Lessons from a Tourney – a retrospective of a failed Mobile Legends showmatch

I now have even more respect for esports pros!

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So to get it out of the way, no, I am not a pro gamer. Yes, I do enjoy Mobile Legends, and I have clocked in way more hours (days actually) than I intended. What started out as an assignment to test the gaming capabilities for the Realme 3 Pro (Realme’s latest offering to the market) turned into my new gaming obsession. Who knew that I’d get hooked on the Mobile Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA – see, I know my gaming lingo) that has swept the nation by storm.

Mobile Legends is currently enjoying a massive local user base thanks to consistently evolving local tournaments like MPL (now running on its third season) or when bigger companies invest in putting the game on the limelight (i.e. telco, handset partners, etc).

Plus, I’ve always been a MOBA fan, having been first addicted to Heroes of Newerth (HoN) and the ever famous DOTA 2. So, leaping towards Mobile Legends was a natural inclination for me, especially as someone who’s busy going around, bogged down with work with hardly any time to enjoy a 45-60 minute match. Mobile Legends is quick, fun and generally retains the spirit of the traditional PC MOBA experience.

So, when Realme Philippines asked if I wanted to be part of a special Media exhibition of Mobile Legends during the launch of the Realme 3 Pro, I was ecstatic and readily accepted – not really knowing and understanding what to expect.

Which brings us to this retrospective.

To preface (again), our team lost. BADLY. And this is the closest to a pro-game setup I could get. So buckle up ML fans as I try to deconstruct what happened, what went wrong and what lessons I learned from the losing table.

The showmatch involved 4 Media People who may or may not have played ML + 1 Mobile Legend streamer versus a team of either semi-pros or Realme Community members who have played ML before. (The idea is to put on a show. The event is, after all, for the Realme Community but as someone who has been playing ML I can be overly competitive lol).



It doesn’t matter if you’re the best Rafaela in your street when you can’t really choose her because of bans, and because you need to adjust to what your teammates picked prior. I had to adjust mid pick because the team lacked a tank – not really my best class. Pick order had to be considered as well because the other team counters them (if and when) they can. It’s best to familiarize yourself with at least 1 character per class just in case you need to adjust your draft. Because of this, I’m learning to use tanks and assassins. Two classes I barely even touch.



It’s far different when playing on your own versus with friends versus with people on a stage…with live audiences. It.Is.Nerve-Wracking!

Taken from the stage

The added pressure makes it hard for you to commit your usual plays and the barrage of sensory input makes it even harder to concentrate. This is when noise canceling headsets would come into play. If that fails, well, a bigger screen will definitely help as you won’t have to squint as much in hectic team fights. Good thing we played on the realme 3 Pro with its large 6.3-inch FHD+ display; sadly, the display being great wasn’t enough to let us take the win.



After about 5 mins into the game, I knew we were getting our asses handed to us. We only had 1 kill when the enemy had 10, and my role, which is the tank/ support via Belerick, needed to make some plays in order to gain lost ground. It’s normal to be frustrated but don’t forget to just breathe and shake it off then adjust. Also, come in with enough energy as tournament’s are mentally exhausting.

Ded. 🙁



Trying to listen to Karolina

The key to any competition (aside from skill and luck) is good communication. Good communication offers great plays and can counter an incoming tide rather magnificently. Unfortunately, we didn’t have that. As one of the first team’s to play, we weren’t able to communicate much before and during the tournament. This led to a lack of coordination in-game.

Not to mention that it’s considerably harder to communicate in Mobile Legends than traditional MOBAs because of the chat interface. While there are pre-loaded messages already (Follow Me, Defend the High Ground, etc), you still need to enter the chat interface if you want to give specific orders. This takes over a big portion of your screen, blocking your sight and with mobile smartphones this means doing more than one task at a time. For a better team communication, voice chat is a must.



Sure, be critical if you want to improve, but also understand the context. Getting salty just because will not amount to anything. Listen to the commentators, you can get tidbits of information from them, like the time when I was blindly attacking their Grock with my Belerick when I should have been focusing on their softer (but much more damage dealing) hero. The commentators pointed it out, and I realized this as soon as I have a sliver of health left but alas, all too late.


I’m sure there are more lessons to be learned and I’m not aspiring to be on the Pro-circuit, still I’m happy I got the chance to experience an ounce of what the pro-players experience every tournament. As someone who reports about video game tournaments, it gives me new found perspective and appreciation to what our players go through every time they battle either here or abroad. So, thank you Realme Philippines for the opportunity.

If you want to hear it from the Pros, here are some tips and tricks by 2 (very young) pro gamers from Bren eSports:

If you want to watch the showmatch gameplay (just yeah, skip my really bad Belerick gameplay), you can check the video by clicking the image below.

ALSO, if you want to game with us, we actually have an UngeekPH account up! Just add us up with the details below. We’ll see you guys on the other side! Keep on gaming, yo!

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