THE RETURN of prime Blacklist International, which was last seen in the M3 World Championship, has finally yielded the desired outcome as the team secured the overall championship in the IESF Sibol Qualifiers.
Blacklist battled their way across the brackets, and punctuated the championship by beating Maharlika Esports in the finale with a 2-1 series win.
The win gives Coach Kristoffer "BON CHAN" Ricaplaza free rein to select his list of players from both Blacklist and Maharlika, with the rules stating that the champion head coach would handpick the overall roster from the grand finalists.
He'll need to decide soon; the Sibol Combine which will happen on July 15 to 17.
The unbroken code of Blacklist International
With the return of the World Championship lineup, many expected Blacklist International to reach the finale of the qualifiers and they managed to make quick work of their opening matchups.
The Codebreakers first took AP Hybrid Esports to school as they dominated the entire map, leading to a 2-0 drubbing. The same outcome occurred against Minana.
Their last two series, however, proved to be a grindfest.
Euphoria Esports stunned the world champs as they secured a surprising Game 1 win, all thanks to their early game pressure that limited Danerie James "Wise" Del Rosario.
However, as the series progressed, Blacklist unveiled their signature dissection of their foes.
Seeing that Yoshinu had a tendency to harass Kiel "Oheb" Soriano, Blacklist was able to assess his movements and outplay him. Then Edward "Edward" Jay Dapadap zoned out key members, limiting the engagements from the amateur team.
Eventually Blacklist won 2-1, and proceeded to the finale.
From there they encountered Maharlika Esports, and the Codebreakers systematically dissected them in teamfights. Though the amateur squad was able to snatch a Game 2 win, thanks to their late game prowess, Blacklist easily read them in Game 3 and nabbed the overall championship.
Where were the other MPL teams?
While many expected a battle between two professional teams in the finals, Maharlika and Euphoria Esports' efforts revealed that the amateur teams were more than a match for the pros, reinforcing Billy "Z4pnu" Alfonso's claim that the amateur teams are a lethal threat to foreign MPL teams.
Before reaching the finals, Maharlika stunned ECHO LOUD's roster, which consisted of the likes of Karl "KarlTzy" Nepomuceno, Tristan "Yawi" Cabrera, and Frederic Benedict "Bennyqt" Gonzales.
ECHO LOUD actually made headway by beating Z4pnu's Z4 Pegaxy and eliminating their sibling team ECHO PROUD, a team featuring Frediemar "3MarTzy Serafico and MPL legend Jaypee "Jaypee" Dela Cruz.
But before these two sibling teams squared off, ECHO PROUD had to eliminate the Ch4knu and E2MAX-less Omega Esports.
Meanwhile, RSG Philippines, who was directly invited, declined to participate, as they were never seen in any of the matches.
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