THE PAST TWO world champions went head-to-head in the upper bracket as M2 champs Bren Esports clashed against the defending M3 champs, Blacklist International.
From the first game, the series looked promising as both teams were able to engage efficiently, even leading to a five-game masterpiece between these two world champs.
But in the end, it was Blacklist International who survived as they prevailed over Bren Esports in a 3-2 grindfest.
This immediately places them on the upper bracket finals against ECHO PH. The winner of that match will proceed to the M4 World Championship.
There's no breaking the code for Blacklist International
The series started off with the bang as both Bren Esports and Blacklist International had a close encounter in Game 1.
Both teams systematically dissected each other with Bren capitalizing on their Karrie pick to deny Danerie James “Wise” Del Rosario’s Barats.
However, Blacklist had their countermeasures ready, as Kiel “Oheb” Soriano would charge towards Marco “Super Marco” Requitano to limit his aggression.
But Bren was also prepared as Rowgien “Owgwen” Unigo capitalized on the chokepoints while Vincent “Pandora” Unigo harassed Salic “Hadji” Imam.
However, Blacklist had Edward “Edward” Jay Dapadap to distract the opposition with some potential backdoor plays.
It was back-and-forth until the 28th minute, which sealed the entire match as Edward charged towards the backlines, forcing Bren to extend. This allowed Johnmar “OhMyV33nus” Villaluna and crew to finally hammer down the nail in the coffin as Blacklist grinded their way to their Game 1 win.
While Game 1 was Blacklist surviving a potential scare, Games 2 and 3 saw the Codebreakers overwhelmed by Bren’s rookies. The four new playoff performers were able to make crucial plays in those losses.
But in Game 4, Blacklist found their response. Going back to their roots, Blacklist’s Estes was key to their Game 4 stomp. Not even the Fredrinn from Pandora could challenge the sustain that Blacklist brings as he was slowly poked. With him down, Blacklist could storm past their foes for a comfortable Game 4 win and a crucial decider match.
Game 5 saw Bren begin with momentum as their mobility was an overwhelming force over their rivals. But with Wise targeting key threats with his heavy spin, Blacklist slowly bounced back.
As the match progressed, Blacklist slowly chipped their way to victory as they were able to secure key pickoffs against their foes.
As each member was killed, Blacklist was gaining their momentum and as the match went on, it was the Codebreakers who ultimately outlasted their foes.