MANILA - Renejay "Renejay" Bacarse started his Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Professional League Season 9 run with a bang as Nexplay EVOS demolished defending champions Blacklist International, 2-1, in an intense series.
Nexplay EVOS also spoiled Dexter "DEX STAR" Alaba's MPL return after 17 months.
Blacklist kept themselves at bay in Game 1 with Dex Star's Lolita helping the world champs through team fights. But Renejay's Franco, paired with the damage output of Mariusz "Donut" Tan helped them draw first blood.
Donut's Beatrix was the MVP in Game 1 behind a 6/2/7 kill-death-assist record.
With Nexplay just inches away from sweeping the series, Blacklist successfully defended their base behind gallant stands by Edward "EDWARD" Jay Dapadap's Paquito and Dex Star's Lolita.
They went on to capitalize on a Nexplay overextension, giving Blacklist an opening to take Nexplay's base and tie the series.
Nexplay kept Blacklist to just one kill in Game 3, punctuated by an "Earth Shatter" by Renejay's Edith, to wipe Blacklist out and close the series.
Renejay emerged as MVP in Game 3, with 2 kills and 8 assists.
The result brought the defending champions to their third straight loss.
Nexplay seek to continue their hot streak against a struggling Bren Esports squad, while Blacklist have a tall order ahead of them as they face top-seeded Echo PH on Sunday.