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    Clash of heavyweights: Blacklist, Execration come out on top of Day 2

    May 27, 2021
    PHOTO: (From Left) Blacklist International/Facebook, Tammy David

    FOUR top-tier teams went head-to-head in the second day of the MPL-PH Season 7 playoffs.

    It began with a lower bracket battle of two trophyless veterans, where Execration grinded their way to a 5-game series win.

    The first match saw Execration secure a momentous victory, where they managed to survive Onic’s potential comeback through Patrick “E2MAX” Caidic and Kiel “Kielvj” Hernandez’s clutch setups. E2MAX deployed Vale and made crucial tornado plays to slow down Onic, while Kielvj’s Claude was seen disrupting the opposition’s backlines.

    Desperate to regain their momentum, Onic drafted a mobile, damage-dealing lineup that allowed them to secure the turtle twice in the early phase, leading to a dominant Game 2 win. Both Joshwell Christian “Iy4knu” Manaog and Jaylord “Hate” Gonzales delivered highlight-worthy moments, which included an 8th minute chokepoint massacre by Iy4knu’s Kagura and a 13th-minute stomp by Hate’s Roger.

    Though they convincingly won the 2nd game, Execration fought back in Game 3. Joshua “Ch4knu” Mangilog delivered a masterful display of his Khufra skills, which created space for his teammates to engage.

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    This forced Onic to flip the script by unleashing a sustainable lineup featuring Jason Rafael “Jay” Torculas’ Gloo and Gerald “Dlar” Trinchera’s Uranus, which was too much for Execration to handle, forcing a Game 5 showdown.

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    The pressure-filled final match was filled with thrills from both teams, but in the end it was Execration who stood triumphant. Similar to the previous game, Gloo proved to be the decisive factor in this match — with the key difference stemming from Execration’s decision to deploy the hero in the fighter role, in contrast to Onic’s strategy of using him as a tank.

    Given Gloo’s rising presence in this series, it’s expected that the hero will be a staple in the playoffs.

    While Execration kept their playoff hopes alive, Blacklist International survived a furious Bren Esports comeback, securing their upper bracket match against Aura PH.

    Blacklist started with a bang by obliterating Bren Esports in the first two games. They drafted an early, hyper-aggressive lineup featuring Mark Jayson “ESON” Gerardo’s Rafaela and Danerie James “Wise” Del Rosario’s Granger in Game 1, and caused a massive mix-up of Bren’s gameplan through Johnmar “OhMyV33nus” Villaluna’s Mathilda in Game 2.

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    With their backs pushed on the wall, Bren unleashed their secret weapon, as Karl “KarlTzy” Nepomuceno’s championship-calibre Lancelot lambasted Blacklist International. The damage output of his Thorned Rose ability decimated the majority of Blacklist’s heroes in Game 3.

    His performance forced Blacklist to ban his Lancelot in Game 4, but it didn’t really matter as KarlTzy’s momentum carried on in Game 4 with his Yu Sun-shin play, which synergized well with Allan “Lusty” Castromayor’s initiation setups.

    A resurrected Bren forced a Game 5, where they once again deployed KarlTzy’s Lancelot, but this time Blacklist International were able to find a solution through OhMyV33nus’ Popol and Kupa, and Edward “Edward” Jay Dapadap’s Paquito.

    Bren’s defeat has placed them in the lower bracket, where they have a chance to redeem themselves against Work Auster Force. On the other hand, Execration will face Omega in the same bracket.

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    PHOTO: (From Left) Blacklist International/Facebook, Tammy David
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