Bren Esports will have its hands full right in the group stage when it seeks to protect its title in the MPL Philippines Season 7 set to fire off on March 19.

As the reigning champ, Bren is set to go up against Onic PH (Season 6 4th location finisher), Aura PH (5th-6th), Cignal Ultra (7th-8th) and Work Auster Force (Season 7qualifier) in Group A, which could be thought about as the “Group of Death”.

Aura (previously Sunsparks), the very first and only back-to-back MPL-PH champion group so far, is out to reclaim the crown with a revamped lineup featuring previous Cignal core Jaymark “Hadess” Lazaro and ex-Execration sidelaner Benedict “Bennyqt” Gonzales.

The team likewise protected the services of previous Smart Omega coach and nationwide esports group Sibol coach Steven “DaleDalus” Vitug as its tactical coach to complement coach Michael Angelo “Arcadia” Bocado.

Two-time runner-up Onic is likewise excited to break through this season, albeit without its longtime captain-support Johnmar “OhMyV33NUS” Villaluna and carry Danerie James “Wise” Del Rosario, who both moved to Blacklist International.

Onic got former Execration core Jaylord “Hate” Gonzales and ex-Blacklist bring Kairi “Kairi” Rayosdelsol as replacements while tapping analyst-caster Caisam “Wolf” Nopueto to help coach Kyle “Ryo” Berceño, a member of the Season 3 titlist ArkAngel.

Cignal went through lineup changes as well, changing Hadess and Vail “tsujin” Alejo with Janus “Janus” Badando and ex-Blacklist standout Arvie “AQUA” Calderon while adding ex-ArkAngel tank Jeff “Kekedot” Mogol as back-up.

For its part, the Daniel “Chuuu” Chu-led Work Auster Force made it to Moonton’s expert league after an ideal six-game run in the main qualifiers.

However Bren stays as the heavy favorite to raise the title after keeping its M2 Mobile Legends World Champion winning squad undamaged.

M2 Grand Finals MVP Karl “KarlTzy” Nepomuceno, Angelo “Pheww” Arcangel, CJ “Ribo” Ribo, Allan “Lusty” Castromayor, David “FlapTzy” Canon and 6th man EJ “Ejhay” Sambrano will want to keep their dominance in the regional league.

Two-time world champion coach Francis “Duckeyyy” Glindro will be assisted by Paulo “Pauloxpert” Munsayac, who belonged to Gosu which played in M1.

Meanwhile, Season 6 runner-up and M2 participant Omega will take on Execration (Season 6 3rd place finisher), Blacklist International (5th-6th), Nexplay Solid (7th-8th) and Laus Playbook Esports (qualifier) in Group B.

The MPL-PH Season 7’s eight-week group stage will begin on March 19, followed by the first playoffs weekend on May 29-30 then the 2nd playoffs weekend that includes the best-of-seven Grand Finals on June 5-6.