Expect a tougher challenge in the Southeast Asia Cup.
Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB) will be returning to Cambodia this June, but the MLBB Southeast Asia Cup (MSC) won't be the same landscape as it was in the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
This time, it will be the top professional squads going up against each other in what would seem as a mini-edition of the world championships. After all, the top squads are in the same region.
The team to beat is ECHO, the M4 World Champions and the MLBB Professional League Philippines Season 11 champions. And they're going with tried-and-tested members for the House of Highlights.
They'll be going up in Group A against Turkish champion Fire Flux Impunity, which swept through the knockout stages of the MTC.
Another opponent will be Team EVO, a squad from Laos that trudged through the lower bracket of the Mekong Qualifiers to secure a spot in the prestigious competition.
Group C would also be interesting to watch given the drama that stemmed from switching the North American representative from champions BloodThirstyKings (BTK) to runner-up OutPlay
Can Pinoy gold laner Peter "Basic" Lozano and EXP Laner Rainiel "URESHIII" Logronio help Jang "Hoon" Seong-hun against top-tier Filipino jungler Kairi "Kairi" Rayosdelsol of ONIC Esports?
Funny enough, there's another Philippine flag in Group C as Mariusz "Donut" Tan is also the gold laner for Cambodian squad BURN x FLASH.
And, in Group D, M3 World Champions and MPL Season 11 runner-up Blacklist International will be taking on familiar foes.
These are M4 participants Team Occupy of Egypt, which blasted its way through the North African and Middle Eastern Qualifiers.
There's also Team TODAK, the champions of MPL Malaysia Season 11 and a perennial contender from M1 to M3.
Like in the 32nd SEA Games, there are no second chances in this tournament, as there will be no lower bracket redemption for the losers.
After a group stage with a best-of-three single round robin, only the top two teams will reach the knockout stages.
The semifinals will be a best-of-five elimination, while the grand finals will be a best-of-seven. The competition will take place in Cambodia starting June 10.