by Drew Malihan
MANILA - Blacklist International started their second half of MPL Philippines Season 8 campaign on a high note as they took down a gritty Echo squad on Saturday.
It was the eighth win of the season out of eight games for Bon Chan's squad, continuing their dominant MPL run from Season 7 with their last loss against Bren Esports last season.
Blacklist went to grab their ace picks Granger, Alice, Estes, and Benedetta with a tank Popol and Kupa, while Echo went to a tank Mathilda and a jungle Claude to go with Lunox, Beatrix, and Gloo.
Both teams went to get their jungles farmed in the first seven minutes before their first clash which saw both junglers falling down in the turtle pit, prompting the start of more team clashes for the next 20 minutes.
It was a toe to toe battle between two contenders in the mid game, as Blacklist get more significant pickoffs while Echo went to more of their objectives, getting all three turtles and engaging later in team fights.
However, several pickoffs from Oheb's Alice, including one to KurtTzy's Gloo, proved to be fatal to Echo as the latter lost their sustain hero, prompting Blacklist to go to a GG push in the 26th minute to take the first win.
Oheb took the MVP honors as his unscathed Alice take six kills and eight assists with 93 percent kill participation.
Blacklist went to a more sustain-heavy second game lineup with Alice, Chou, Estes, and Barats to help a jungle Bruno, while Echo went with a double marksman setup of Beatrix and Claude along with a jungle Harley, Popol and Kupa, and Lapu-lapu for more damage.
The defending champs get the first two kills only in the fourth minute to start the scoring load for both teams, but Echo bounced back and made significant kills in team fights, including a four-to-none exchange, prompting Oheb's Alice to retreat.
However, the Echo gameplay of making Wise uncomfortable to get his farms went to naught as OhMyV33nus and company activate their sustains and made Echo pay for overstaying in the Blacklist area.
From there, it was Blacklist who controlled the late game, with an Rk3 for OhMyV33nus enough for the defending champs to take the final lord and go for the GG push to end the series in 20 minutes, with Wise's 2/2/8 KDA leading the team with his Bruno.
Echo will try to bounce back against an El Clasico rival in ONIC Philippines on Sunday, while Blacklist International will square off against TNC Pro Team on September 25.
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