|Blacklist International's Hadji was named Finals MVP for MPL-PH Season 8. Screencap from MPL Philippines c/o Blacklist International|
by Drew Malihan
MANILA - Over familiar faces, friends, and foes, a new dynasty prevailed at the end of the journey.
Defending champions Blacklist International completed the MPL Philippines Season 8 decoding as they toppled down second-seed ONIC Philippines in five games to take their second MPL trophy in their franchise history.
Hadji led the team in their finals campaign, going for 14 kills and 47 assists while falling down just 11 times in five, earning him the Finals MVP honors for the first time in his career.
Blacklist International went for a roaming Mathilda and a support Hadji in Yve with Lunox, Barats, and Aldous, while ONIC PH fielded Lylia, Natan, Karina, Paquito, and Akai.
ONIC found themselves struggling in the first four minutes as they fell into a 1-4 deficit due to early damage output from Blacklist, but regained slight advantage after taking down Edward and the bottom lane turret courtesy of Dlarskie's Paquito.
Blacklist however regained map control as they get more of the objectives and trade for kills when ONIC took their own.
ONIC however gained the map in the bottom lane as they disengaged a fatal Real World Manipulation courtesy of Beemo and taking down three Blacklist heroes.
A second lord contest became fatal for ONIC as Hadji, Edward, and Wise's ultimates took down Kairi, Baloyskie, and Dlarskie in the process and took the lord comfortably.
The entire ONIC PH five targeted Wise in the bottom lane in the 20th minute, however became fatal for them as it was traded for three ONIC heroes and two inhibitor turrets, despite Hadji falling down as well.
With the opening, Blacklist wasted no time and waited for the last minion wave to get the first game with Hadji's 3/1/15 showing with the Yve.
ONIC went for a Kairi jungle in the second game along with Natan, Grock, X.Borg, and Lunox, while Blacklist went with the Alice, Balmond, Mathilda, and Yu Zhong.
Yeb's boys went on to have a better start in the second game, getting the early game advantage against Blacklist who fielded a marksman-less five.
However, Blacklist went on to balance things out as they went with the lord steal in the 12th minute and two heroes as well, with the lord taking the top second-tier turret.
A second lord take went into ONIC but Blacklist went on to take down Markyyyyy and Baloyskie to even up the trade.
Wise's sneak attack in the river proved to be fatal for Blacklist as he went in the back against three ONIC members who took him easily, leading to a Blacklist offense collapse to tie the series 1-1 led by Markyyyyyy's 8/4/4.
ONIC subbed in Hatred for Markyyyyyy and went for the Natan along with Jawhead, Kairi, Gloo, and Yve while Blacklist went for Grock, core Bane, Lunox, Mathilda, and Paquito.
Blacklist International went on to start great from the get go as OhMyV33nus went to get six straight kills including two highlight take downs on Hatred's Natan and Kairi's Lancelot.
With the space given by both OhMyV33nus and Hadji, Wise's Bane thrived in the farming department, abusing the Shark Bite passive skill to take all three turtles.
Oheb also shined in the 11th minute as he did the RubyDD Lunox play, getting three ONIC heroes in the process before being eventually being taken down by Kairi's Lancelot.
However, Wise and Hadji clipped down Kairi and Dlarskie to spell doom for ONIC in the third game as Blacklist locked the tower comfortably with Wise's 7/2/6 KDA leading the defending champs.
Blacklist went with almost the same lineup for Game 4, switching out Lunox and Grock with Harith and Chou, while ONIC PH went for the Lunox, Rafaela, Benedetta, Uranus, and a support Natan.
With Blacklist deploying Oheb's Harith to the experience lane, the defending champs went on to have a dominant Game 4 run marked by burst damage from start to end.
As Edward get his gold early on and Harith going online quick, OhMyV33nus and company went into a much earlier UBE time, targeting Dlar and Natan from the start to avoid a late-game setback.
From there, it was all Blacklist domination as they did not let ONIC PH scored a single one with a 17-0 outing with Hadji's 1/0/9 performance.
Markyyyyy subbed in for Hatred as he picked the gold lane Paquito along with Grock, Lunox, Lancelot, and Yu Zhong for ONIC PH, while Blacklist went still with the Mathilda-Bane duo along with Jawhead, Natan, and Barats.
Blacklist went on to have a stellar start still with Oheb in the experience lane while Edward went in the gold lane to disrupt Dlarskie and Markyyyyyy.
Wise still capitalized on the space created by the sidelanes with OhMyV33nus setting up for the pickoffs.
A Hadji pickoff is the last hurrah for ONIC PH as Wise's skills almost took down Baloyskie but with Edward and Wise's skills too much to handle, all but Beemo went down for ONIC, as Blacklist wasted no time to lock the towers and get the series.
With the win, OhMyV33nus, Wise, Edward, Dex Star, and Oheb grabbed their second MPL Philippines trophy, Eson his third, and Hadji his first in seven seasons in the MPL.
Blacklist will also bag US$35,000 as cash prize, while ONIC PH will go home US$20,000 richer, while they also represent the Philippines in the M3 World Championships in December.
Follow him on Twitter: @drewmalihan