MPL Philippines Season 9 Playoffs: Six players you should look out for

·6-min read
These are the six players you should be watching in the Mobile Legends Professional League Philippines Season 9 Playoffs. (Photos: MPL Philippines)
These are the six players you should be watching in the Mobile Legends Professional League Philippines Season 9 Playoffs. (Photos: MPL Philippines)

The Mobile Legends Professional League (MPL) Philippines Season 9 Playoffs are almost upon us.

With Season 8 champions Blacklist International out of the playoff picture, a new champion will be crowned from among the six teams still in the hunt for the title.

But as with any stage, as the spotlights get brighter, the pressure gets tougher.

Some players crumble under such pressure, but others are able to rise to the occasion and lead their teams to victory. The latter are the players who command attention and should be watched in any tournament.

Here are the six players, one from each team in the playoffs, you should be looking out for.

RSG Philippines (RSG) - Dylan "Light" Catipon

(Photo: RSG Philippines)
(Photo: RSG Philippines)

Role: Roamer

Favorite Heroes: Chou, Franco, Khufra

RSG’s newest acquisition has proven his worth throughout the regular season.

Light led RSG in assists with 223 and boasted impressive win rates with his Franco (83%), Chou (80%), and Khufra (75%). He also led RSG in Game MVP awards with 6.

Light’s impressive performance throughout the regular season paid off as he was awarded the MPL PH Season 9 Regular Season MVP Award.

The MVP’s constant harassment of enemy junglers and timely sets during team fights helped lead RSG to an impressive 11-3 finish in the regular season, including a seven-match winning streak where RSG beat every other team in the league.

Expect Light to continue to set the tone for RSG’s ganks and help enable Eman “EMANN” Sangco and Jonard Cedrix “Demonkite” Caranto’s farms as they continue their journey through the playoffs.

TNC Pro Team (TNC) - Ben "Benthings" Maglaque

(Photo: TNC Benthings Facebook page)
(Photo: TNC Benthings Facebook page)

Role: Roamer

Favorite Heroes: Chou, Franco, Jawhead

As the saying goes, “Let Benthings do Ben things.”

TNC’s new team captain relished and made the most out of the opportunity he was given after Dylan "Light" Catipon’s departure from the team, which moved Benthings to the starting lineup.

As one of the two remaining veterans in the squad, Benthings steered TNC’s young crew towards unexpected success, finishing with a 9-5 record and securing a spot in the upper bracket of the playoffs.

During games, his calming presence kept TNC focused on taking objectives, with TNC leading the league in turtle kills (2.0) and finishing third in lords slain (1.41). He also finished second in MVP voting behind his former teammate, Light.

Only time will tell if TNC can continue their regular season magic in the playoffs with a relatively new core, but Benthings has definitely set up his team for continued success.

ECHO Esports (ECHO) - Karl "KarlTzy" Gabriel Nepomuceno

(Photo: KarlTzy Facebook page)
(Photo: KarlTzy Facebook page)

Role: Jungler

Favorite Heroes: Helcurt, Lancelot, Ling

The M2 World Championship Finals MVP continued to show throughout the regular season that he is still one of the best junglers in the world.

After departing BREN Esports for more consistent playing time, KarlTzy found a home in ECHO and picked up where he left off.

KarlTzy spearheaded ECHO’s hyper-aggressive playstyle, which led the team to finish first in kills per game (14.80), assists per game (33.57), and first blood rate (83%). He also finished second in individual kills throughout the league with 146, trailing only ONIC’s Kairi "Kairi" Ygnacio Rayosdelsol.

While ECHO finished with a strong 8-3 record through Week 6, the team lost its final three games and settled for a third-place finish in the regular season.

Look for KarlTzy to bring ECHO back to their winning ways with his world-class performances in the playoffs.

Nexplay EVOS (NXPE) - Jeniel "YellyHaze" Bata-Anon

(Photo: YellyHaze Facebook page)
(Photo: YellyHaze Facebook page)

Role: Mid Laner

Favorite Heroes: Selena, Xavier, Yve

A team with multiple newcomers require veterans willing to steady the ship, especially more so with team that regularly shuffle their roster. And veteran leadership is precisely what YellyHaze provided for NXPE during the regular season.

As a player who has been in MPL PH since its inception, YellyHaze has been a part of championship-winning rosters. His experience and consistent play helped lead NXPE to a fourth-place finish in the regular season.

He finished first in total kills (67) and assists (160) for NXPE while also serving as one of the mentors for the newcomers, bringing stability to an ever-shuffling roster.

Expect YellyHaze to be a staple in NXPE’s lineups as they look to make some noise in the playoffs.

Onic Philippines (ONIC) - Kairi "Kairi" Ygnacio Rayosdelsol

(Photo: Kairi Facebook page)
(Photo: Kairi Facebook page)

Role: Jungler

Favorite Heroes: Lancelot, Ling, Paquito

Fresh off of a finals appearance in the M3 World Championships, ONIC continued where they left off in MPL PH with Kairi leading the charge.

ONIC’s hyper carry led the entire league in total kills (168) and also had a team-leading 6 Game MVP awards for the season. He also finished third in average kills per game in the league (4.54).

While ONIC finished fifth in the standings, they did have a respectable 8-6 match record.

In the playoffs, where only match wins matter, look for Kairi to dazzle the crowd and style on his opponents as they claw their way back to the finals.

Smart Omega Esports Philippines (OMG) - Patrick "E2MAX" James Caidic

(Photo: E2MAX Facebook page)
(Photo: E2MAX Facebook page)

Role: Mid Laner

Favorite Heroes: Cecilion, Valir, Xavier

OMG goes into the playoffs with a three-game winning streak thanks to E2MAX’s Week 8 performance that won him MVP honors.

"Titomax" led his team in total Game MVP awards (6) and finished second in kill participation (22%).

His amazing plays with Xavier proved pivotal as they fended off Blacklist International (BLCK) in their final game of the regular season to book OMG a spot in the Season 9 playoffs.

It remains to be seen whether E2MAX’s performance carries over into the playoffs, but OMG is certainly riding high off the momentum they gained towards the end of the regular season because of their veteran mid laner.

The MPL PH Season 9 playoffs begin on 28 April 2022 with a best-of-five match between ECHO and OMG, followed by a best-of-five match between NXPE and ONIC. For a full preview of the six teams in the playoffs, check here.

The starting bracket for the MPL Philippines Season 9 Playoffs. (Photo: MPL Philippines)
The starting bracket for the MPL Philippines Season 9 Playoffs. (Photo: MPL Philippines)

The Season 9 playoffs will run from 28 April to 1 May, ending with a best-of-seven grand final.

The champions will receive the lion’s share of US$35,000 out of the US$150,000 total prize pool. In addition, the best player in the grand finals will receive a Finals MVP award and an extra US$1,000 prize.

The two finalists will also automatically qualify for the MLBB Southeast Asia Cup 2022, which will be held from 11 to 19 June with a US$300,000 prize pool.

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