by Drew Malihan
MANILA - Blacklist International continued their dominant run in MPL Philippines Season 8 as they end their first half of the regular season undefeated with a 2-0 win against RSG Philippines on Friday.
It was two quick games that take the defending champs to their third sweep win to go with four 2-1 victories, losing only four games in seven series.
Both teams went for their main five with RSG's Heath, Iy4knu, Demonkite, Aqua, and Nathz to go against OhMyV33nus, Wise, Hadji, Oheb, and Edward.
RSG went for tenacity as they take Uranus in the off lane and a tank Jawhead to go with Lancelot, Kaja, and Lancelot, while Blacklist take a double-support setup of Mathilda for OhMyV33nus and Rafaela for Hadji to go with Harith, Benedetta, and the return of Bruno in Wise.
With the signature heroes in Blacklist's hands, they make early work from the get go as they take RSG heroes one by one with OhMyV33nus and Hadji constantly rotating with the double-support lineup.
Blacklist's 1-0-4 strategy forced RSG to deploy four heroes as well in the bottom lane at the expense of deaths and Blacklist getting all energy shields.
From there it was all Blacklist as they choked RSG jungles and map control, taking all turtles and the sole lord for the game for Blacklist to take the first win with Wise's Bruno taking the MVP nod with 5/0/1 KDA.
RSG went for a late-game lineup of Lylia, Pharsa, and Rafaela to go with Barats and jungle Benedetta while Blacklist went for a 1-2 punch of Paquito and Chou with Granger, Lunox, and V33nus special Estes.
Blacklist went with their aggression still in the early to mid game getting early map control with Hadji and OhMyV33nus constantly rotating on the lanes.
RSG found their backs against the wall as they continue to fail to secure kills as OhMyV33nus' Estes consistently heal his teammates in teamfights, prompting Demonkite and company to back out.
But with Edward's Paquito and OhMyV33nus falling down at the hands of Demonkite's Benedetta in the 11th minute, this open a slit of comeback potential for RSG as the took down Blacklist's lord and Wise as well, pushing back the defending champs away.
With Oheb's Lunox damage peaked in the late game with the Order of Brilliance, it was go time for Blacklist as Aqua, Heath, and Demonkite fell down and it was Blacklist International in the second game with Oheb's 2/0/7 KDA getting the MVP nod.
Blacklist will enter the second half of the season unscathed as they will face Echo on Saturday while RSG will look to take their fifth win instead in TNC the same day.
Follow him on Twitter: @drewmalihan