ECHO head coach Steven “Dale” Vitug is retiring from professional Mobile Legends: Bang Bang scene after seven seasons in the MPL Philippines, his team announced on Thursday, Oct. 28.
The decorated former player turned coach had called it quits, ending a fruitful career which started when he entered MPL Philippines Season 2 with Finesse Solid.
“Thank you, Coach Dale, for all the times you’ve been there to guide and lead us to victory. In all the games we went through together — the wins and losses. You have been a huge part of our recent seasons, and we’re grateful for all that you did for us,” said ECHO in a statement posted on its official Facebook page Aura Philippines Smart.
“We’re wishing you all the success in your future endeavors,” the post added.
Dale then shared the same post on his personal Facebook account, thanking all of his friends and colleagues in the industry and with a hashtag #signingoff.
The former Sibol Mobile Legends national team head coach then confirmed in a message to Manilla Bulletin that he is retiring for good.
“Retiring po. Pahinga na muna po ako sa ML kaya nag-decide nako mag retire,” said Dale.
Dale started his coaching career in MPL Season 4 after Finesse Solid was acquired by Sterling Global Dragons where he led the team to third place finish in his first season as a head coach
He also spearheaded the Mobile Legends national team to a gold medal finish in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games with a squad composed of MPL stars and Bren Esports’ Karl “KarlTzy” Nepomuceno, Angelo “Pheww” Arcangel, CJ “Ribo” Ribo and Allan “Lusty” Castromayor, former Omega players Kenneth “Kenji” Villa of RSG Philippines and Jeniel “Haze” Bata-anon Nexplay EVOS and then-Onic PH and now ECHO’s Jason “Jay” Torculas.
Dale steered Omega Esports to a stint in the M2 World Championships where his team landed in 5th-6th following a runner-up finish to the eventual champions and M2 titlists Bren Esports in the MPL Season 6.
Dale joined Aura Philippines at the start of the Season 7 before the team was rebranded as ECHO in the recently concluded Season 8.
Dale had no definite plans yet after his announcement but he bared that he is thinking of joining his family abroad.
“Sa ngayon po wala pa kasi kaka announce lang ng retirement ko. Baka sunod nako sa magulang ko sa ibang bansa.”