The 'Kontrapelo' Meta: How ECHO's Split-Push keyed their dominance in M4

Michelle Lojo - Philstar.com
The 'Kontrapelo' Meta: How ECHO's Split-Push keyed their dominance in M4
ECHO Philippines during the M4 World Championships in Jakarta, Indonesia
Philstar.com / Michelle Lojo

MANILA, Philippines —  During Season Ten of the Mobile Legends Professional League Philippines (MPL PH), one game ending play stood out the most during the group stages — ECHO Philippine’s split-push as Karl “Karltzy” Nepomuceno, Tristan “Yawi” Cabrera and Benedict “BennyQT” Gonzales proceed to take the base while SanSan duo, Sanford “Sanford” Vinuya and Alston “Sanji” Pabico, kept BREN Esports busy by the luminous lord — turn the tide to the Orcas.

In the playoffs, they would successfully orchestrate another backdoor play to secure the Upper Bracket finals against defending champions RSG PH.

Now upon entering the M4 World Championships, ECHO dominated their games against Indonesia power house RRQ Hoshi and Middle East & North Africa champions Occupy Thrones. 

But it was against their last group stage opponent, RSG SG that ECHO’s signature stratagem made its debut on the world stage.

Though ECHO was controlling the entire 15 minute game, a lord dance seemed to go in either team’s favor but M-series veteran Karl “Karltzy” Nepomuceno suggested to his team to try for the split push while the Singaporeans were focused on the lord.

"Ako po talaga unang nag call nun kaso parang itutuloy nila yung lord kaya nag pull back ako tapos sinabihan nila ako isegue ko na lang." shared Nepomuceno during his interview after the match broadcast.

The call, with teammate’s Benedict “Bennyqt” Gonzales help, gave ECHO Philippines a perfect group stage outing at 3-0.

ECHO’s game winning split-push strat, sometimes referred to by casters as a backdoor play, would see a member or two disengage from the current objective in the map, usually a lord take, and would instead go for the base to finish the game.

Describing the tactic difference between Philippines and other countries, ECHO coach Archie “Tictac” Reyes, could offer one word to describe it.

“Yung meta siguro is mas iba yung sa Pilipinas kaysa sa [ibang bansa]. Siguro yung meta, di ko masabing advance, sadyang kontrapelo.” said Reyes in one of ECHO’s post-match interviews during M4.

Having successfully pulled off numerous backdoor plays this season, three of which came in worlds, ECHO goldlaner Benedict “BennyQT” Gonzales knows how the stratagem is getting mostly negative reactions from fans but reiterates that the base is the main objective of the game.

“Maraming tao nababaduyan [sa ganung play] pero para sa akin yun kasi yung pinaka objective nung game, yung basagin yung base.” said Gonzales.

ECHO first game win in the Upper Bracket finals against Malaysian champions, Team HAQ had been a statement with Gonzales once again successfully pulling off yet another backdoor play, seeming as though nobody would be able to counter-attack ECHO’s meta.

But going up against rivals Blacklist International in the Upper Bracket finals of M4, the backdoor play met its match with Blacklist International's Agent Zero, Edward “Edward” Jay Dapadap. 

He managed to read the map and was there to defend when Gonzales tried to take the base inhibitor, which could have spelled match-point for the Orcas. Instead, Blacklist International secured a wipeout to win the series, dropping ECHO to the lower brackets.

But Gonzales and the rest of ECHO would get sweet revenge when they swept the reigning champions, 4-0, in the Grand Finals, with Game Two being won by Gonzales with the backdoor play once more.

The finals MVP adds that the decision to orchestrate such a play isn’t taken lightly and it puts pressure on him but is alleviated by the trust his teammates have on his instinct.

“Sobrang laking tiwala ng kakampi ko pag sinabi kong ‘pre’ kaya ata ito. So ginagawa nila yung dapat nilang gawin, [which is i-distract yung kalaban sa map] tapos hinahayaan na nila ako.” said Gonzales.



  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with