Executing the funnel strategy remained the ultimate key to victory for most teams in the sixth week of the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Pro League-Philippines (MPL-PH).
This was evident from the matches despite the huge changes from the Project NEXT update, particularly the introduction of EXP and gold lanes, and the new mechanic in jungling.
Smart Omega was first to prove that the 1-3-1 meta is still trusted in ML when it tarnished Bren Esports' record via a sweep last Friday.
Omega prioritized the power spike of Salic "Hadjizy" Imam's hyper-carry Ling to rip apart league leader Bren, which apparently reacted to the new patch.
They did it once more in another sweep against Cignal Ultra on Saturday, albeit this time, it was sidelaner Adrian "Toshi" Caballo's moment to shine on his Esmeralda and Freya.
"Naisip ko kasi na if 'di kami mag-1-3-1, after 'nung 3:30 minutes effective na kaya ang jungler? Ano na next step? Stick pa rin ba sa nasimulan?" Omega coach Steven "Daledalus" Vitug pointed out in an online interview with the Manila Bulletin.
(I realized that if we did not do the 1-3-1, will the jungler be effective after the 3:30 minutes? What's the next step? Will we stick to what we started?)
"Parang nasa isip ko kasi na mas mabilis mag-execute ng laro kung mag-stick kami sa 1-3-1. Mas mabilis ang pera ng position 4 at two fighters and masusulit namin 'yung mask ng tank. In short, para pantay lahat ng pera nila," he added
(I thought that it's faster to execute our play if we stick to the 1-3-1. The gold gain of the position 4 and the two fighters will be faster and we'll make the most out of the tank's mask. In short, it's for their net worth to stay equal.)
Vitug also stressed that it is difficult to adjust to a new patch, especially with Project NEXT being dropped just three days before the start of the sixth week.
Last season's runner-up Onic PH also stuck to the funnel strategy in its sweep over BSB, with Danerie James "Wise" Del Rosario's Yi Sun-Shin having a smooth rotation on the mid lane and the jungle before taking over the game.
Same goes with two-time champion Aura PH's victory at the expense of Blacklist International, as both teams decided to retain the funnel tactic.
Bren went back to the longstanding strat to claim a clean 2-0 victory against Nexplay Solid last Sunday.
Only Execration managed to be successful with a new setup as it trampled on Blu Fire and Onic.
Billy "Z4pnu" Alfonso's crew went for a 2-1-2 laning and even had a double marksman lineup in their second game against Onic.
Vitug said the funnel strategy remains effective for now until the teams discover another meta-shaping way to win.
"For me, effective pa siya (funnel) right now since kaka-patch lang and hindi ganun katagal nalalaro. Baka in the future kami o 'yung ibang teams may maimbento bukod sa 1-3-1 strat."
(For me, it is still effective right now since the patch was released just recently. Maybe in the future, our team or the others will invent besides the 1-3-1.)