MSC '23: All-Indo show highlights QF matchups

Photo from Mobile Legends Esports

by Drew Malihan

PHNOM PENH - New foes, familiar opponents, and an all-Indo show in the making.

Current world and MPL Philippines champions ECHO will square off in their first-ever competitive match against MPL Malaysian champions Todak in the quarterfinals of the MLBB Southeast Asia Cup 2023 inside the AEON Mall this coming Friday.

Their marquee matchup will saw the battle of two of the best gold laners in the professional scene with current M4 MVP in Benedict "Bennyqt" Gonzales and the unorthodox Muhammad "CikuGais" Fuad.

CikuGais will also see a familiar face in Karl Gabriel "KarlTzy" Nepomuceno, as they will face each other for the second time, the first one in the M2 Worlds when KarlTzy was still with eventual champions Bren Esports.

Blacklist International's MSC redemption arc continues as they will see the only non-Southeast Asian team to qualify in Turkish champions Fire Flux Impunity on Thursday, whose the latter's "Turkish Delight" playstyle a resemblance of the former's UBE strategy.

It will be the third time Blacklist International will battle against a Turkish delegation back from M3 World Championships when they faced Bedel and in the M4 when they saw Incendio Supremacy.

The matchup will also see Bariş "Alien" Çakir in a face-to-face against Edward Jay "Edward" Dapadap in the EXP Lane for the third time in their careers.

In a rematch much earlier than everyone expected, current MPL Indonesia champions ONIC Esports will meet runners-up EVOS Legends.

The Neon Tigers will try to win their first series against the Sky Kings since they last beaten the eventual champions last August 26, 2022, as ONIC won the next five meetings, including all four of their head-to-head matches in MPL Indonesia season 11.

Home team and current MPL Cambodia champs Burn x Flash will also see action in Thursday as they battle their Singaporean counterparts in RSG Slate Singapore in their first-ever competitive showdown as well.

Yeo "Diablo" Lun will try to lead his team in their quest of having the best finish of any Singaporean team in the competition since Impunity SG placed fourth in the 2017 edition.

Meanwhile, Mariusz "Donut" Tan and the rest of Burn x Flash will seek Cambodia's best-ever finish in MSC, with a win surpassing Impunity KH's 5th-6th place finish in 2021.

The playoffs will be a single-elimination tournament, all in a best-of-five series except for the grand final, which will be in a best-of-seven.

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