Carlito “Ribo” Ribo Jr. is without a doubt the most talked-about player in the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang esports scene when discussing the game’s GOATs.
Who can blame them for letting his name dominate their conversations though? Just look at his achievements: an MSC trophy from 2018, Finals MVP, two MPL trophies, a gold medal from the Southeast Asian Games, and an M2 World Championship ring to round off his career.
What a lengthy, award-winning resume, don’t you think?
However, there is a compelling argument for Johnmar “OhMyV33nus” Villaluna to take over his glorious title. The Southeast Asia Games gold medal the Blacklist squad captain recently achieved is another achievement to add to his long list of honors since MPL-PH Season 7 began.
Comparing their achievements
As we take a look at what they have accomplished so far in their careers, it may be argued that Ribo surpasses V33nus in this category based on their list of accomplishments.
In his entire gaming career, RIBO has won the following titles: MPL-PH Season 1 Champion, MPL-PH Season 6 Champion, MSC 2018 Champion, M2 World Champion, Gold Medalist at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, and Finals MVP, MPL-PH Season 1.
The following are the accomplishments of OHMYV33NUS: MPL-PH Season 7 and Season 8 Champions, M3 World Champion, and Gold Medalist at the 2021 Southeast Asian Games.
This list was frequently cited by fans as evidence that Ribo is, in their opinion, the undisputed GOAT.
But if there is one thing I took away from playing basketball, it is that the amount of championships can be a misleading statistic. For instance, Bill Russell, who holds the record for most NBA championships won (11), is not referred to as the GOAT by fans. Even though he only won six awards, Michael Jordan is.
Jordan’s advantage stems in part from the fact that the NBA had only 9 teams during Russell’s reign, whereas MJ had to battle with 28 strong teams.
This can be used in the dispute between Ribo and V33nus.
It may be claimed that Ribo’s very first trophy back in 2018 took place in a period when the MLBB scene was still in its embryonic stage, which is not to discount Ribo because he clearly deserved his prizes, especially after dominating the entire playoffs with Aether Main.
Both Setsuna “Akosi Dogie” Ignacio and Ribo confirmed this in their “Legacies” documentary short series from 2021. The two veterans confirmed that while the other teams were still battling for resources, only Aether Main had a bootcamp and remuneration.
In contrast, V33nus performed his accomplishments in a time when teams had access to abundant resources.
And for those who believe that V33nus’ lack of personal recognition will hold him back, perhaps this upcoming segment can persuade you even more of his best traits.
Evaluating their strengths
We must also take into account their main assets in addition to their accomplishments. Both have different specialties in the competitive MLBB environment, based on an analysis of their respective careers.
Let’s begin with Ribo, whose flexibility is his greatest asset. The Doctor has played a variety of positions throughout his career.
With his Akai and Chou, we have seen him expertly execute the support role, earning him the Season 1 Finals MVP honor. He could also deal deadly harm, as evidenced by his selections of Aurora, Kimmy, and Kagura.
Furthermore, when his Uranus is active, Ribo can occasionally be an imposing figure.
Coaches now have it easier because Ribo can be used successfully in numerous places and has a large hero pool.
Can V33nus replicate what he has done at this point? The support role has always been the focus of his professional life, so obviously not. He has only had one change thus far, switching to midlane while Salic “Hadji” Imam took over as the main roamer. This is not as intrusive as switching from core to support and vice versa.
V33nus’ restricted playstyle is not weak, despite the limited role it plays. Simply observe the strategies used by the teams to combat him. Additionally, there were several occasions teams attempted the alleged “Hack-a-V33nus” tactic and fell short.
Although V33nus does not have the same range of positions as Ribo, he ultimately surpasses Ribo in one area: shotcalling. Both casual gamers and professional players think that V33nus’ tactical acumen is unmatched in the scene.
Want evidence? Have you seen the last-second plays he made versus RRQ in the MPL: Invitational semifinals? Or consider the recent Southeast Asian Games matchup in the 10th minute against the star-studded team of Indonesia?
In the end, the success of his teams was largely attributed to his shot calling. Edward “Edward” Jay Dapadap, Salic “Hadji” Imam, and Kiel “Oheb” Soriano were awarded MVP honors thanks to his team’s strong performance under his leadership.
Of course, we can never forget about what transpired during the SEA Games, when he was able to elevate players like Kyle Dominic “Dominic” Soto and Lee Howard “Owl” Gonzales, who had never participated in a LAN event.
What an irony that a player who pushes his team to success doesn’t win any individual awards. The MPL’s Queen, however, created a lasting effect that cannot be ignored despite the lack of distinct hardware.
Speaking of making an impression that lasts, we move on to their legacies.
Considering the total effect? Without a question, both have already made history and earned the Hall of Fame status.
The MLBB scene would not be what it is now if it were not for Ribo. Ribo has also motivated a new generation of esports athletes; however Dogie’s 24/7 content on his platforms would undoubtedly be credited with revitalizing the scene.
In the early days of the game’s esports environment, he was there from the start, braving the challenges of being a professional player.
And as he developed, he inspired MLBB supporters to think that the sport has a bright future.
In a similar vein, V33nus has opened up space for LGBTQ+ gamers in a largely male-dominated field.
Even the meta has been impacted.
MLBB fans became aware of the significance of the underappreciated support role after Ribo’s support play helped him win the Finals MVP award in Season 1 of the league.
Then, I still refuse to forget those instances from Season 3 when players in traditional and ranked games would make fun of Rafaela and Estes users. When Season 4’s rookie V33nus entered the competition, his selections of Rafaela and Estes completely changed the scenario.
These naysayers were now silenced.
There is no question that both have solidified themselves in the GOAT conversations after scrutinizing their respective professional histories. Ribo undoubtedly has a long list of successes under his belt, but V33nus also has something to offer that we must take into consideration.
In fact, debating who should be the GOAT makes me think of the time when people debated whether Michael Jordan or Magic Johnson was better. We can also use this disagreement to frame the grandeur of Ribo and OhMyV33nus’ careers when we reflect on them in the past. Jordan and Ribo are both players that rely on their explosive abilities to create an impact. The Magic Johnson role of improving his teammates would be played by V33nus.
Let us now address the topic of whether V33nus can usurp Ribo. The answer is definitely yes based on the earlier comments I made, especially about his leadership position! However, I can also see why some fans might stick with the Doctor given his tremendous mechanical prowess, opulent trophy collection, and perhaps even a touch of nostalgia.
V33nus needs to win another World Championship and an MPL trophy, but considering the ongoing Blacklist International dynasty under the Queen’s rule, this conclusion is not unlikely if he wants to put an end to the discussion.