Sibol qualifiers: Blacklist upends new-look Bren in thrilling 'battle of the world champs'

Angela Coloma, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 27 2022 10:15 PM

MANILA- Blacklist International came out triumphant in the battle of the world champions from the Philippines in the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang scene, as they thrashed a new-look Bren Esports squad in their Sibol Phase 2 qualifier match, 2-1. 

Bren had a rookie-laden roster with the absence of SEA Games gold medallists Carlito "Ribo" Ribo and Karl "KarlTzy" Nepomuceno. Ribo has taken a one-season MPL break while KarlTzy transferred to Echo PH. 

Blacklist are with Johnmar "OhMyV33nus" Vilalluna and Danerie James "Wise" Del Rosario, who are taking a leave from the MPL in Season 9 to rest, and without mainstays Edward "EDWARD" Jay Dapadap and Kiel "Oheb" Soriano who are hit by the SEA Games age limit. 

With two new players in their Sibol arsenal, Blacklist operated on their signature UBE strategy to fend off a Bren Esports squad that built up aggression in the early parts of Game 1. 

Blacklist's OhMyV33nus drew signature players Estes and Yi Sun Shin, while Bren captain and SEA Games 2019 gold medalist Angelo "Phewww" Arcangel was able to pick up his signature Selena for Bren. 

The first five minutes of Game 1 were in a deadlock until Kenneth “Saxa” Fedelin drew first blood as he picked off Hadji, who picked up Edith for the first time. Bren then held the early game momentum. 

As Bren were preoccupied with taking down Dominic's Paquito down the bottom lane, Blacklist seized the opportunity to take down two of the M2 world champions' top lane turrets. 

Ultimately it was OhMyV33nus' Estes that proved lethal in the first salvo as he canceled out attaks by Bren, particularly that of Kevzuunomoto's Claude who had well-timed Blazing Duets. From there, they were able to draw first blood. 

Bren snowballed off from a good start, as they clipped off OhMyV33nus' Rafaela, and built the momentum from there. 

Saxa and Vincent “Joy Boy” De Guzman connected for Bren as they piled on crucial kills and set-ups, picking off Blacklist's players when it mattered the most, until they forced a rubber match. 

Blacklist quickly kept up with Blacklist's power spike, with Wise's signature Aldous piling up stack after stack to build up aggression that would be vital for them in the late game, paired up with Howard “Owl” Gonzales's Brody. 

OhMyV33nus' surprise Lolita pick made its presence felt as its crowd control abilities set things up for the M3 world champions. From there, they were able to secure the series. 

With the results, Blacklist are through to the upper bracket, while Bren go down to the lower bracket, where they face El Ganador.