What makes a great match even better has to be its supporting cast of analysts and casters. Meet Laphel, one of Malaysia’s most outspoken and well-versed analysts (that casts as well) for Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB). He is a staple voice and a household name in the professional scene, most notably in the MLBB Professional League MY (MPL MY) and just recently, the M2: World Championship in Singapore.
In case fans didn’t already know, Laphel is also infamous for having lethal predictions. Previously during MPL MYSG Season 6, every single prediction made by the analyst would always result in the team losing as opposed to winning. Akin to Paul the octopus’ omniscient football (also known as soccer) predictions, Laphel’s predictions emulated a similar vibe. You’d imagine teams and fans alike were on edge whenever Laphel’s predictions came into the picture.
While it looks like the “curse” has ended in Season 7, Laphel is currently pursuing a 100% accuracy prediction rate.
We managed to have a chat with Laphel to pick his brain before the season started. Laphel shared that he felt absolutely amazing being able to participate in Season 7. “After M2, the level of passion for casting is at its highest,” said Laphel. At the time, Laphel could not contain his excitement for the season to begin.
When it came down to dissecting the participating teams, Laphel had a thing or two to share. “I think HomeBois will make the biggest impression this season. People perceive them as underdogs due to how they’ve entered this season through the qualifiers. But the way they played looks fully professional.”
Prior to the season starting, Laphel had actually highlighted that Suhaz EVOS would’ve been the strongest team this season. “For some reason, I think they can bring trouble to the league for other teams.” And he was right, as Suhaz EVOS has been one of, if not the best team at the moment in the season.
He also shared that he personally looked forward to watching Geek Fam the most. “These guys have been on a downward spiral for some time now. Now that there are roster changes, I want to see whether they can become back stronger.”
Laphel added that one of the more interesting rivalries to potentially look out for would be between TODAK and HomeBois. “Because this rivalry can go either way. Many would say TODAK would win, but I feel that HomeBois have a good opportunity to win too.” Laphel added that HomeBois played really well in the qualifiers and does not regard them as underdogs going into the season.
When it came down to who would be the standout player to watch this season, Laphel had one player in mind. “It would have to be Hyhy. During last season’s Playoffs, his Chou’s prowess was so good that it arguably carried Orange Louvre Esports. While this season he is with another team, I would like to see his carry potential from the EXP lane.”
Like any other tournament, metas are always being experimented on. Laphel shared that it would be heavily dependent on the laning phase due to the addition of the Gold and EXP lanes. Speaking of metas, hero picks always come to mind in shaping it. Laphel shared that it would be hard to say what kind of heroes would be staple picks in Season 7 as there will be buffs and nerfs that come into play later.
Prior to the season starting, Laphel did say that Mathilda was a hero that should be heavily contested. He was right on the money as Mathilda has been widely picked if ever she is not banned in almost all matches of the season so far.
While pursuing this current career sounds like a dream job for many, it is not without its own set of challenges. Laphel succinctly summed up the experience in this COVID era of doing esports work as:
The change in the league’s direction to be fully MY based also sparked interest in Laphel. He shared that he loves the new direction and is looking forward to seeing more strategies and more exciting games being played as a result.
Prior to the season officially beginning, Laphel did share one hot take. “TODAK might not look too hot this season. During M1, they looked great, but the following season they looked underwhelming. It might happen again.” Be sure to catch Laphel in action on screen for the rest of MPL MY S7 as he continues his humorous antics and insightful analytical work.
Whether it's the start or end of a Mobile Legends season, players will be in a mad scramble to reach the top of the rank ladder. The climb to Mythic is never easy, but we’ve compiled some handy advice for you from two streamers who've been there and done that: Flare Gaming, and Laphel.
Flare Gaming (Facebook/Instagram) is a streamer who plays a variety of games on various platforms, from PC to mobile to consoles. Although he mainly plays MLBB for fun and enjoys experimenting with unconventional builds and picks, he's consistently reached Mythic rank, and is proof that you can enjoy climbing the rank ladder.
Laphel is a streamer and MPL–MY/SG caster. Previously, he was a coach/analyst for Shopee Bosskurr, as well as Team Malaysia’s coach during the 2019 Philippines SEA games. He currently serves as Axis Esports' manager.
Not every hero in MLBB is equal in terms of strengths and weaknesses, with some being more useful than others in climbing.
They both agree that Granger is extremely powerful because he has plenty of early game power - which is usually a Marksman's (MM) weakness. His long-range burst and critical damage creates a lot of pressure, and Granger also transitions well into the late game instead of falling off.
Speaking of Marksmen, there's also Bruno. Like Granger, he has strong burst (although not as high) early on and can fight at mid-range. He has better crowd control (cc) than Granger because he can slow enemies, providing a different utility to early game teamfights.
Kimmy also features in Flare’s list of strong heroes in the current meta.
The bane of many players, Kimmy's passive allows her to attack while moving, which means good players will be incredibly hard to catch while constantly dealing damage. It's also harder to itemise versus her hybrid damage as she can build to focus on magic or physical damage.
The last Marksman is Wanwan, who comes with high recommendations from Laphel, especially if you’re facing teams with heavy crowd controls, since her 2nd skill provides CC immunity. Wanwan also has high Area of Effect (AoE) damage which is a big contribution in teamfights.
Aside from Marksmen, Flare also rates Gusion, an Assassin, rather highly.
With mobility and burst, Gusion can easily pick off priority targets (like opponent Marksmen). If able to secure the Blue Buff, Gusion becomes an even bigger threat, since it allows him to cast spells more often and reduces his ultimate cooldown, which again reduces skill cooldowns when cast.
Khufra can also be a game-changer. His high mobility and CC allows players to set up teamfights. Notably, all his skills have a CC effect: an AoE knock-up stun, an AoE knock-back CC, and an anti-mobility skill which prevents dashes. Mobility is a vital component of some of the game's strongest heroes, disabling that gives you a better chance of neutralising them.
In a similar vein, Laphel regards Lolita as a strong Tank hero. She’s a good meta counter, making her way into his books thanks to her shield ability which completely negates all projectile damage (including Marksman auto-attacks) for a few seconds. She comes with a well-rounded CC package, boasting a single-target stun and a large AoE stun.
And then there’s Pharsa.
Based on historical data, she's a rather odd choice, since she hasn't been in the meta for ages, but Laphel’s argument for picking her makes sense: she’s an extremely long-range poke Mage. Enemy Marksmen will have a hard time getting to her before she pokes them to death, or they'll be low enough on hit points (HP) for her team to mop them up.
Picking strong heroes isn't enough to win games, of course, since you'll need gameplay skills too.
Awareness of team compositions and the meta plays a big role in climbing the rank ladder. For example, during the pick/ban phase, Flare recommends picking the highly banned heroes whenever possible - that's because they are generally stronger!
These heroes are banned for a reason, which is usually their utility, mobility, or damage, which have the potential to carry games. “The enemy can't kill you if you kill them first, or if you're faster than them," says Flare.
However, he warns that players shouldn't blindly pick a hero just because they’re strong. "Be adaptable to your team’s picks" is his advice.
Flare is a Tank player himself, so it’s pretty good advice. It’s a handy battle spell, especially when the enemy starts split pushing (a common strategy). "Arrival" allows you to teleport to a lane under threat, thus protecting towers.
The spell also enables the top lane player to make early ganking rotations if your team has an active mid lane playmaker. MLBB rewards teams who build early gold and experience leads and "Arrival" complements this kind of strategy.
This is a point on which both Flare and Laphel agree. MLBB isn’t a 1v1 game, it’s team-based, so it’s vital to stay positive (even in bad matches), be less stubborn, and curb your ego, so you can work well with your team. Good skills without teamwork are pointless if you're busy fighting your own team instead of the enemy.
Spreading a message of positivity, Flare says that “even if your teammate disconnects or feeds, it's okay, there's always the next game.”
This is something many of us have probably done. Please be careful whenever you’re helping teammates. Some buffs are vital for specific heroes (Red for Marksmen, Blue for Mages), so stealing them can be detrimental to your team's chances of winning. IF you do steal the buffs, don’t start arguing, just apologise.
Pay attention to what?
Well, some important things to keep track of during games include momentum swings, objectives, positioning, spell availability, and the map. In short, you need to constantly be aware of the game’s state, which also affects where you and your team should be, and what you should be doing. For instance, the enemy team just got wiped out, and Lord is open, so you should try and take it.
BUT if you're already in the enemy base, just end the game!
Inflexibility basically refers to an inability to adapt to the situation at hand. You won’t always have a perfect team comp, players, or games where everything goes well, so it’s important for you to be flexible. For example, if your team is constantly losing fights, maybe it’d be better to try split-pushing and taking objectives, instead of forcing it and falling further behind.
Sometimes you can't control a game's circumstances, but you can control how you respond to those. Both Laphel and Flare agree that focusing on where you can improve is better than blaming everyone else. That way, you continue to learn, and that elusive Mythic rank need not be just a pipe dream.
So there you have it, some useful advice from Flare Gaming and Laphel on how to ease your grind to Mythic. Hopefully, it’ll be useful for you. At the same time, do remember to have fun while playing. No point stressing yourself out unnecessarily over a game, right?