FROM THE moment the Mobile Legends Southeast Asia Cup 2021 started, both Execration and Blacklist International were destined to face each other.
They were rivals in the MPL-PH season 7 finals who both dominated the group stages of the MSC. Then, in the first very first day of the playoffs, one breezed past the upper bracket, while the other was booted down to the lower bracket, and had to grind their way to the finish line.
If the previous matchup in the local pro league was a come-from-behind victory, where Blacklist taught Execration a painful lesson, the MSC finals was the complete opposite. Execration secured their redemption arc by beating Blacklist International, 4-1, in a best-of-seven grindfest.
Game 1 looked like a close encounter as both teams went back-and-forth in teamfights, until Blacklist reached their power spikes in the 9th to 10th minute.
Danerie James “Wise” Del Rosario and Kiel Calvin “OHEB” Soriano capitalized on this opportunity to obliterate the double K connection of Duane “Kelra” Pillas and Kiel VJ “Kielvj” Hernandez, leading to their calculated first game win.
Realizing that Blacklist were waiting for their power spikes, Execration drafted a fast-paced, burst-damage lineup to slow down the codebreaker’s snowball capabilities in Game 2.
Combining Kelra’s Kagura, Kielvj’s Brody, and Patrick James “E2MAX” Caidic’s Kagura with the crowd control abilities from Renz Errol Salonga “Renzio” Cadua’s Paquito, plus surprise entrances from Joshua “Ch4knu” Mangilog’s Mathilda, Execration secured a convincing Game 2 win.
And just like that, Blacklist International finally lost a game in the MSC.
With momentum steamrolling in their favor, Execration carried on with their damage lineup as they selected Brody and Esmeralda in Game 3. However, Blacklist International slowed them with their sustain lineup.
It seemed Execration were about to lose the game as they lost all of their towers, but the heroic performances from Renzio’s Benedetta and Kelra’s Esmeralda at the latter stages of the game became a driving force for their comeback victory in Game 3.
Down 2-1, Blacklist International tried to bounce back as Edward “Edward” Jay Dapadap’s Benedetta made surprise entrances in the 9th minute. Eventually, the codebreakers carried their momentum in the 12-13th minute by securing the Lord.
However, Execration took a page from Blacklist’s gameplan by going for the backdoor entrance play. Renzio forced the defending MPL-PH champions to use their abilities in unwanted situations, allowing Kielvj and the rest of the members of Execration to unleash their abilities, ultimately sealing Execration’s momentous Game 4 win.
With only a win left before final victory, Execration tried everything to secure that long awaited trophy. They were met with heavy resistance as Blacklist was given an opportunity to select Franco, a hero that had proved a formidable obstacle in the MPL-PH.
But Execration learned from their previous mishaps and forced Blacklist in an uncomfortable position throughout the entire game. The codebreakers tried to salvage the series with a stalwart defensive effort in the 11th minute, but Execration bested them from the 13th minute onwards, securing them their first major ring.
Finally, Billy “Z4pnu” Alfonso, Jomie “Pakbet” Abalos, and Ch4knu have a trophy. And not just any trophy: the regional cup, at that.
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