Expect a lot of sparks to fly as Bren Epro and Smart Omega renew their rivalry in the conference playoffs of The Nationals Season 2 Mobile Legends: Bang Bang on Saturday.
Hostilities begin at 3 p.m., with Season 1 Finale champion Bren and runner-up Omega clashing first in the upper bracket followed by the scuffle between Laus Auto Group Playbook Esports and STI eOlympians in the lower bracket.
Stakes couldn’t get higher this time as the tournament boasts the highest prize pool in the league’s young history at P1.5 million.
Bren is still touted as the heavy favorite despite Omega’s top finish at the end of the double round robin group stage.
Omega racked up 22 points followed by Bren with 18 markers, LPE with 17 and STI with 15. Cignal Ultra Warriors and Happy Feet Emperors crashed out with 12 and six points, respectively.
Interestingly, Bren swept Omega in the eliminations, taking a 2-1 win in their first meeting and a swift 2-0 victory in their second encounter.
Bren’s hyper carry Karl Gabriel “KarlTzy” Nepomuceno even had some spicy words following their sweep of Omega in the second round wherein he used his signature Lancelot in Game 2.
“Ayoko na kasing makalaban ang mga Pinoy. Gusto ko mga taga-ibang bansa. Sobrang dali na lang dito,” said KarlTzy, a SEA Games gold medalist.
It could also be easily recalled that Bren crushed Omega, 4-2, to snag the MPL-Philippines Season 6 championship last October.
While the black and yellow squad has always been a thorn in the side of the black and green team, veteran captain and SEA Games gold winner Angelo “Pheww” Arcangel warns his teammates against complacency.
“Ang pinaka-advantage talaga namin is ‘yung confidence namin sa paglalaro and experience. Kakagaling lang namin sa championship sa MPL kaya sobrang confident kami going to The Nationals,” he said.
“(Pero) ‘wag sila magpakampante masyado. Okay lang ‘yung may confidence pero ‘wag siguro sumobra. ‘Di porket champion ka ng nakaraang tournament, mangyayari ulit ‘yun kapag inisip mo na ikaw na ang pinakamalakas.”
On the other hand, Omega is hell-bent on getting back at the team that denied them of a season sweep the last time out.
Omega ruled the two conferences only to fall short in the season finale against Bren, which during that time was composed of the Sunsparks/Aura PH standouts.
“Ngayon babawi kami sa Season 2,” said Earvin “Heath” Esperanza. “Kung kailangan namin ng bagong strategies para kayanin talaga namin sila, (gagawin namin).”
“Kung 100% kami, kaya talaga naming talunin lahat,” he added.