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Blacklist Int'l topples RRQ's kingdom for MPLI '21 finals slot

Blacklist International. Photo from ONE Esports

by Drew Malihan

MANILA - The king of kings may arrived but it was the Queen who denied him of a throne.

Armed with another peculiar strategy in the sleeve, Filipino champions Blacklist International marched closer to ONE Esports MPL Invitational crown as they knocked out Indonesian contenders RRQ Hoshi in the semifinals.

It was a calculated onslaught by OhMyV33nus and company in Game 1 against the Indonesians, picking up a jungler Barats for Wise and putting Hadji on the support role with the Kagura and their comfort picks to counter an Aldous deny pick by Skylar and the debut of Floryn in the MPLI.

Blacklist went for their signature objective takes first in the early stages while limiting RRQ to just one kill in 10 minutes time by Alberttt's Lancelot against Hadji.

From there, RRQ found themselves trailing by as much as 6,000 gold as Wise and company went to get their farm and struggling to use the buff-heavy Aldous-Lancelot duo.

From there it was all Blacklist as despite a fight back from RRQ, the Filipinos countered out after a lord take without Alberttt to challenge and continued to the RRQ base for a 1-0 win led by Edward's 3/0/9 performance with the Paquito.

It was a different story in Game 2 however as RRQ went rampage with Bruno and Yi Sun-shin combo and denying Blacklist comfort picks Aldous, Bane, and Barats for Wise as well as Estes and Mathilda for OhMyV33nus, as the tandem went with the Rafaela-Karina duo with Alice, Chou, and Paquito.

RRQ dominated the game from the get go as they demolished Blacklist with their aggressive style of MLBB, going on for well-executed tower and buff dives while capitalizing Wise on lack of professional gameplay with Karina.

A Falling Star Moon from R7's Esmeralda combined with Psychoo's Real World Manipulation spelled the end of Game 2 as RRQ finished the game in 13 minutes on a 14-2 beating led by Alberttt's 3/0/10 on the Yi Sun-shin.

Blacklist then modified their team composition in Game 3, giving Oheb the Clint in the second round of draft along with Wise priority Bane pick to go with Rafaela and denying R7's Esmeralda while RRQ went with Pharsa and another buff-heavy duo of Brody and Yi Sun-shin.

Oheb capitalized on the midlane skirmish as he went to push the two top lane turrets to give Blacklist enough space to roam, despite the squad getting picked up leading to late game.

The Blacklist gold laner prioritized on his damage output getting the Berserker's Fury, Windtalker, and two late Blade of Despairs, enough to deal damage on the skirmishes including Skylar and a confused Psychoo.

Despite Hadji and Edward getting picked up by Alberttt, the space was enough to make RRQ reset the objective while OhMyV33nus and company went on to get the shot call that eliminated all RRQ members without an already down Vynnn to force the win led by Oheb's 9/0/3 performance.
With the loss, RRQ once again missed a potential international trophy for the first time since the Four Nations Cup, and the second denied by a Filipino side after their demise in M2 against Bren Esports.

Blacklist will wait for the winner of the all Indonesian battle between Alter Ego and ONIC Esports in the Grand Finals.

Follow him on Twitter: @drewmalihan

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