Mobile Legends: Blacklist to represent PH in SEA Games after outlasting Nexplay

Angela Coloma, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 30 2022 09:30 PM | Updated as of Jan 31 2022 12:41 AM

Blacklist International celebrates after winning the Sibol qualifier matchup against Nexplay EVOS. They will be representing the Philippines in the Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam. Courtesy: Blacklist International
Blacklist International celebrates after winning the Sibol qualifier matchup against Nexplay EVOS. They will be representing the Philippines in the Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam. Courtesy: Blacklist International

MANILA (UPDATE) - Mobile Legends: Bang Bang world champions Blacklist International will be representing the Philippines in the Southeast Asian Games after outlasting a gritty Nexplay EVOS squad in the Sibol qualifiers, 4-1. 

Blacklist were without ML:BB World Championship MVP Kiel "OHEB" Soriano and EXP-laner Edward "EDWARD" Jay Dapadap, who are barred from competing in the subregional competition as they are hit by the 18 year old age limit. 

But Howard "Owl" Gonzales and Kyle Dominic "Dominic" Sotto were able to fill in the void as they emerged standouts in crucial situations. 

Nexplay took gallant stands down their base in Game 1, but Blacklist’s Owl fired up to help the codebreakers wipe out Nexplay EVOS and finally take down the base. 

Blacklist took Game 2 just as Nexplay was starting to come alive.

Kenneth "Cadenza" De Castro's lord steal with the Khufra helped put Nexplay on the scoring board. Blacklist took the lord when it respawned but it was not enough, as Nexplay were able to wipe them off the map in Game 3. 

Salic "Hadji" Imam and Owl were the men of the hour in Game 4, as their Yve and Brody had enough firepower to burst down Nexplay's heroes. 

Blacklist put the nail on the coffin in Game 5, gaining advantage after they kept the tempo fast in the early game and dismantled Nexplay EVOS in early team fights. 

Team captain Johnmar "OhMyV33nus" Villaluna lauded the grit of the Nexplay EVOS squad whose rookies were among key players to look out for throughout the Sibol qualifier campaign. 

"Nakakaloka sobra. Actually, sobrang hirap nung series sorbang nakita mo yung improvement at drive ng Nexplay pero siyempre 'di kami magpapakabog," Villaluna said after the match. 

Nexplay EVOS entered the finals from the lower bracket after being downed by Blacklist, 3-0 in the upper bracket. Nexplay's jungler John Paul "H2wo" Salonga had to be sidelined then for the first two games of the series, as he was rushed to the hospital. As a result, Blacklist were awarded a game point.

Nexplay crawled from the lower bracket, behind rookies Donut, Cadenza, and Ureshii. They eliminated M3 finalists Onic PH in the process before beating RSG Philippines and subsequently entering the grand finals to book another showdown against Blacklist. 

The Southeast Asian Games will be held this May in Hanoi, Vietnam.