MANILA, Philippines – Winning a gold medal in the Southeast Asian Games has become the new goal for Blacklist International.
The reigning world champions asserted their dominance as they ruled the 2022 Sibol Mobile Legends National Team Selection after crushing Nexplay EVOS in the grand finals on Sunday, January 30.
Unbeaten in a series going into the championship round, Blacklist made quick work of Nexplay, 4-1, in their best-of-seven affair to earn the right to represent the country in the biennial showpiece to be hosted by Vietnam in May.
Johnmar “OhMyV33nus” Villaluna, Danerie James “Wise” del Rosario, Salic “Hadji” Imam, Kyle Dominic “Dominic” Soto, and Lee Howard “Owl” Gonzales make up the national team that will try to defend the gold medal the country won in the 2019 SEA Games.
Swept by Blacklist earlier in the tournament, Nexplay avoided another shutout loss after clinching Game 3 to shave its series deficit to 1-2.
But that only delayed the inevitable, with Blacklist winning the next two matches and capping it off with a swift 13-minute win in the decisive Game 5.
Nexplay tried to pick off OhMyV33nus (Rafaela) on the river only to find out that it fell into a deep trap as Blacklist completed a three-man kill on John Paul “H2wo” Salonga (Karrie), Mariusz “Donut” Tan (Brody), and Kenneth “Cadenza” Castro (Mathilda) that paved the way to the victory.
Hadji (Valentina) led Blacklist in Game 5 with 4 kills and 3 assists against 1 death, while Wise (Barats) churned out 2 kills and 3 assists against 0 deaths.
Despite the loss, Nexplay still showed vast improvement as it now turns its attention to Season 9 of Mobile Legends Professional League (MPL) Philippines, which kicks off on February 18.
Relegated to the lower bracket by Blacklist, Nexplay impressed in victories over Omega Esports, Onic Philippines, and RSG Philippines to reach the grand finals.
Blacklist, meanwhile, will have no problem juggling its priorities as only Hadji will see action in MPL Philippines.
OhMyV33nus and Wise opted to skip Season 9, while Owl and Dominic were tapped as replacements for Kiel “Oheb” Soriano and Edward “Edward” Dapadap due to the SEA Games’ age restrictions. – Rappler.com