MANILA, Philippines – Blacklist International looks to beef up its Dota 2 squad with the impending addition of Michael “ninjaboogie” Ross Jr. as its coach, sources told Rappler.
Ninjaboogie, a Filipino-American, is most known for his 10-year esports pro career that was highlighted by several appearances in The International, and the Dota 2 Asia Championship title in 2018.
His addition to the team, according to the well-placed source, is part of management’s commitment to maximize its roster through the sports’ most prestigious event.
Introduced in late 2022, Blacklist International’s roster features Marc “Raven” Luis Fausto, Karl “Karl” Baldowino, Carlo “Kuku” Palad, Timothy “TIMS” Randrup, and Nico “eyyou” Barcelon.
The team recently finished fourth in the Dota Pro Circuit 2023, and now totes a win-loss record total of 7 wins and 8 losses for a 47% win rate.
Blacklist unveils Wild Rift team
Blacklist continued to expand its portfolio of esports properties by unveiling its League of Legends: Wild Rift team last Friday, February 17.
It is the first move of the newly christened partnership between Blacklist International and G2 Esports, one of the top esports teams, and according to Forbes, the sixth-most valuable esports company in the world.
It is the German outfit’s first foray in Asia.
Tier One CEO and co-founder Tryke Gutierrez said the partnership was a result of a year’s worth of negotiations between the two sides, and was elated to finally partner with a team that he patterned the structure of his company after.
“G2 Esports is one of the top five esports teams in the world in terms of valuation of ranking, among other things, and I feel like if you’re on that level, to be able to trust your brand to someone in Asia, where you don’t have an idea is not an easy thing to do, right?” said Gutierrez.
“Doing that due diligence for them, being able to talk about the details of the deal, and really like understanding what the philosophy of what they do… how the goals match together, it’s not easy,” he continued.
“To be affiliated with G2, which has always been affiliated with a winning culture, is super important to us.”
Coached by Hans “WUrahhhh” Solano and assistant Keiya “XDXP” Laureta, the team will feature Jairus Allain “Jace” Elgera (Jungle), Jhon Mike “Xyliath” Tungol (Midlane), Richard “Demon” Lara (Dragon), Beaver-ed “Orthros” Villanueva (Support/Captain), and Allen Dean “Don” Viola (Sub/Baron).
After the formal introduction, the team immediately sprang into action during the Phase 2 qualifiers of the Wild Rift League (WRL) Asia after receiving a direct invite, but yielded to compatriots The 300 in the best-of-three match, 2-0.
“The mantra of Blacklist is we always want to invest in a team that already has a result,” explained Gutierrez.
“What we’re looking for is output, chemistry among the members of its core team, since we don’t believe in assembling five superstars and seeing immediate results,” he continued.
Per Gutierrez, he is envisioning Blacklist to someday dip into the blossoming Valorant circuit, but it may take some time since they are more focused on mobile-based online gaming. – Rappler.com
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