The Codebreakers and heavy favorites were placed in Group A, against the best teams from South America and Turkey, while Onic PH — second were sorted to the group of death in Group B, where they'll be facing their sibling rival and Indonesian champions, Onic Esports.
Other notable teams to watch out for are RRQ and Onic Esports, given their impressive outing in the MPL: Invitational, as well as Natus Vincere, given their status as one of the most prominent esports organizations in the world.
And there are others enigmas that are worth watching as seen from the groups below.
M3 Group A:
Blacklist International (MPL PH Champion)
Red Canids (MPL Brazil Champion)
Malvinas Gaming (LATAM Qualifiers Champion)
BDL (Turkey Qualifiers Champion)
M3 Group B:
Onic Esports (MPL ID Champions)
Onic PH (MPL PH Runner Up)
Todak Esports (MPL MY Runner Up)
KEYD (MPL Brazil Runner Up)
M3 Group C:
EVOS SG (MPL SG Champions)
SeeYouSoon (MPL Cambodia Champions)
Natus Vincere (Russia Qualifier Champions)
BTK (North America Qualifier Champions)
M3 Group D:
Team SMG (MPL MY Champions)
RRQ (MPL ID Champions)
GX Squad (Middle East Qualifiers Champions)
RSG SG (MPL SG Runner Up)
Can the Philippines go back-to-back?
The defending M2 World Champions, Bren Esports, are no longer in this year's World Championships with their regular season exit in Season 8. In their absence, two other Filipino MLBB teams are tasked to carry on their mantle.
"We're pretty confident [that PH will] win back-to-back championships because both Onic (PH) and Blacklist are strong teams and I think we have prepared for the best and we're ready," said Onic PH captain, Allen Jedric "Baloyskie" Baloy.
Onic's head coach, Paul Denver "Yeb" Miranda, intended to stick to his gameplan.
"We respect all teams but we want to stick to our strengths so we want them to play our style. So those teams need to prepare for us," he mused.
While Onic expressed a level of confidence in following Bren's footsteps, The Codebreakers opted to go for a cautious approach.
"Yeah it's possible but it's not 100 percent sure. But as long we're teammates, we're going to do our best to get that back-to-back championships, not only in MPL but also for M3. We will try our best to make history in Mobile Legends," said Blacklist head coach, Kristoffer "BON CHAN" Ricaplaza.
The Codebreakers, shotcaller and team captain, Johnmar "OhMyV33nus" Villaluna, was excited to meet the other teams.
"Most of the time it is between Philippines and Indonesia in the Grand Finals but during M2 we saw how Burmese Ghouls dominated that tournament. So I'm looking forward to meet the underdogs or the dark horse teams because I'm a big fan of dark horses."
The group stages will commence on December 6 to9, 2021. Blacklist International will be spearheading the matches on December 6, while their fellow Filipino representatives will take centerstage on the following day. The overall prize pool is at $800,000 (or P40.2 million) with the Grand Champion bringing home $300,000.