Filipino powerhouse ECHO have been crowned as the new Mobile Legends (MLBB) world champions after they soundly swept fellow Filipinos Blacklist International, 4-0, in the best-of-seven grand finals of the M4 World Championship on Sunday (15 January).
With their victory, ECHO became the third Filipino team to claim the MLBB world championship title in consecutive years as well as M4's grand prize of US$300,000.
Meanwhile, defending champions Blacklist International failed to secure back-to-back titles but will end their commendable run in second place and with US$120,000 in consolation.
The two Filipino squads dominated M4's Group Stage and Knockout Stage before their first encounter in the upper bracket finals.
Blacklist International outlasted ECHO in a 3-2 thriller to become the first team in the grand finals. ECHO then routed RRQ Hoshi, 3-1, to force a rematch with Blacklist International for the world championship title.
ECHO came out swinging to start the finals, cruising to a 2-0 series lead after back-to-back 14-minute stomps.
Game three was an even more one-sided affar, as ECHO pulled out a ballsy Gusion pick for midlaner Alston "Sanji" Pabico en route to a 23-10 victory in just under 14 minutes of action. Sanji notably led his team to match point with nine kills and eight assists against two deaths.
Blacklist International put up a better fight in a 17-minute game four, but ECHO could not be denied as they secured the 4-0 finals sweep and claim the world championship title.
With ECHO raising the M4 trophy, jungler Karl "KarlTzy" Nepomuceno became the first-ever two-time MLBB world champion. He won his first title with Bren Esports in the M2 World Championship back in 2021.
ECHO's victory punctuates the Philippines' continued dominance over the MLBB esports scene. They are now the third Filipino team in consecutive years to claim the world title, joining Blacklist International in 2022 and Bren Esports in 2021.
M4's grand finals is also the second-straight world championship finals to be an all-Filipino affair. Last year's tournament featured Blacklist International and ONIC Philippines, with the former claiming the title after a 4-0 sweep.
The M4 World Championship was held in Jakarta, Indonesia from 1 to 15 January, and featured 16 of the best MLBB teams in the world competing to claim the world championship title as well as the lion's share of the US$800,000 prize pool.
The M4 Knockout Stage was held from 7 to 15 January in the Tennis Indoor Stadium Senayan.
For everything you need to know about the M4 World Championship, check here.
ECHO M4 roster:
Sanford "Sanford" Vinuya
Karl "KarlTzy" Nepomuceno
Alston "Sanji" Pabico
Benedict "Bennyqt" Gonzales
Tristan "YAWI" Cabrera
Blacklist International M4 roster:
Edward "EDWARD" Dapadap
Danerie "Wise" Rosario
Salic "Hadji" Imam
Kiel "OHEB" Soriano
Jonmar "OhMyV33NUS" Villaluna