'ECHO Express' runs past Laos' EVO to start debut MSC journey

Facebook / ECHO 

by Drew Malihan

PHNOM PENH - World champions ECHO started their maiden Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Southeast Asian Cup campaign with a dominant 2-0 win against Laotian representative Team EVO inside Cambodia's Aeon Mall Mean Chey on Saturday.

Robert "Trebor" Sanchez's side fielded two signature picks in Sanford "SanFord" Vinuya's Yu Zhong and Tristan "Yawi" Cabrera's Chou, teamed with a throwback jungle Bane from  Karl Gabriel "KarlTzy" Nepomuceno.

EVO meanwhile drafted a lineup with a flex Martis pick to the EXP lane for Phonepaseuth "Opper" Lotchanakane and a roam Diggie with Nanthavouth "Noumnim" Nieoin on control.

It was the Filipinos controlling the game from the get-go, with KarlTzy getting trapped in a three-man midlane gank but Somnuek "Yourname" Vilaysing being the Laotian casualty instead as the rest of the Orcas came to rescue.

However, it was Alston "Sanji" Pabico's Yve's crucial pick-offs and use of the Real World Manipulation that hurted EVO's early to mid-game chances with five kill contributions.

Yourname got the first lord in the ninth minute but ECHO saw blood and took Bounsong "BisTon" Khounphet's Claude instead, thus prompting the successful defense.

The Orcas held firmly in the second lord take with three EVO members down in the process, with the final push being Benedict "Bennyqt" Gonzales's Wanwan's shining moment with a triple kill and a tower lock for a dominant 1-0 Filipino win.

Yawi's Chou grabbed the game MVP nod with a 4/0/7 performance with his Chou, while his midlane partner Sanji puts up an impressive 6/0/8 KDA show.

It was an M4 nostalgia trip for ECHO as they drafted an explosive lineup of Fredrinn, Chou, Yu Zhong, Beatrix, and Kadita, while EVO went with a double-mage mid of  Valentina and Faramis, the latter on Sompasith "TwentyAugust" Phanthavong's hands who subs in for Noumnim.

And M4 nostalgia it is as the dreaded San-San duo came to play, taking down an unaware Opper's Arlott early in the top.

However, EVO shows signs of a fightback when they reversed a three-man gank on Biston, while getting KarlTzy's hero instead on the bottom lane in the sixth minute.

ECHO continued their one-kill-then-leave strategy going up to the first lord, with Aphisith "Agi" Inmexay being the main casualty for EVO'smid turrets to fall down.

The Filipino side switched to their "ECHO Express" gameplay and have multiple teamfights, including a three-man EVO casualty in Yourname, Agi, and BisTon in the 12th minute, and ECHO sans KarlTzy keeping the Laotians on bay as their jungle solo takes the lord.

The orcas make quick work after the lord take, getting the sweep in the process with Bennyqt's Beatrix getting the MVP nod with a 12/1/2 performance.

ECHO will next take MTC champions Fire Flux Impunity tomorrow, while EVO will try to save their tournament lives with the same Turkish team on Tuesday.

Follow him on Twitter: @drew_corner