Blacklist International displayed its championship poise as the Season 7 kings quickly disposed Nexplay Evos with a 3-0 sweep to stay alive in the lower bracket of the MPL Philippines Season 8 playoffs on Saturday, October 23.
Blacklist, after suffering a shock loss to Omega Esports in the upper bracket, bounced back huge as it gave NXP a thorough beatdown in that three-game stretch. Kiel “Oheb” Soriano made up for lost time as he spearheaded Blacklist’s game plan to trounce NXPE and advance to the lower bracket finals.
It seemed like the code was reprogrammed for the defending champions as at some point, it veered away from their usual ‘ultimate bonding experience’ or UBE strat, with Oheb and Edward “Edward” Dapidap focusing on the the sidelane pushes to put the pressure on NXPE’s map.
Blacklist will now face the loser of the upper bracket match between Omega and Onic Philippines to keep its title-retention bid alive.
Nexplay actually had the early game in all of the three matches but the team succumbed to the superior execution of Blacklist in the mid to late game.
Yellyhaze’s perfect Abyssal arrows from his Selena controlled the early game for NXPE which also had an aggressive jungle Paquito on their side in Game 1. The team however failed to pad the lead in the mid-game as Blacklist quickly recovered from the gold gap behind Oheb, who scored a triple kill on his Harith in a clash for the Lord at the 10-minute mark.
Blacklist needed one more clash in the mid-lane that took down four heroes on the side of NXPE to end Game 1, 16-10, in just 12 minutes of play.
It was pretty much the same story in Games 2 and 3.
NXPE once again had the upper hand in the early goings of Game 2 with a 4-1 kill lead and three turtle slain on their side. However, Blacklist executed well on its objective game as Oheb on his Natan and Edward on his Lapu-Lapu milked the golds from the tower energy shields to even the economy before focusing on taking down NXP sidelane turrets to turn things around.
Blacklist zoomed in to the match point with a low scoring 3-4 win in Game 2 with Salic “Hadji” Imam taking the MVP honors for his vision and zoning game on his Chou who finished with a 0-2-3 KDA and a 100 percent kill participation.
NXPE just couldn’t find any answers to Blacklist as the same trend continued in the series clinching Game 3. Blacklist surrendered the early game once again to NXP but the Tier One-backed squad came back roaring in the late game led by Danerie “Wise” Del Rosario’s jungle Aldous and Oheb’s gold lane Natan with 3-1-6 and 5-3-1 KDAs respectively.
Edward’s Thamuz was named MVP with a 2-0-5 stat line for holding the fort for Blacklist in the early game. It was another low scoring victory for Blacklist which still trailed in the final score, 6-4, in 19 minutes of game time.