ROUND ONE of Indonesia vs. The Philippines has finally begun as Blacklist International and RRQ Hoshi clashed against each other in the upper bracket.
The Codebreakers had to contend with a hostile Indonesian crowd, who are renowned as one the most energetic of all MLBB fanbases. But despite the chants, cheers, and the undying passion from the RRQ Kingdom, Blacklist silenced them with a 3-2 series win.
They'll proceed to the upper bracket finals, awaiting the winner of the match between Onic Indonesia and ECHO PH.
Blacklist storms back
Game 1 saw Blacklist stumble against RRQ's mobile and burst-centric lineup led by Rivaldi "R7" Fatah's Joy, who would cause a lot of havoc on the Codebreakers.
It was surprising that, after that loss, Blacklist stuck with their Game 1 lineup. However, they did make some crucial banning changes as they eliminated Joy from the the equation.
While it seemed RRQ had the strong Game 2 start, Blacklist slowly dominated the entire match. The Joy-less Kingdom struggled to outmaneuver their foes, and powered by poke damage from Kiel "Oheb" Soriano's Brody and Salic "Hadji" Imam's Pharsa, combined with the sustain from Johnmar "OhMyV33nus" Villaluna, Blacklist was able to melt RRQ's turrets.
As the Codebreakers cruised their way in pushing towers, RRQ failed to secure a tower objective.
There was nothing RRQ could do, forcing Blacklist to bounce back and win in Game 2.
Blacklist started Game 3 strong, with OhMyV33nus doing a great job in positioning herself with her Lolita as the team controlled the game in every chokepoint.
But as the match went on, RRQ found their footing. Calvin “VYN," R7, and Albert “Alberttt” Iskandar were able to synergize well in most teamfights. But while this gave the Indonesian squad a glimmer of hope, Blacklist was able to respond.
Both Wise and Edward proved to be a pest in every match with their Fredrinn and Gloo combo shaping up to be a problematic duo. Their tankiness and their ability to zone out key targets even limited Alberttt. Edward stalled down RRQ at the final play, which led to Blacklist's final push for their Game 3 win.
A desperate RRQ fought back with their Kaja and Yu Zhong picks, and Blacklist eventually stumbled in Game 4, leading to a tense decider.
Both teams stuck to their comfort picks for their do-or-die faceoff. After an impressive Game 4 outing, VYN once again used his Kaja, while Blacklist stuck to their signature Barats pick to add more survivability.
With Wise's Barats serving as a bait to VYN's Kaja, Blacklist was able to gain the counterattacking threat.
In fact, their gameplan was perfect in the decider, with RRQ struggling to burst down any threat.
Then, when it came to objectives, Blacklist slowly chipped at the turrets while Wise stole Alberttt's jungle control.
If Game 4 saw VYN shine, the final game saw him struggle as Blacklist was able to read his initiation setups.
However, not everything was sunshine for the Codebreakers. At the 22nd minute, RRQ went for a desperate push to victory, nearly winning that teamfight, only for Edward to slay key members.
Blacklist capitalized on the situation for the final play. WIth RRQ stealing the Lord, Blacklist saw that they had used up all their resources to go for the win. Blacklist charged against a battered Indonesian squad to secure their upper bracket finals slot.