MANILA (UPDATED) - Philippine Mobile Legends: Bang Bang squads Blacklist International and Execration have secured spots in the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Southeast Asian Cup (MSC) upper bracket playoffs after coming out unscathed in their first two qualifier games.
Execration first shocked MPL - Singapore champs EVOS SG with a 2-0 sweep, storming a furious comeback in Game 1 and coming out with a dominant Game 2 behind Grant “Kelra" Duane Pillas' signature Harith.
It later defeated Laos ML:BB team Nightmare Esports Tuesday with a 2-0 sweep, as Billy ”Z4pnu" Jazha Alfonso made his first team appearance in a while.
It banked on a blowout Game 1 and a dominant Game 2 behind Joshua “Ch4knu” Mangilog's Akai, whose "hurricane dance" made it hard for Nightmare Esports to replicate the “UBE (Ultimate Bonding Experience) Strategy” first introduced by MPL - Philippines champs Blacklist International.
Blacklist International later secured its own slot in the upper bracket playoffs after it defeated Impunity KH, 2-0.
Behind Danerie James “Wise” Del Rosario's MPL championship-winning Aldous, Blacklist International took out MPL Indonesia finalists Bigetron Alpha 2-0 in day 1 of the tournament.
Impunity KH’s attempt at a feeding Diggie strategy looked promising and allowed them signs of life halfway through Game 2 but it was not enough as Blacklist carried on their tempo and defeated the Cambodia banner team to secure the sweep and the playoff berth.
Securing the upper bracket gives both Blacklist International and Execration a "twice-to-beat" incentives before facing elimination when the playoffs start on June 11, Friday.
Execration had come off a stellar MPL playoff campaign en route to the MSC spot, having defeated M2 and MPL Season 6 champs Bren Esports in May, and another final favorite Aura PH to qualify for the MPL finals, only going down against Blacklist International in the Grand Finals, 4-3.
The finals spot automatically qualified Execration and Blacklist International for MSC 2021.
Both squads will play another game on Wednesday, with the opponents yet to be determined.
Game developers Moonton brought back the MSC this year after it was cancelled in 2020 during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the pandemic still, the tourney has resumed through online play, with a prize pool of $150,000 or about P7.155 million.
Indonesian team Onic Esports were the last MSC title-holders in 2019 when the tournament was held in Manila.
- Renz “Renzio” Errol Cadua
- Patrick “E2MAX” James Caidic
- Kiel “Kielvj” VJ Hernandez
- Joshua “Ch4knu” Mangilog
- Grant “Kelra" Duane Pillas
- Billy ”Z4pnu" Jazha Alfonso
- Jonmar “OhMyV33nus” Villaluna
- Dexter “DEX STAR” Alaba
- Kiel “Oheb” Soriano
- Danerie James “Wise” Del Rosario
- Edward “EDWARD” Dapadap
- Mark Jayson "ESON" Gerardo