MANILA, Philippines – Blacklist International figures in an early collision with a familiar face, while Echo battles a pair of champions in the group stage of Mobile Legends M4 World Championship in Indonesia starting on January 1.
Defending champion Blacklist got drawn in Group A, where it will go up against Filipino coach John Michael “Zico” Dizon and Cambodian squad Burn X Flash.
Zico and Blacklist duo Danerie James “Wise” del Rosario and Johnmar “OhMyV33nus” Villaluna go a long way back as they played together for Onic PH in Season 4 of the Mobile Legends Professional League (MPL) Philippines.
The three have carved a niche in their respective fields, with the “V33Wise” tandem leading Blacklist to three MPL Philippines crowns and the M3 world title and Zico guiding Burn X Flash to the MPL Cambodia championship.
Blacklist also tangles with Myanmar’s Falcon Esports and Turkey’s Incendio Supremacy in Group A.
Meanwhile, Echo will have its mettle tested in its first world championship stint by Indonesian champion RRQ Hoshi and Singaporean titlist RSG Singapore in Group C.
RRQ has been a perennial title contender in the world championships, finishing second in M1 and third in M2, while RSG is no pushover after ruling the past two seasons of MPL Singapore.
Echo will bank on star jungler Karl Gabriel “KarlTzy” Nepomuceno, who is gunning for his second world title after powering Bren Esports to the M2 championship in 2020.
Completing Group C is Egyptian side Occupy Thrones.
Indonesia’s Onic Esports, Malaysia’s Todak, Vietnam’s MDH Esports, and Argentina’s Malvinas Gaming compose Group B.
Meanwhile, Malaysia’s Team HAQ, Brazil’s RRQ Akira, Argentina’s S11 Gaming, and North America’s The Valley comprise Group D.
There will be no elimination in the group stage, with the top two from each group advancing to the upper bracket playoffs and the bottom two fighting for their tournament lives in the lower bracket.
A prize pool of $800,000 (over P44 million) is at stake in the tournament that will run from January 1 to 15 in Jakarta. – Rappler.com