Bren Esports will have its hands full right in the group stage when it seeks to defend its title in the MPL Philippines Season 7 set to fire off on March 19.
As the reigning champion, Bren is set to go up against Onic PH (Season 6 fourth place finisher), Aura PH (5th-6th), Cignal Ultra (7th-8th) and Work Auster Force (Season 7qualifier) in Group A, which could be considered as the “Group of Death”.
Aura (formerly Sunsparks), the first and only back-to-back MPL-PH champion team so far, is out to reclaim the crown with a revamped roster featuring former Cignal core Jaymark “Hadess” Lazaro and ex-Execration sidelaner Benedict “Bennyqt” Gonzales.
The team also secured the services of former Smart Omega coach and national esports team Sibol mentor Steven “DaleDalus” Vitug as its strategic coach to complement coach Michael Angelo “Arcadia” Bocado.
Two-time runner-up Onic is also eager to break through this season, albeit without its longtime captain-support Johnmar “OhMyV33NUS” Villaluna and carry Danerie James “Wise” Del Rosario, who both moved to Blacklist International.
Onic got former Execration core Jaylord “Hate” Gonzales and ex-Blacklist carry Kairi “Kairi” Rayosdelsol as replacements while tapping analyst-caster Caisam “Wolf” Nopueto to help coach Kyle “Ryo” Berceño, a member of the Season 3 titlist ArkAngel.
Cignal went through lineup changes as well, replacing Hadess and Vail “tsujin” Alejo with Janus “Janus” Badando and ex-Blacklist standout Arvie “AQUA” Calderon while adding ex-ArkAngel tank Jeff “Kekedot” Mogol as back-up.
For its part, the Daniel “Chuuu” Chu-led Work Auster Force made it to Moonton’s professional league after a perfect six-game run in the main qualifiers.
But Bren remains as the heavy favorite to hoist the title after keeping its M2 Mobile Legends World Championship winning squad intact.
M2 Grand Finals MVP Karl “KarlTzy” Nepomuceno, Angelo “Pheww” Arcangel, CJ “Ribo” Ribo, Allan “Lusty” Castromayor, David “FlapTzy” Canon and sixth man EJ “Ejhay” Sambrano will look to maintain their dominance in the local league.
Two-time world champion coach Francis “Duckeyyy” Glindro will be aided by Paulo “Pauloxpert” Munsayac, who was part of Gosu which played in M1.
Meanwhile, Season 6 runner-up and M2 participant Omega will take on Execration (Season 6 third place finisher), Blacklist International (5th-6th), Nexplay Solid (7th-8th) and Laus Playbook Esports (qualifier) in Group B.
The MPL-PH Season 7’s eight-week group stage will start on March 19, followed by the first playoffs weekend on May 29-30 then the second playoffs weekend which includes the best-of-seven Grand Finals on June 5-6.