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Blacklist assures 'ample opportunities for interviews' win or lose after missing post-MPL PH Finals presser

Blacklist clarified its supposed no-show in Sunday night's post-finals press conference. MPL PH (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Blacklist International assured reporters covering esports, especially the Mobile Legends Bang Bang beat, that they will make themselves available for future interviews after what seemed like a no-show during the post-match press conference for the MPL Philippines Season 11 Grand Finals became a hot topic overnight.

According to the team management, they decided to beg off from the customary presser as they thought the portion for eventual national champion Echo was taking so long.

"Due to the winner's interview session running longer than anticipated, our coaching staff and management made the decision to inform the league that we would forego this interview in order to allow our players to take their rest and dinner earlier," Blacklist said on Monday.

As part of the protocols set for the post-game pressers during the entire MPL PH Playoffs at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay, the winning team was brought to the media room first before the opposing side.

However, Echo's press conference following its 4-0 sweep of Blacklist in the championship round on Sunday night was delayed for a few minutes as the former was asked to do photo ops.

Blacklist clarified that it was the team management's decision and the players, namely Johnmar Villaluna, Danerie Del Rosario, Lee Gonzales, Season 11 Rookie of the Season Kenneth Tadeo, and Hall of Legends inductee Edward Dapadap were actually willing to join the press conference.

Before the championship series started, Dapadap met the press regarding his induction to the Hall of Legends.

"[The decision] was made with our team's fatigue, hunger, and overall well-being in mind," Blacklist further said.

Some sportswriters took to social media later Sunday their disappointment when Blacklist declined for an interview.

However, the reactions led to heated online discussions overnight.

Blacklist acknowledged that the team had a shortcoming during the incident.

"We do recognize that as an organization, we need to do better by our media partners and friends. They are an important part of the esports ecosystem and we appreciate them helping us tell the story of our players and teams. We will ensure that there will be ample opportunities for interviews moving forward, whether we win or lose," the statement concluded.

Blacklist came close to putting a happily-ever-after ending to its Cinderella run during the MPL PH Playoffs.

Despite some forecasts that the team will be knocked out early on, Blacklist defied the odds—and even a ruling from Moonton to bar all the playoff teams from using Diggie due to a visual bug—to eliminate Smart Omega in the first round on Thursday.

Blacklist then stunned top seeded Bren Esports in the upper bracket semis on Friday and booked the first seat in the grand finals after beating RSG Slate Philippines in the upper bracket finals.

However, in a repeat of its domination in the M4 World Championship finals, Echo swept Blacklist in the best-of-seven series to add the MPL PH title to its haul this year.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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