the 5th slot in the playoffs.
This is the first time Bren is missing the playoffs since entering the league as Aether Main in the league's inaugural season.
With the loss, Onic Philippines needed to sweep RSG Philippines in their next matchup. But RSG were quick to take Game 1 against Onic, giving them enough points to lock the final playoff slot.
It was a crucial match for Echo, coming off a rebrand as the league shifted to a franchise-based setup, as a sweep by Bren would've meant elimination.
Echo put on a clinic in Game 1, capping it off with wipe-out and a lord take in the 12:29 mark, giving the defending world champs the added pressure to draw first blood a few minutes later.
Bren held off Jaymark Aaron "Hadess" Tomas Lazaro's Lancelot in the early game, but Benedict "Bennyqt" A. Gonzales's Alice came through to secure the playoff slot.
Echo and Smart Omega are now tied with 19 points, followed by RSG Philippines, who may end the day with 17 to 19 points, depending on the result against Onic. Bren will finish their campaign at 7th place with 14 points.
Bren made waves in January after copping the M2 world championship in Singapore, shocking Burmese Ghouls en route to the title.
But things have gone south for them since then, as they ended their playoff campaign in Season 7 at 4th place, and struggled to pick up the pace in Season 8, where at one point they became the league's cellar-dwellers after losing their first 3 matches.
They picked up steam by winning 4 straight to place 5th in the league rankings, a move head coach Francis "Duckeyyy" Glindro earlier attributed to some measures they've done to improve team chemistry to keep the players at bay as they remained cooped up at boot camp during the pandemic.
However, they fell against 7th seed Smart Omega in a shocking 2-0 sweep on October 3 that placed them on the brink of elimination, as league rankings remained tight between them and four other squads.
"Maraming maraming salamat sa mga sumuporta we would like to apologize for letting you guys down, we will recover from this. Bren lang muna. Tanggalin lang muna natin ang malakas," Duckeyyy said, taking cue from their "Bren lang Malakas" battlecry.
Meanwhile, Blacklist International swept Smart Omega 2-0, weathering a long Game 1 matchup and banking on a surprise Bane pick by Danerie "Wise" Del Rosario.
With the MPL shifting to a franchise-based setting, only 6 teams qualify into the playoffs, as the top 2 secure a slot in Round 2 of the upper bracket playoffs.
Blacklist International, Onic, Smart Omega, Echo, Nexplay EVOS, and RSG Philippines will duke it out in the playoffs to be held later this month.
Bren will face defending Philippine champs Blacklist International in their last season matchup Sunday.