Mobile Legends

Sanford inspired by ill father as Echo eyes M4 World Championship crown

Delfin Dioquino

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Sanford inspired by ill father as Echo eyes M4 World Championship crown

MENTAL FORTITUDE. Sixteen-year-old Sanford shows maturity beyond his years for Echo.

M4 World Championship

Sanford, 16, remains a pillar of strength for Echo despite dealing with a personal tragedy after his father suffered a stroke before the Mobile Legends M4 World Championship

JAKARTA, Indonesia – Sanford “Sanford” Vinuya draws inspiration from his ill father as he aims to help Echo win it all in the Mobile Legends M4 World Championship.

The 16-year-old dealt with a personal tragedy in the run-up to the world championship after his father suffered a stroke before Christmas last year, an incident that affected his frame of mind.

“My mental health took a hit,” said Sanford in Filipino.

Sanford, though, showed maturity beyond his years as he remained a pillar of strength for Echo, delivering superb performances one after the other as the Orcas ran roughshod over the competition in the 16-team tournament.

Echo went unbeaten in the group round, beating Indonesia’s RRQ Hoshi, Singapore’s RSG, and Egypt’s Occupy Thrones then dumped Malaysia’s Team HAQ and Indonesia’s Onic Esports in the knockout stage to reach the upper bracket finals.

In their 3-1 win over Onic Esports in the upper bracket semifinals on Thursday, January 12, Sanford averaged 3.8 kills and 9 assists against 4.3 deaths.

“Before we flew to Indonesia, I made sure that he will be okay,” said Sanford.

“All I’m thinking about is that every game I play is dedicated to him so I’ll be inspired to be more consistent,” he added.

Sanford said it would mean the world to him and his father to win the world title.

“It will be the biggest achievement of my life. This is also for him. I’ll be extremely happy if I ever achieve that,” he said.

Echo eyes an immediate entry to the grand finals as it locks horns with Blacklist International in all-Filipino upper bracket finals on Friday. –

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.