The inaugural season of MPL Singapore may be over. But the battle for domination in the Land of Dawn is just heating up, with the stakes set to go up a couple of notches in the coming months.
MPL SG’s top two of EVOS SG and RSG SG will get to test their skills against the best MLBB players in the region (and possibly the world) as they feature in the prestigious MLBB Southeast Asia Cup (MSC) 2021, which will run from June 7 to 13.
But while much of the focus will be on the creme de la creme of MLBB in Singapore, the nation’s MLBB community will also have much to look out for.
MLBB teams who missed the cut in the maiden Singapore league will have another chance to prove their worth in the PVP Esports Regional Championships Season 3 qualifiers. It is here where they will be able to earn their slots to MPL SG Season 2, scheduled for Q3 this year.
And if the first season is anything to go by, expect thrills, spills, rookies to emerge, veterans to prove why they are still the ones to beat and plenty of meme-worthy MLBB action.
For those who didn’t catch all the action in MPL SG Season 1, here’s a quick recap of key moments.
A clash of two MLBB titans
Credit: MPL SG
It was an el clásico that started MPL SG, and it was probably apt that it also marked the finale of the inaugural season.
EVOS SG vs RSG SG – there must have been a reason why organisers picked the matchup to start the season on April 3. EVOS SG won the match 2-1 and would go on to live up to their pre-tournament favourites tag, sharing the top spot after the regular before sweeping all before them to the Grand Finals.
RSG SG on the other hand, had an uncharacteristically poor regular season and could only climb to the fifth position out of 8 teams. But they upped their game in the playoffs and steamrolled past their opponents in the lower bracket to earn a re-match against EVOS SG in the May 9 Grand Finals.
But the hope of revenge quickly disappeared with EVOS SG taking a 3-0 win.
However, the 3-0 scoreline doesn’t do the match justice. The match was anything but a wash. RSG SG threw everything and the kitchen sink at EVOS SG, resulting in the first two matches at an RSG-EVOS 12-13 and a 13-15 scoreline in-game, always with EVOS barely scraping ahead in the late game and taking the win.
RSG’s strategy of drafting strong early-game champions like Lapu Lapu and Chou was ultimately not enough against EVOS’ composure as they waited the game out, only taking trades where necessary and finally taking game after game when RSG’s power waned.
In the end, RSG seemed to lose all semblance of steam after those two close losses and EVOS was able to take that final game in a mere 12 minutes; hoisting the inaugural MPL SG trophy.
A new legend is arising
Credit: MPL SG
They may be new to the scene, but Kingsmen were the only team that came so close to upsetting Singapore’s MLBB royalty of EVOS and RSG.
The upstart, Kingsmen were only formed this year. Even then they dealt EVOS their only defeat of the entire MPL SG Season, a 2-1 loss in Week 2 of the regular season.
Although they failed to make the Grand Finals, Kingsmen have a few things they can be proud of and build on.
The lack of experience in higher-stakes situations like the Playoffs may have been a key factor to their quick exit. This could be especially seen during their final match against RSG when they opted for a 4-Mage strategy as a last-ditch effort to catch RSG by surprise. RSG veterans, Jason and ly4ly4ly4 were no strangers to such a strategy and with one swift move 2 minutes into the game; stealing OhDeerBambi’s jungle creeps and invalidating the entire strategy completely.
Building up confidence and being able to withstand pressure will be critical in ensuring that such an episode would not happen again. But we have confidence that they will bounce back from this setback stronger than ever.
Will they be able to topple the Goliaths of RSG and EVOS next season? We can’t wait to find out.
A Drama-filled Scene
Credit: MPL SG
A brief look into the post-match interviews from MPL SG will show much history of the rivalries between teams. Veteran players from the MYSG scene have brought their A-game in terms of trash-talking. Kingsmen’s OhDeerBambi hit hard at EVOS SG when they first beat them in the regular season, which only served as a catalyst for Soul’s eventual return into the roster.
EVOS SG’s eventual victory against Kingsmen was so satisfying for Soul that he slammed down the headset upon winning the game. The resultant interview with JPL. followed to be a spicy one indeed.
While we were denied a final clash between KGM and EVOS, we can always look forward to a lot more drama when the next season rolls along.
Credit: Cathay Cineplexes
Just as the Singapore league was about to reach its climax, the playoffs viewing parties at the cinemas were abruptly cancelled when stricter COVID-19 measures in Singapore came into effect on the very same MPL SG finale weekend. It was one bad and unexpected coincidence for fans, who had no choice but to turn back to their own devices to catch the livestream. It may have been a huge disappointment, but as always, safety comes first in this pandemic climate as the party goes back on, albeit online.
With a new official MLBB professional league to call its own, there is much excitement in Singapore’s esports scene as a new arena has been built for Singapore players to compete in. For many players, the split of the combined Singapore and Malaysia MLBB professional league (MPL MYSG) will mean more Singapore teams can compete. Merdeka (independence) has been great.