by Drew Malihan
MANILA - Defending champions Blacklist International established their dominance in the Mobile Legends scene as they secured their sixth straight win against ONIC Philippines to end their Week 3 campaign of MPL Philippines Season 8.
It was their 14th straight MPL victory since their last defeat against Bren Esports way back Season 7, further building their dominant run in the MPL-PH scene, while ONIC lost their second match in a row.
Blacklist fielded their main five with OhMyv33nus at the helm while ONIC went with Kairi and Baloyskie with the constant rotation in the remaining three in Markyyyyy, Dlarskie, and Micophobia.
ONIC drafted a jungle Claude with a tank Popol and Kupa and the return of Chang'e in Season 8, while Blacklist get their comforts in Yi Sun-shin, Estes, Benedetta, Alice, and Martis.
Blacklist started well in the early game, getting two early kills in the process in the side lanes, but ONIC bounced back as they establish map control in the mid game.
However, a turtle challenge from ONIC became unsuccessful as Oheb's Alice activated his Flowing Blood Ultimate with the rest of the Blacklist squad, killing Kairi's Claude in the process and reestablishing map control.
ONIC went to a lord challenge and a split push by Dlarskie's Paquito at the same time but it was too much for them as Blacklist's sustain us enough to take the lord and as well chase Dlarskie away, getting three kills in the process.
Edward's Benedetta, hiding in the top bush, outboxed Kairi against a potential lord take to give Blacklist International an unchallenged lord take but ONIC make amends as they slain Oheb's as they went on a GG push.
From there it was ONIC as they went into a split push, taking OhMyV33nus's Estes and Hadji's Martis down to take the first game with a 2/2/3 outing from Dlarskie.
The yellow and black squad pulled a surprise as they switch Micophobia and Markyyyyy to sub Hatred and Beemo for Game 2
ONIC went to more surprises as they get a Fanny pick along with a Mathilda steal, while Blacklist still went with the Estes, an Edward special Paquito, and the return of Brody in Wise's hands.
It was a end-to-end battle from the get go, with both teams getting their objectives and exchanging kills for kills.
However, with the invade potential from Blacklist, they denied Kairi's Fanny of every opportunity to take buffs comfortably for Wise and Oheb.
Blacklist utilized their Ultimate Bonding Experience strategy along with a buff-deprived Kairi to push for objectives and kills, as well as to take down all ONIC outer turrets.
From there it was all Blacklist International as they take the mid to late game, getting Dlarskie and Kairi struggling to get the lord to go for the Game 2 win with a 2/0/8 output from "The Queen."
Blacklist went still with the YSS-Estes combo with Chou, Barats, and Harith, while ONIC went with a jungle Kairi and a Alice steal with Paquito, Jawhead, and Lylia.
The defending champs gave a hard time to ONIC even as they get kills as Blacklist get their objectives first with kills as collaterals, including two kills to Hatred's Alice.
Blacklist went to a 1-0-4 formation in their UBE strategy to displace ONIC heroes and push the bottom turrets then went to the top lane to push as well.
ONIC went to retaliate potwntial Blacklist team fights but with the sustain of Oheb and Edward as well as OhMyV33nus heals did wonders as Dlarskie and company found hard time to even take down the side lane combo.
Edward's Barats was taken down via Ejector to tower by Beemo's Jawhead but Blacklist answered by a Wise's YSS Mountain Shocker to Baloyskie's Lylia, then Blacklist secures kills to all but Kairi to spell the end of the match in Blacklist's favor, with Wise's 7/0/6, Oheb's Harith with a 6/1/9 KDA, and Hadji's Chou with a 1/3/11.
Blacklist will try to extend their streak against RSG Philippines on September 17 while ONIC will try to bounce back on September 18 against a struggling Bren Esports.
Follow him on Twitter: @drewmalihan