ECHO took the early lead in Season 8 of Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Professional League (MPL) Philippines with six points in the first three playing dates at the weekend.

The team, formerly AURA PH, finished with a 2-1 record for top spot in the eight-team, seven-week leg tournament.

It split its first two matches — losing to Onic PH, 0-2, on opening day on Aug. 27, but won, 2-0, over BREN Esports the following day.

ECHO closed out the weekend with an impressive 2-0 win over Omega Esports on Sunday, with the former holding off a spirited challenge from its opponent before completing the sweep.

Running joint second are defending champion Blacklist International (2-0) and Onic (2-0) with five points each, followed by TNC Pro Team (1-1) with three points.

RSG PH is at solo fifth place (1-0) with two points.

BREN, Nexplay EVOS and Omega are currently winless at 0-2 with a point each.

MPL-PH action returns on the weekend of Sept. 3 to 5.

The regular season takes place until Oct. 10. After that, the top six teams will proceed to the playoffs, which will be played in best-of-five matches. The grand final will be a best-of-seven.

Season 8 proceedings are being held under the guidance of government protocols and in-house measures to ensure the safety of all participants and the successful staging of the event amid the prevailing conditions with the pandemic.

Mobile Legends: Bang Bang is developed and published by Shanghai-based Moonton.

MPL-PH Season 8 has Smart Communications as presenting sponsor. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo