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    Coach Panda reflects on overcoming losing slump versus V33Wise's Blacklist

    Oct 3, 2022

    EVER SINCE Season 7, Coach Brian “Panda” Lim’s MPL-PH campaigns have always been spoiled by the V33Wise-led Blacklist International.

    While he was coaching PlayBook Esports, Blacklist brushed them aside with back-to-back sweeps. The same happened in Season 8 when Panda took the reigns for RSG PH.

    Season 9 finally saw them notch a victory against Blacklist, though this happened without the Royal Duo of Johnmar "OhMyV33nus" Villaluna and Danerie "Wise" del Rosario.

    And after spearheading RSG to a surprise championship run in Season 9, it was finally time for Coach Panda to see how his championship team would fare against the Codebreakers at their prime in Season 10.

    In their first meeting, Coach Panda ended the string of sweeps he suffered against the V33Wise-era Blacklist International as RSG convincingly won their first Season 10 meeting, but their overall efforts fell short as they were still beaten 2-1 in the series.

    Then came the final matches of the regular season, with the playoff-bound teams scrambling to secure their bracket seedings. Though they lost the opportunity to secure the upper bracket playoff spot, RSG’s 2-1 victory over Blacklist was finally their breakthrough moment.

    Looking back, Coach Panda reflected on the struggles he had to endure when facing Blacklist.


      What Coach Panda learned in their initial encounter

      “As a coach, I never won against Blacklist kahit isang beses ever since I started,” he said. “So syempre, when I know that Blacklist is our next game, I felt nervous. But I used the nervousness to prepare. Like yesterday, I slept at 5 a.m. ata. Usually I sleep at 2 a.m.”


      In their first encounter in Season 10, RSG admitted that they took a page from Blacklist’s gameplan, but Panda realized that it was best to go for a different approach.

      “I’m very happy because I learned a lot through preparing from teams. So, for example, the last time we fought against Blacklist. we tried UBE vs. UBE. We used tank jungle vs. tank jungle. But I told my team, ‘If Blacklist is a very strong shield, let’s not use a shield din, let’s use our spear to fight the shield,’" said the two-time MPL champion.

      But aside from the tactical side of the game, Coach Panda also realized that a different mindset is needed when going against Blacklist.

      RSG’s 14-0 Game 1 masterclass was definitely a historical moment, given the humiliation that the Codebreakers endured, but the job wasn’t done.

      “After 14-0, I was more nervous about what will happen sa Game 2 if I make a mistake. Unlike other games where sumisigaw ako, this time, when we won Game 1, we just high five[d], and then we were just thinking about what do we need to do in Game 2. So, I wasn’t really happy, I was just preparing for the next game,” he related.

      Indeed, the regular season is about to end, but RSG still has a lot to offer. With only 22 points, tied with Onic PH and Omega Esports, RSG still has a chance to keep their momentum and end on a high note with a third place finish. All they need to do is win their final game against Nexplay EVOS.

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      “So that’s how we played today and I’m satisfied with the results but I really want to make habol pa for the playoffs,” said Panda.

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