Blacklist International bucked a slow start before displaying its championship poise in the sudden death Game 5 to frustrate ECHO, 3-2, and complete a historic return to the M-series grand finals in the M4 World Championship at the Tennis Indoor Stadium Senayan in Jakarta, Indonesia on Friday, Jan. 14.
With the defending champion trailing the series, 2-1, Blacklist didn’t backed down to the pressure coming from the tough stand from ECHO with Salic “Hadji” Imam and Jonmar “OhmyV33nus” Villaluna stepping up in the last two games to complete come-from-behind win.
With the win, Blacklist formally became the first team in Mobile Legends esports history to make it back to the Grand Finals for two consecutive M-series championship. The Filipino champions also have the chance of further writing their names to annals of ML history as they gun for back-to-back titles in the world stage.
Hadji put up a perfect 8-0-9 KDA on his Valentina pick in Game 4 as he made life difficult for Karl “Karltzy” Nepomuceno and Tristan “Yawi” Cabrera who had been dictating the tempo for ECHO in the first three games.
His perfect position on the Real World Manipulation he got using the I Am You ultimate of the Valentina provided the damage and the zone to repel the map pressure ECHO had been doing all-series long and score a commanding 22-11 win to tie the series with two games apiece.
Feeling the momentum shifting to their side, OhmyV33nus now with her signature Estes pick anchored the relentless assault from the MPL Philippine Season 10 champions. Also finally getting his hands on the Fredrinn, Danerie “Wise” Del Rosario completely outplayed Karl “Karltzy” Nepomuceno on the Grock jungle in the fight for major objectives.
A huge Lord siege down the bottom lane proved to be the dagger to the heart of the hard-fighting ECHO as Blacklist closed out the series with a convincing 15-6 win in Game 5.
Edward “Edward” Dapadap finished with a clean 3-0-8 line on the Gloo while OhmyV33nus provided support with a 0-1-15 line on the Estes.
It was actually ECHO which drew first blood in the series after stunning Blacklist with 21-2 victory in Game 1. Trying to tear a page from Blacklist's book ECHO then used an Estes-centered lineup in Game 2 which backfired as Blacklist leveled the series with a 14-7 retaliation.
Led by Benedict "BennyQT" Gonzales and Karltzy, ECHO then put up a clinical performance in Game 3 to move to the series match point with a 14-4 win before Blacklist rediscovered its deadly form in the last two games.
Blacklist now awaits its opponents in the finals which can either be ECHO or the winner of the RRQ Hoshi and Onic Esports in the lower bracket semis.