by Drew Malihan
MANILA - Blacklist International finished their MPL Philippines Season 8 campaign with a 2-0 win over World Champions Bren Esports in the final day of the regular season.
Blacklist, who will play without Oheb for two games, will play Wise at side lane, Hadji at his traditional jungler, OhMyV33nus at the support, and sixth man Eson at the tank role, while Bren Esports fielded rookies Malik and Rimuru with veterans L3bron, Coco, and Ejhay.
Bren fielded a double marksman in side lane Natan and core Yi Sun-shin to go with X.Borg, Khufra, and Lunox while Blacklist went to Hadji signature Ling and Wise's former main Pharsa to go with Yve, Gloo, and Atlas for Eson.
Blacklist went to a different playstyle and went to aggressive mode with them letting Hadji get his kills and farm, putting Bren Esports on an early defensive mode.
The defending champions wasted no time and continue their aggression with a top lane clash that costed three Bren players, opening more map control for Blacklist.
With Blacklist getting the only lord in the game, OhMyV33nus and company wasted no time and called GGs early in the 12th minute with sets from Edward, OhMyV33nus, and Eson to grabbed a 14-4 Game 1 win with an 8/1/8 performance from Hadji's Ling.
Blacklist went to roam Mathilda and a Hadji Lancelot to go with Esmeralda, Paquito, and a surprise Odette from OhMyV33nus, while Bren went full surprise with Yi Sun-shin, Jawhead, Ruby, and off-meta picks Zilong and Johnson.
Bren with their off-meta picks, went to match with Blacklist's newfounf aggression but the defending champs continued their kill for kill tradeoff, eventually getting farm and kills as well.
OhMyV33nus and Eson utilized the Guiding Wind - Swan Song combo, taking down several Bren heroes while giving more damage to other nearby heroes.
Despite L3bron dividing Blacklist's attention span while Malik was farming, it was no avail as Eson and the rest of the agents sans OhMyV33nus successfully stole the lord along with two Bren heroes.
From there, it was all Blacklist International as they went to take down the base without Ejhay guarding it, led by Eson's 2/1/22 KDA and Hadji's 11/0/10.
Bren Esports exited the tournament with a 5-9 record and 14 points in the bag, a full three points behind sixth place RSG Philippines, and won't be unable to defend their world championship crown, while Blacklist will proceed to the second round of the playoffs with 34 points and a 13-1 record.
Follow him on Twitter: @drewmalihan