Blacklist snags last ticket to M5, dethrones former tormentors ECHO in 3-1 classic

Photo from MPL Philippines / Richard Esguerra

by Drew Malihan

QUEZON CITY - Blacklist International books the final spot of the M5 World Championships in Manila as they eliminate defending national and world champions ECHO from contention in both the MPL and M5, three games to one, in the lower bracket final of the MPL Philippines Season 12 Saturday.

It was the second time the Codebreakers defeated the Orcas this season, with the last one a 3-1 series last Thursday with Kiel "Oheb" Soriano getting the series MVP nod.

Blacklist registered first blood in the series, 15 kills to ECHO's 8, with Kenneth "Yue" Tadeo's Faramis getting two kills and eight assists, while Oheb's Irithel scored eight kills and assisted five.

It was a quiet game for main damage dealer Benedict "Bennyqt" Gonzales as he only tallied a kill and four assists with the Wanwan, while Jaypee "Jaypee" dela Cruz's Kaja fell down three times and assisted six.

Renejay "Renejay" Barcase's Mathilda led the Codebreakers to a comfortable 2-0 lead with assisting all but one kill, while bruiser Edward "Edward" Dapadap's 5/6/3 performance on the Edith paid off.

A crucial lord steal in the 24th minute spelled doom for the Orcas as Stephen "Sensui" Castillo's Fredrinn's Appraiser's Wrath finished both the lord and Karl "KarlTzy" Nepomuceno's Baxia down the count, and with the numbers game in Blacklist's side, capitalized on the exposed base.

ECHO pulled up a trick in their sleeve, switching the longtime veteran Jaypee and putting Tristan "Yawi" Cabrera in the main five to start in only his second game of the entire season.

The card pull paid off as despite denying Yawi of four of his heroes, his Khufra play became instrumental to a Game 3 win for ECHO tallying 0/2/10 KDA, while Bennyqt's Beatrix went on to have a clean 3/0/7 game.

Both Renejay and Edward had quiet games as they were only able to grab a single lord in 21 minutes, with only Oheb's Bruno scoring all six of Blacklist's total kills, and it was over when the seasoned marksman fell down ad the hands of Alston "Sanji" Pabico's Valentina.

Blacklist, realizing Yawi's threat, came into the fourth game and outright banned the Khufra, whereas the ECHO roamer picked the Franco for a more tanky lineup with the Baxia and Terizla to go against a crowd-control heavy duo of Mathilda and Novaria.

The Blacklist gamble paid big time as Yue's clutch Astral Echo denied any major playmaking chances from Yawi and company, with both KarlTzy and Sanford "Sanford" Vinuya faling down five times.

However, it was Yawi's attempt on taking down Yue that spelled the difference for both teams as the rest of Blacklist capitalized on the roamer's position, with the rest of the ECHO squad fighting back to no avail as they were wiped out in the 18th minute to close the series.

With the win, Blacklist will seek for their fourth MPL PH crown against former champions AP.Bren, who defeated them in the upper bracket finals in a convincing 3-0 sweep.

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