by Drew Malihan
MANILA - Omega Esports proved to be Blacklist International's adversary as they relegate the defending champions to the lower bracket, three games to one, in MPL Philippines Season 8 playoffs.
Both teams, fielding their squad without prized players Kielvj for Omega and Oheb for Blacklist, engaged in a close affair, but it was Omega's three straight victories from Games 2 to 4 that sealed the deal.
Omega went with comforts Grock, Barats, and Harith with Yve and Lancelot while Blacklist drastically changed rotation with a offlane Claude in Hadji, a core Kimmy for Wise, and a gold lane Paquito along with Rafaela and Gloo.
OMG, with a faster five, went on to take the first blood and the first two turtles but with the flanks in the top lane against Kelra, Blacklist managed to hold on and negate the slim gold lead.
With the Blacklist damage output picking up in the mid-game, OhMyV33nus and company contested the first lord successfully as they boxed out the Omega frontliners and grabbed all but Kelra to take map control led by Edward's takedown on Raizen.
A diversion play from Edward made Ch4knu's Grock proceed to the lord but to no avail as Wise activates his retribution and Blacklist engaged in the final team fight, tripping three Omega heroes before Hadji proceeds to called GG despite Kelra's outplay efforts and E2MAX's defense for a 1-0 Blacklist lead led by Edward's 4/1/4.
Omega fielded Lancelot once again now with the Gloo, Jawhead, Rafaela, and Kelra's comfort Alice, while Blacklist International went with a core Balmond and an offlane Esmeralda to go with Kaja, Claude, and Grock.
With their early damage on, Omega went on to have a great start with Raizen getting all three first kills including two from OhMyV33nus but Blacklist went on to get their farm including the first three of four turtles.
A lord dance proved to be fatal for the defending champs as a five-man team fight turned to be in Omega's favor as Raizen and a full-damage Kelra clipped the V33wise duo then Eson and Edward, leaving Hadji to defend.
With all five Blacklist heroes respawned, Omega went for the GG push with the lord in their side, and despite a diversion play of Hadji to Ch4knu, Omega equalized with a 16-7 Game 2 outing with Raizen's 9/1/4 and Renzio's 0/0/12.
Omega pulled a Faramis-Rafaela-Kaja support trio in Game 3 along with Lancelot and Aldous while Blacklist fielded Gloo, Angela, Claude, Balmond, and Esmeralda.
Blacklist went on to have a good start as they grabbed the first four kills and all three turtles of the game, getting the economy in their control thanks to three of five heroes having the avarice emblem.
Despite two deaths to supports Eson and OhMyV33nus, Blacklist made amends as they claimed the lord in their side and taka down the Omega top inhibitor turret.
However, Omega's defense became successful as Blacklist heroes were unable to sustain and with Kelra respawning in time, take crucial kills to outbox and grabbed the lord, with Blacklist able to defend the lord and avoid an inhibitor takeover.
Another lord dance proved to be fatal for OhMyV33nus and company as Kelra and Raizen's damage were enough to clip three Blacklist heroes to take the luminous lord and force OhMyV33nus and Edward to defend but to no avail,s poiling Edward's 8/0//10 output as Renzio's 3/6/3 with the Faramis led the team to a 2-1 lead.
Omega drafted another Lancelot in game 4 now with Claude, Lylia, Barats, and Rafaela, while Blacklist went with Esmeralda, Baxia, and Angela, while Aldous went to the sidelane with his signature Aldous and Hadji to the core with Karina.
Blacklist and Omega went on to have a more explosive Game 4 early game but Blacklist grabbed more kills and 3k gold lead in the ninth minute, using their quick backup potential with faster heroes Aldous, Angela, and Baxia.
However, the lord dance went into Omega's favor as Barats' Detonas Welcome grabbed Hadji, preventing the retribution and Raizen gaining the lord while the rest of the Omega boys picks OhMyV33nus and Eson.
From there, it was all Omega as they wasted no time and took down the Blacklist base to take the game and the series win despite a 7-9 Blacklist lead, with E2MAX's 0/1/6 KDA and Kelra's 2/2/3 leading the team.
With the win, Omega Esports will book the second upper bracket finals and will go against ONIC Philippines, while Blacklist International will battle for their tournament life against Nexplay Evos.
Follow him on Twitter: @drewmalihan