Aura PH rebrands to Echo for MPL Season 8, Jaypee retires

Published July 13, 2021, 9:57 PM

by Jeremiah Sevilla

Photo from Echo/Aura Philippines Facebook page

Aura PH took up a new name in Echo which unveiled its full roster featuring a mix of holdovers and newcomers ahead of the MPL Philippines Season 8 on Tuesday night, June 13.

General manager Mitch Liwanag explained to Manila Bulletin that Echo is a standalone Filipino team supported by Indonesian organization Aura Esports and is not in any way related to ECHO Esports of Indonesia.

“Our CEO (Christopher Djaja) from AURA Indonesia wanted us, the PH team, to have our own established name in the country. ECHO is a standalone name that embodies Aura Philippines in a sense that people would easily distinguish us from our Indonesian brothers. We are not related to ECHO Esports in Indonesia,” said Liwanag.

Heading the new squad are the Aura core of Chan “Rafflesia” Fajura (tank), Benedict “Bennyqt” Gonzales (gold laner) and Mark “Lord Hadess” Lazaro (jungler).

Echo tapped former Onic PH captain-tank and SEA Games gold medalist Jason “Jay/Jaymeister” Torculas, who will be playing as a midlane-support, as well as ex-Smart Omega standout Jankurt “KurtTzy” Matira who will serve as an EXP laner.

Completing the team are Dota 2 veteran-turned-Aura second team captain-tank Kenneth “Flysolo” Coloma, ex-Laus Playbook Esports jungler Joshua “Aspect” Tating, Aaron “Aaronqt” Lim (formerly known as LIMZ of Blu Fire), RK 3 (mid lane) and Invoker (EXP laner).

Steven “DaleDalus” Vitug will work as the MPL team coach while Michael Angelo “Arcadia” Bocado will be at the helm as head coach of the organization.

Liwanag told Bulletin that Jaypee “Jaypee” Dela Cruz has already retired from the MLBB professional scene while Ashley “Killuash” Cruz previously shared with Bulletin that he is taking a break from competitive gaming.

“Standing up and making new beginnings after a loss is not easy. But, with the goals we have sketched for countless hours, the dreams we have built and worked on together, and the passion we have been fueling for so long are what keeps us going forward,” Echo said in its caption for its roster reveal video on Tuesday night, July 13.

“From the fire that we ignited comes a voice and a mission we aim to echo together.”

Echo will look to re-establish the dominance made by former brand Sunsparks which was acquired by Aura.

Sunsparks won historic back-to-back championships in Seasons 4 and 5 before Aura took over in Season 6 and suffered its worst finish of 5th-8th place.

Aura proved to be a strong title contender during its redemption campaign in Season 7 but eventually wound up third after a 3-0 defeat to eventual runner-up and MSC 2021 champ Execration powered by its former players Kiel VJ “Kielvj” Hernandez and Renz “Renzio” Cadua.