MSC 2023: ECHO, Blacklist seek missing piece to ML trifecta

Angela Coloma, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 09 2023 03:34 PM

Blacklist and ECHO during the MPL Philippines Season 10 Grand Finals. Courtesy: MPL Philippines
Blacklist and ECHO during the MPL Philippines Season 10 Grand Finals. Courtesy: MPL Philippines

MANILA — It can be argued that Filipino squads ECHO and Blacklist are two of the most storied Mobile Legends: Bang Bang teams in the entire world. 

Once having faced each other in the M4 world championships, they will, again, lock heads as they try to capture the missing piece to their championship gauntlets in Phnom Penh, Cambodia at the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Southeast Asia Cup, starting tomorrow, June 10. 

Both squads, with a mix of old and new players, are trying to gun for a title that will complete the Mobile Legends trifecta, as Filipino teams continue to assert dominance in the worldwide Mobile Legends scene. 

In separate sit-down interviews with ABS-CBN News, some of their key figures shared what capturing the MSC title means to their golden careers. 


ECHO, in their first MSC appearance, will try and clinch their first MSC title, riding on the momentum of beating Blacklist in the world championship finals and, more recently, MPL Season 10, both wielding sweeps against the three-time MPL champs. 

“May pressure pa naman din pero sobrang kalmado din namin sa tournament lalo na't gigil na gigil si Karl sa MSC kaya iyon ang pinaghahandaan niya,” ECHO analyst Robert “Trebor” Sanchez said. 

For MPL Season 11 finals MVP Sanford Vinuya, the “team to beat” status will mean they have to double their efforts. 

“Feel ko kailangan mag-dobleng effort dahil kaunti na lang po makukuha na namin ang history. Kung makukuha namin ang MSC,” he said. 

More than that, completing the trifecta cements Karl “KarlTzy” Nepomuceno’s status as the “Greatest Of All Time” in Mobile Legends history. Trebor sees the determination in the Nepomuceno’s training sessions. 

“Nakikita sa practice. Hindi siya nagrereklamo sa ibinigay hindi like noong parating pa lang ang S11 yung [paggamit] ng [tank] Lancelot nagkakaproblema kami kasi kailangan niyang mag-adjust. Ngayon, wala kahit anong hero na ibigay mo gagamitin niya. Kaya sobrang madisiplina niya talaga.” 

KarlTzy expressed his eagerness, citing his team’s determination to get the ECHO’s missing piece. 

“Sobrang importante sa team gusto nila makuha ngayong year ang MSC. Sabi ni Ate Mitch [Liwanag, Echo’s manager] na Grand Slam and sabi nila ito na lang ang kulang ko. Gusto ko rin talaga itong makuha. Kasi ako pa lang ang makakakuha ng two world champs tapos MSC pa,” he said. 


Blacklist International are no strangers to heartbreaks themselves, tracing back to a history of falling in the Grand Finals of major competitions here and overseas. 

An outright example is their 1-4 loss to Execration in MSC 2021, when they were heavily favored to win the title after riding the momentum of their first MPL Season 7 win. 

And the most recent are identical 0-4 losses to Echo during the M4 World Championships and the MPL Season 11 Grand Finals. 

"Ayun para makabangon sa mga ganoong heartache bawi lang nang bawi. Kasi alam mo sa sarili mo na kayang makuha ang championship, kahit ilang beses na matalo sa championship as long as kaya mong mapunta doon talagang darating din ang time na ikaw na ang mananalo,” Blacklist captain Johnmar “OhMyV33nus” Villaluna said. 

With another MSC appearance looming, the Codebreakers are determined to bounce back, especially against foes ECHO. 

“Pinag-aaralan talaga namin ang mga mali namin noon and so hopefully hindi maulit yung sa MSC [2021],” Edward Jay Dapadap shared. 

OhMyV33nus says the team will be banking on mental toughness to make sure the same nightmares do not plague the three-time MPL champions. 

"Siguro yung ano, aside sa in-game adjustments na kailangan namin i-improve, yung outside that siguro. Yung mental. Kasi isa sa mga sobrang nakakadurog ng utak [yung] matalo ng ganung way sa grand finals. So isa na yun sa mga pine-prepare namin. Personally, doon ako nagfo-focus din ngayon,” she said at a send-off press conference last June 4. 

But more than that, she and Danerie James “Wise” Del Rosario believe that a lack of an MSC title will not define their career and the legacy they have already left in the league. 

“Para sa’kin yun nga tulad ng sabi nila there was never a kulang kahit hindi namin makuha ang MSC title okay lang din sakin kasi okay lang naman ang career namin kaya okay na rin kaming hindi namin siya nakuha,” Wise said. 

OhMyV33nus added, “Same ako kay Wise lalaban kami ng MSC hindi para makuha ang championships kung 'di ang goal namin is para manalo and ayun nga sabi ni Wise, satisfied kami sa naabot namin ang career namin. Kung papalarin kami na manalo kami, ayon.” 

In jest, during the exclusive sit-down, “The Queen” also had this to say to the reigning world champions. 

“Pagbigyan naman nila kami. Kahit isang panalo lang sa buong series. Kung lagi kami mag-0-4 masasanay kami,” the 2022 "Hall of Legends" inductee said, while laughing. 

ECHO will start their campaign against Team EVO at 5:30 p.m. on June 10, Manila time, while Blacklist International will start their campaign against Middle East's Team Occupy on June 12, at 8 p.m.