ON THE second match of Day 2 of the Mobile Legends Professional League Season 8 Playoffs, defending MPL champions Blacklist International took on SEA juggernauts Omega Esports, who prevailed over their old rivals, 3-1, to become the second team to beat the codebreakers.
Blacklist came into the match out for blood, looking to avenge their last playoff loss against Omega Esports (then Execration) during MSC 2021.
This marquee match-up of champions was promised to be a banger of a series, even with the absence of Kiel "OHEB" Soriano, still serving a suspension for unsportsmanlike behavior from the tail end of the regular season.
MPL-PH Playoff Day 2 Recap: Blacklist versus Omega
To kick off the series, Blacklist International picked up their signature Rafaela and Kimmy. In response, Omega Esports picked Lancelot, with whom they'd found success in their previous matchup against ECHO PH.
Dean "Raizen" Sumagui continued his hot streak from yesterday picking up first blood against Johnmar "V33nus" Villaluna’s Rafaela. Omega secured the early Turtles of the game and was dictating the tempo against the codebreakers.
It was a blow for blow affair until the mid-game for these two ML giants. Omega kept on the pressure but the sustain from Blacklist held true for the defending champs. Blacklist managed to secure the first Lord of the game and the game started turning more in their favor. The Kimmy and Claude barrage of Blacklist just took over once Omega started forcing the clashes, giving Blacklist International a convincing Game 1 victory.
It would be an Omega show from then on.
Omega switched it up in Game 2, stealing Rafaela from their rivals, while the codebreakers threw a curve ball at Omega by picking up Balmond. Raizen was still in fine form on his Lancelot picking up 4 kills in four minutes for Omega, meanwhile Blacklist still secured the early Turtles thanks to Balmond to keep the game close. The spotlight in the mid game was the one-two punch of Raizen and Duane "Kelra" Pillas' Alice, as they dominated the mid game for Omega, avenging their previous loss and tying the series at one apiece.
For Game 3, Omega finally went with the one-punch man Aldous and a surprise Faramis to the fans delight. Blacklist International continued the sustain-based line-ups, picking up Angela this time around. Danerie James "Wise" Del Rosario's Balmond managed to secure first blood and the first Turtle of the game for the Agents.
The early game was all Blacklist International as OMG’s Joshua "Ch4knu" Mangilog struggled to maintain his usual tempo. Unlike the first two games, Raizen’s Lancelot barely found any success, but they managed to make up for it around the 15 minute mark through their clutch heroics.
Then, like clockwork, at the 18 minute mark Omega’s late game heroics just lit up with Kelra and Raizen taking over to sweep the legs of the champs, with a 2-1 lead.
In Game 4, Blacklist stayed with their Angela and picked Wise's signature Aldous. Omega stuck with Raizen's Lancelot and kept their grasp on Rafaela.
Early game was a tight as both teams refused to give up any ground. The so-called Queen of the MPL wanted vengeance after their last chance as OhMyV33nus' Angela was orchestrating beautifully and racking up assists, allowing Blacklist to swing hard into the mid-game.
But Raizen’s heroics would not be denied as he kept making things happen for the SEA Kings, which included a Lord steal turned into a clean base push.
Blacklist International heads down to lower bracket
It was the ultimate dagger as Omega advanced to the upper bracket finals.
Prior to the match, V33nus mentioned that Omega is a legitimate threat in the playoffs. Omega Coach, Jomie "Pakbet" Abalos mentioned a key catalyst for their sudden playofff resurgence in the post-match interview.
"Yung regular season kase namin parang lahat ng mali namin tinanggal na namin," the coach said. "Yung mga shotcall namin tsaka yung mga comms namin, lalong-lalo na yung chemistry namin, dun namin pinag-compile yung lahat ng mali namin. Pag pasok ng playoffs dapat perfect na lahat."
Omega will clash with Onic in the next round while Blacklist is relegated to the lower bracket, where they will face the fan favorites, Nexplay EVOS. The absence of OHEB was sorely felt for the Agents . Will his return signal a bounce back for the regular season's top-ranked team?
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