MANILA - Blacklist International had been hanging by a thread in the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Professional League (MPL) Season 7 Grand Finals as they trailed an Execration squad that was already at match point.
But even as Execration reached match point, Blacklist International rallied on, winning the next three games to take their first MPL title.
"'Yung isip namin, hindi kami nagpa-down. Basta, lalaban kami sa huli. Hindi kami nagpaapekto. ‘Hindi nakaapekto yon sa amin, mas ginalingan namin," Kiel “Oheb” Soriano said in a post-match press conference.
Moving a few steps backward, Blacklist trailed 3-1 behind Kielvj's Claude pulling up late-game heroics.
But something shifted in Game 5 as Blacklist dished out more aggressive plays behind OhMyV33nus’ "Mathilda Airlines." Eson's Franco whipped out iron hooks which set up crucial kills for himself, Wise, and Edward in team fights in Game 6. And Wise was able to draft Aldous as the nail in the coffin en route to the title.
The Tier-One backed Blacklist International had shocked the local Mobile Legends community by coming out on top in Season 7 after an early Season 6 playoff exit when they were first formed.
Even with the unconventional picks and with their standing, Bon "Bon Chan" Ricaplaza shunned themselves from the idea of being the season's "underdogs."
"We don’t treat ourselves as underdogs. We want to prove that we have unique identities heroes even though it’s not in the meta so we’re confident enough," Bon Chan said.
For coach Bon Chan, support by their management also made the difference in their journey en route to the title.
"Sobrang napakahalaga ng championship na ito. Pag nanalo kami minsan pinapanood lang namin ang replay tapos ang haba ng journey ang dami naming napuntahang ibang org tapos nung napunta kami sa Tier One sobrang laking pasasalamat namin kasi ang management todo suporta sa'min," he said.
Blacklist and Execration are set to represent the Philippines in the Mobile Legends Southeast Asian Cup running early June.