IN THE battle of survival for these two teams, it was the defending MPL champions Blacklist International who marched on while their foes Nexplay EVOS were eliminated.
Their previous encounter revealed that Nexplay may have a solution to the Codebreaker’s dreaded ‘UBE’ strategy. However the outcome spoke otherwise as Blacklist comfortably swept their rivals 3-0. Kiel "OHEB" Soriano's return made a strong impact, with his damage outburst became a key cog in his team's gameplan.
Throughout the entire series, Nexplay opted to select Paquito with the goal of aggressively eliminating key members in the early stages of the game.
Nexplay thought that securing the early kills and eliminating the Tier 1 turret in Game 1 would give them the space needed to limit the Codebreaker’s resources. But it was to no avail as Blacklist found other alternatives.
Blacklist vs. Nexplay playoffs recap
The likes of Kiel “OHEB” Soriano and Edward “Edward” Jay Dapadap were seen staying at their lanes to clear minion waves and destroy turrets. Upon acquiring key items, these two would charge into teamfights to serve as the x-factors.
Nexplay couldn’t deal with their sustained advantages in Game 1 as OHEB’s Harith and Edward’s Thamuz seemed unkillable. They likewise struggled to deal with the damage outburst from OHEB’s Natan and the zoning capabilities from Edward’s Lapu Lapu in Game 2.
They tried to salvage the series by stealing the Lord or by utilizing Renejay “RENEJAY” Barcarse’s split pushing game, but the end product ended up as a disaster, ultimately booting them out of a chance to represent the Philippines in the upcoming M3 World Championships and securing their first MPL trophy.
Blacklist must have sorely missed OHEB in their previous previous playoff match against Omega Esports. The young player admitted as much in the post-match interview, where he repeated that he'll never repeat the mistakes that caused his suspension.
In addition, he expressed his thoughts on playing at the lower bracket, which is the first time that happened in his career.
"Kahit ma-lower bracket kami, hindi kami mada-down, hindi kami mapre-pressure basta gagawin namin yung play namin. Magiging confident pa rin kami, pero hindi overconfident,” he said
He even explained the team’s reasons for choosing Natan.
"Early game kase kaya niyang harassin yung katapat ko tapos sa late game masakit tsaka pang-agaw sa hero ni Hesa. Pang-deny pick para sa kalaban namin.”
Blacklist will proceed to the next round, where they will face the loser of the upper bracket match between Onic PH and Omega Esports.
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