Blacklist International whips RRQ Akira to start redemption bid in M5
Posted: 2023-Dec-04 13.00.37 UTC+0800
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Project Redemption started well for M-series third-timer Blacklist International.
The Codebreakers deprived the revenge-seeking RRQ Akira of an upset after squashing the Brazilian powerhouse, 2-0, in their best-of-three (Bo3) Group B clash during the M5 World Championship on late Sunday night, December 3, at the EVM Convention Center in Quezon City.
Blacklist, the M3 champion, eliminated the reigning Mobile Legends Professional League (MPL) Brazil and Liga Latam titleholder in the M4 knockout stage last January 2023.
Meeting for the second time this year, RRQ suffered the same fate that ended their 134 days without any losses, including a 12-match winning streak in MPL Brazil Season 5 and Liga Latam 2023.
The statement win over the Godman "Cabral" Cabral-coached Akira proved Veewise-less Blacklist's intention to regain the throne they lost to fellow Filipino squad ECHO Philippines in their best-of-seven grand finals tussle during the fourth iteration of the World Championship. The tandem of Johnmar "OhMyV33nus" Villaluna and Danerie James "Wise" del Rosario skipped MPL PH S12 to recharge and recover per the Blacklist management.
The MPL Philippines Season 12 runner-up finished RRQ in just 11 minutes of the Bo3 opener behind the perfect performance of Edward Jay "Edward" Dapadap's Edith. Named game Most Valuable Player, Edward registered five kills and three assists on 100 percent kill participation without dying once. He completely outplayed his counterpart Arthur "Tekashi" Silva do Nascimento's Benedetta, who got killed four times.
Kiel "Oheb" Soriano's Brody had two kills and two assists without a single death as Blacklist demolished Akira – settled for a traditional setter tank lineup with Luiz Henrique "Luizzz" da Silva Alves's Khufra, while Stephen "Sensui" Castillo played Guinevere jungle and Renejay "Renejay" Barcase wielded Mathilda roamer.
Game Two's early game went RRQ's way, with Lucas Felipe "Kiing" De Oliveira Godoy's jungle Akai securing all three turtles. This became possible as experience (EXP) laner Arthur "Tekashi'' Nascimento chose a classic Grock pick with an Assassin emblem. Sticking with their identity as the proponent of the ultimate bonding experience (UBE) strategy, Renejay fielded Estes while Sensui selected Baxia.
Despite an early stretch advantage, the four-time MPL Brazil winner failed to sustain momentum, with Renejay and Oheb finding their groove in the late game.
Edward's Benedetta did his part of pushing both side lanes, allowing the Codebreakers to focus on slaying three of the four lords, including the match-clinching lord, which Kenneth "Yue" Tadeo's Luizz took down. Tekashi also fell into the hands of Oheb.
Renejay received the MVP plum with a 1/0/6 KDA as Oheb tallied three kills and three assists to put Matheus "Seigen" Vieira Lima and Gustavo "Gustalagusta" da Costa Lima's combined output of three kills and six assists to naught after 28 minutes.
Blacklist goes for its second victory when it takes on Malaysia's and Wild Card qualifier Team SMG bannered by Filipino imports Kenneth "Saxa" Fedelin and Deomark "Mikko" Tabangay on Monday, December 4, at 8 p.m.
RRQ, meanwhile, hopes to salvage its group stage campaign against Turkey's Fire Flux Esports – beat Team SMG on Day One of the competitions.
AP.Bren clobbered Myanmar's Burmese Ghouls to enter the win column in the opening day festivities.