Falcons AP.Bren keeping their place at the head of the table

Photo from Moonton

by Drew Malihan

MAKATI – Falcons AP.Bren has been on a tear since the Southeast Asian qualifiers of the 2023 IESF, where the main five of Angelo “Pheww” Arcangel, Michael “KyleTzy” Sayson, David “FlapTzy” Canon, Marco “Super Marco” Requitiano, and Rowgien “Owgwen” Unigo, conquered all major trophies that they can win as a team.

They have won trophies in Southeast Asia. They have won championships in Asia. They went back to the country and earned the Season 12 trophy. Then in Manila, the world acknowledged the MLBB’s Tribal Chief. Kazan was the next one to acknowledge AP.Bren.

However, the MSC trophy continuously eluded Hive's main five, with them not even reaching the top two in Season 11 as they continue the process of being the best MLBB pro team in town.

And inside SM Southmall, a new chapter can be written.

Needle-moving moves

Weeks after the M5 World Championship, Coach Vrendon “Vren” Pesebre departed the Hive, switching the gold and black with another gold and black, this time in RRQ Hoshi’s kingdom.

The coach has an impressive resume even before joining the Hive in Season 11, being the catalyst for TNC Pro Team’s highest-ever finish in Season 9, and a fourth-place finish with Bigetron Alpha in MPL Indonesia Season 10.

A month later, Robert "Trebor" Sanchez arrived at the Hive’s nest, bringing him his coaching resume capped by an M4 World Championship trophy with Echo at the end of 2022. With the main five and Vincent “Pando” Unigo left intact heading into Season 13, the Hive aimed to chase for more.

Levels above

AP.Bren went back to work and showed why they are the best team in the Mobile Legends pro scene, week in and week out. In 14 matches, they won 11 times and lost just three, with 10 of their 11 wins coming in dominant sweeps.

Coach Francis “Ducky” Glindro’s men were confident and relaxed before their matches, then switched to an unforgiving phase inside the Land of Dawn, as shown by their usual pre-game antics inside the dugout.

Their calm yet game-ready demeanor played one of the reasons why they were ahead by a considerable margin against the second-seeded team ECHO. And that even showed when they made their substitutions.

Photo from Moonton

Pando, who played limited time since Season 12, has shown that he is always ready whenever his team needed him. In seven games playing for the Hive, he has tallied an impressive 5-2 record with an average KDA ratio of 3.30, with his Paquito to be feared with 10.00 KDA.

Main Event Super Marco

If we highlight someone who thrives in the biggest of stages, there’s the meek yet lethal gold laner of the Hive, Super Marco.

Photo from Moonton

Marco ended the season leading all players in average KDA with 10.76, well ahead of RSG’s Arvie “Aqua” Antonio’s 9.34. In 32 games, he has one of the lowest deaths per game with 0.66, showing his great positioning and escape in the majority of his team fights. Marco was also third in total kills with 104  and among the top 20 in assists with 122.

The Hive gold laner has been one of the best Harith users in town with an absurd 15.5 average KDA in seven games, dying only four times in total. He also had a great record with Roger (18.00 KDA), Claude (7.29 KDA), and his yet-to-be-taken-down Karrie of his with 11/0/10 in three games.

What lies ahead?

Of course, being the head of the table, Falcons AP.Bren have a big target on their backs, but knowing their discipline and calm attitude, they won’t let themselves be the hunted.

With themselves being the top seed, they can take an extra breather and day of preparation, but they have three teams eyeing to put their dominant run to a screeching halt: Blacklist International, Minana EVOS, and the newly-named Fnatic ONIC PH.

Over the last two seasons, the top-seeded fell short of being in the finals. ECHO settled for third place after being the top team in Season 12. Bren Esports themselves knew of this fact, as they finished fourth at the end of Season 11 despite having an 11-3 record.

But if there is someone who knows to trust the process and learn from history, it’s Falcons AP.Bren. The coaching staff and the players know they are the ones being chased, but they also know that they are the ones being acknowledged as the best in the world.

And they will be raring to go back to Riyadh and make the Esports World Cup acknowledge them.

Follow him on X: @drew_corner