THE PHILIPPINES excelled with flying colors in the very first test of the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Southeast Asia Cup 2021.
Recent MPL-PH Season 7 champions Blacklist International, secured a comfortable win over MPL-ID Season 7 runner ups, Bigetron Alpha.
Bigetron drafted a lineup that could potentially weaken Blacklist International’s signature aggression, by going defensive with their Chang’e, Yu Zhong, and Tigreal picks.
However, it didn’t matter, as Blacklist International cruised their way to a 11-minute victory in Game 1.
Edward “Edward” Jay Dapadap delivered a flawless Paquito game where he surprised Bigetron’s backlines. His efforts, together with the unexpected entrances from Mark Jayson “ESON” Gerardo’s Rafaela, Johnmar “OhMyV33nus” Villaluna’s Yve, and Danerie James “Wise” Del Rosario’s Aldous, completely overwhelmed the Indonesian squad.
It seemed Bigetron were able to find a solution to Blacklist’s early teamplay setups through their Kagura and Kaja picks in Game 2, but Wise’s Aldous proved to be a thorn in the latter stages of the game, forcing the Indonesians to yield.
Wise masterfully utilized his Contract: Chase Fate ability to lure Bigetron in using their abilities in unwanted situations. Plus, he was able to weaken Bigetron’s primary damage dealers.
It wasn’t only the champions who secured a sweep over their rivals. MPL-PH Season 7 runner-ups Execration also prevailed over the inaugural MPL-SG champions, EVOS SG.
Game 1 was a signature Execration moment, where they struggled at the early phases of the game, only for them to bounce back in the 5th minute as Joshua “Ch4knu” Mangilog’s Grock setup created space for his teammates to charge forward.
His heroics halted EVOS SG’s momentum as they struggled to deal with his Guardian’s Barrier block. The Singaporean representatives tried to salvage the game in the 17th minute as they tried to secure the Lord. However, Kiel VJ “Kielvj” Hernandez and Duane “Kelra” Pillas spoiled their potential comeback by stealing the Lord and slaughtering their key players.
EVOS SG once again had no answers in Game 2 as they struggled to deal with Ch4knu’s movements, as well as Kielvj and Kelra’s damage outburst.
Their victories have easily put the two teams on the road to upper bracket playoff spots.
While the Filipino squads stood tall, the other matches saw RSG Malaysia breeze their way past their brothers RSG Singapore. Ahmad Zaki “Zacus” Ibrahim delivered a Chou masterclass in both games.
On the other hand, EVOS Legends gave Todak a brutal lesson on Diggie strategies as they thwarted Todak’s Diggie in Game 1, and gave them a taste of their own medicine by unleashing their own version of the cheese strategy in Game 2.
As of posting, two more games are still to be played in Day 1 of the regional cup: RSG Singapore versus Thailand's IDONOTSLEEP at 6 p.m. for Group A, and Malaysia's Todak versus Vietnam's Cyber EXE at 8 p.m. for Group B.