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Minana Esports targets Top 3 finish as it makes jump to MPL

Minana Esports has an ambitious goal heading to its MPL debut. Ivan Saldajeno
By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY—One of the fast-rising Mobile Legends clubs in the Philippines is shifting to higher gear.

Minana Esports announced on Sunday that it will now try its luck in ML's major league, the MPL Philippines, beginning next season.

Minana, whose name is based on the Tagalog word for "inherited," has won a total of 11 minor league titles in just a few months after being founded, one of which being the Philippine National Esports League.

After ruling the minor events multiple times, Ferdinand Gutierrez, whose esports outfit Ampverse is bankrolling Minana, believes it's high time the club, currently composed of skipper Christian Martinez, Bien Chumecera, Danver Canja, Borris Parro, and Dominic Del Mundo and is coached by Filipino esports legend Julius Mariano, makes the jump to the MPL.

"I just think that you gotta give guys like these a chance. They're such dominant players in the amateur world. It was a no-brainer for us to try the pro league," Gutierrez explained to Dugout Philippines the decision to formally make its intent of joining the MPL known on Sunday during Minana's relaunch, the Greatness is in Your Blood event, at the Trinoma Activity Center.

The Ampverse chief executive officer even made a bold claim.

"I think realistically, we can be in the Top 3," Gutierrez further said.

Except for Mariano, the members of the Minana squad are not as well-known in the esports circle in general as the likes of Nexplay's Setsuna Ignacio and Blacklist's Johnmar Villaluna, but Gutierrez sees the MPL as an opportunity to introduce the squad into the mainstream from the grassroots stages.

"I'm always believing in building grassroots programs, and if you don't show people coming from nothing going into the pro league, it's not that great. What we want is to prove that anybody can be a pro player," Gutierrez further said.

He then said that he is keen on keeping the quintet for its MPL debut.

"Just like any esport, it's about chemistry. It's a team-driven thing. You gotta know each other really well. That's why I don't wanna shake it up too much," Gutierrez further said, although he added that he might add some experienced players to act as mentors to the core squad.

Speaking of Nexplay and Blacklist, Gutierrez also looks forward to facing them as well as the other MPL member franchises like 2021 world champion Bren Esports on a regular basis.

Minana actually got a taste of facing no less than the defending world champion and SEA Games gold medalist Blacklist in the Sibol qualifiers for the IESF World Esports Championships, losing a tough one which put a dent in their otherwise fantastic stint in the tournament.

Gutierrez, however, kept mum on how Minana will enter the MPL, but he said that the club will make it official at another date.

"We can't divulge anything at the moment, but we will be playing professionally. There's a few options in place," Gutierrez further said.

Minana could either join as an expansion franchise or take over an existing one.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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