Top seeds Lyceum of the Philippines University and Colegio de San Juan de Letran took contrasting paths in the playoffs but still arranged a fitting final dance for all the marbles of the Collegiate Center for Esports (CCE) Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Season 2.
The Pirates and the Knights ended the single-round eliminations at joint No. 1 with identical 8-1 cards before figuring in an early encounter in the upper bracket finals with the latter getting the better of the back-and-forth duel, 2-1.
As Letran, which also bested third-seeded Arellano in the first phase of the upper bracket with a 2-1 win, made the first crack at the grand finals, defending champion Lyceum needed to work its way up from the lower bracket.
And the Pirates stamped their poise and championship pedigree there with Mark Kenneth “Mark” Delos Reyes time and again proving his worth as the reigning MVP of CCE presented by Galaxy Racer and Smart, with SM Mall of Asia, Cyberzone, Legion by Lenovo, Mountain Dew, Hawk Bags, Fantech, Huawei AppGallery as sponsors, and MPL-Philippines serving as an official partner.
Pitted against the capable Jose Rizal University that romped past every hurdle in the lower bracket, Delos Reyes spearheaded the Pirates’ onslaught with a potent Martis (6/3/10 KDA) for the MVP citation in the clincher as they completed a 2-0 sweep.
Backstopping him was Remarch “Lust” Eusebio in a perfect Brodie outing (3/0/2), for the MVP plum in Game 1 with skipper Paul Adrienne “Fae” Huang, Ralph Joshua “Alas” Araz, Merlin “Merl1n” Lintan, Janouel Louie “Lheizy” Lomerio and Marc Joseph “Marc” Balcita chipping in help in Lyceum’s repeat triumph over JRU after a similar 2-0 sweep in the first stage of the upper bracket.
The Heavy Bombers, led by Jansen “R1d” Dullon and Justin Clark “Infamous” Posadas with multiple MVP awards, crashed out of contention with pride after reaching the LB finals with easy 2-0 wins over College of St. Benilde and Arellano U.
But the biggest feat – and the most impressive one – was unleashed by the Knights, who marched their way early to the finale after exacting sweet vengeance on the Pirates in a stellar fashion.
Letran, which folded to Lyceum in the elimination round for its lone loss, pulled off a reverse sweep after bowing in the first game with Kurl Patrick “Xeero” Pugao putting on a Baldmond show for both the MVP distinctions in the last two games.
Pugao had 2/1/7 in Game 2 before posting a 12/2/9 line in Game 3 including the crucial Lord take in the 23-minute mark and the big hammering kill on Delos Reyes’ Gusion that served as the dagger in the Pirates’ heart.
He got ample help from Jade Michael “ImbaDeeJade” Mercado, Matthew “Matsuu” Viray, Mark Raphael “Choco Mael O” Arellano, Roy Jupiter “Jupet” Valles, Rafael Carlos “Amen” Silvestre and Joshua Dave “Fezco” Dasigao as the Knights earned a shot at dethroning the Pirates.
Letran and Lyceum will slug it out in the best-of-five titular showdown for the crown of CCE, led by president Stanley Lao and commissioner Waiyip Chong, on Saturday at the SM MOA Music Hall after the All-Star match featuring the best Esports athletes from all schools.