With the PVP Regional Corporate League Mobile Legends Finals heading to Singapore Comic Con in December, we took the time to chat with the two teams who battled their way through the qualifiers to make the cut.
Mobile Legends: Bang Bang is one of the biggest mobile MOBAs (multiplayer online battle arenas) around. Taking the hero-vs-hero format and condensing it to a phone or tablet screen, it places a significant emphasis on teamwork, coordination and nailing your role.
While the game has been pared back to make the genre work in the mobile format, it's still a highly sophisticated game of pushing lanes, taking towers, invading jungles and eventually destroying your enemy's base. And, of course, there's plenty of ganking.
One team who loves to gank is Xavier, headed by team captain Xavier Aegon. Joined by Bumpy, Simbaaa, RACS, Meldi and substitute Nevermind, they dropped just a single game during the qualifiers.
And while they now slay together like a well-oiled machine, it was pure luck that saw their team form in the first place.
"Xavier was formed about 10 months ago," said Xavier Aegon. "[We] first gathered by accident at the office, we formed a team just to fill in our free time when we were on a break at work. Though we started by chance, we are committed to wanting to be pro-players in MLBB. During downtime in the office and on weekends we constantly take part in tournaments to hone our skills."
Their opponents are the real deal, too. RealPage Esports didn't drop a single game during the qualifiers, showing time and time again just how tough they were to deal with. Captained by Sincross, they also rely on the efforts of Ranveigh, Zenrats, Yui, Yuehtsu and Jeffongkzzz.
"There are a lot of employees in RealPage who are really engaged in playing Mobile Legends," Sincross explained when we asked how they came together. "So when we saw the advertisement for the [tournament], our company gathered all the players to attend try-outs. Then the top 6 participated in the [PVP Esports Corporate League].
Because it's a corporate league, both teams were formed by workmates — RealPage Esports work at Filipino software house RealPage together, while Xavier is made up of colleagues from Indonesian construction company Waskita Karya.
Now both teams are heading to Singapore to compete against one another, and it's clear they're excited.
"It will be very interesting," said Xavier Aegon. "This is our first experience playing outside of Indonesia, and we'll have the added pressure of being the only Indonesian representatives [at the competition]."
"Being one of the teams to participate in the Regional Qualifier was an amazing experience for us already," Sincross said. "But being one of the teams in the Regional Finals at Singapore Comic Con is really a great moment for us to treasure."
Who to watch
Neither team expects it to be a cakewalk — but they're not counting themselves out just yet either. When we asked about the most reliable player on Xavier, their captain kept things diplomatic.
"All of Xavier's players are the strongest at their individual roles," said Xavier Aegon. "So whoever is our opponent must be careful not to underestimate us."
RealPage has a more pointed outlook.
"We are all doing our best to make the team one of the best ever," Sincross explained. "But there is one member of our team who is really great, and that is none other than Ranveigh."
Xavier's strength in the qualifiers was their team fight — their ability to know when to pull the trigger, come together and battle as a group. It swung momentum their way several times. RealPage Esports relied more on early pressure to build an insurmountable lead, using early picks to dominate the map and force their enemies to make mistakes.
Because both teams had such a strong showing in the qualifiers, they're both staying measured before the Finals.
"Battling against Xavier is very exciting but very challenging as well," said Sincross. "Because they are a strong team, we need to do a lot more practice than before."
"They're a very strong team, we'll need a good strategy if we're going to try to beat Realpage," said Xavier Aegon.
Both teams are taking the tournament very seriously and it's tough to tell who will take it away on the day. If you want to know who walks away the victor, you'll just have to tune in on December 7, when PVP Esports @ Singapore Comic Con begins at Marina Bay Sands.
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