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Blacklist settles for 2nd as ONIC ID grabs MSC '23 crown in six games

Screencap from Mobile Legends Esports

by Drew Malihan

PHNOM PENH - Blacklist International's efforts were not enough to fend off ONIC Esports' offense as the Indonesian champions held on to win the 2023 MLBB Southeast Asia Cup, four games to two, in the finals inside the AEON Mall on Sunday.

The Yellow Hedgehogs, who have yet to taste defeat since March 17, took home the first major trophy for Indonesian MLBB teams since EVOS Legends last won the M1 trophy in 2019, while it is a repeat of Blacklist's 2021 MSC heartbreak as they finished runners-up for the second time.

ONIC went for the early game aggression as they push the gold lane thanks to Nicky "Kiboy" Fernando's Franco to give Calvin "CW" Winata more space while their faster movements added to Blacklist problems in Game 1.

It was Muhammad Satrya "Butsss" Sanubari's Uranus 0/1/7 performance that led the Hedgehogs to a 1-0 lead.

The Agents got a better Game 2 but it was still Kiboy and CW that  gave nightmares to the former, with CW's Moskov doing split pushes to confuse Blacklist en route to a 2-0 lead with a 5/1/2 performance.

Kenneth Carl "Yue" Tadeo proved to be the root of problems for ONIC in Game 3 as he went aggressive with the Yve while Johnmar "OhMyV33nus" Villanuna's newfoud favorite Novaria gave extra vision to Blacklist to prolong the fight in their favor.

Blacklist's last gasp lord dance proved to be fatal for ONIC as they see themselves go down one by one inside the Real World Manipulation, which prompted CW and Gilang "SANZ" to defend but to no avail with Yue getting the MVP nod.

With Kairi "Kairi" Rayosdelsol getting his hands on his signature Fanny, the ONIC jungler went to a sweeper role, while the rest of the team, mainly from Kiboy aad Butsss' setups do the main damage duties.

Blacklist got decimated in Game 4 as they were dealt a 13-2 beatdown, with thew only kills coming from Yue and Danerie James "Wise" del Rosario, while ONIC arrived at match point.

However, Edward Jay "Edward" Dapadap's Lapu-lapu heroics helped Blacklist to secure a crucial Game 5 win, which saw both him and Lee Howard "Owl" Gonzales's Claude bossed their lanes and getting most of the neutral objectives.

With his on-point skill applications including several precise Bravest Fighter ultimate, Dapadap grabbed the MVP nod with six kills and six assists.

ONIC ID's fast-paced lineup and AOE-heavy lineup, including Fanny and Masha were too much for a late-game Blacklist lineup centered on Wanwan's damage, which saw the former control much  of the map despite the latter taking some crucial neutral objectives.

With the luminous lord finally being grabbed by ONIC, they wasted no chance and forced Blacklist to defend to their demise as the Indonesia-based side locked their sights on the tower and claim the series win.

Kiboy was named Finals MVP with a series average KDA of 2.47,  and secured the second MSC trophy for ONIC Indonesia, the only team to do so in tournament's history.

Follow him on Twitter: @drew_corner

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