MANILA—Defending champions Blacklist International secured a slot in the upper bracket of the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Professional League Season 8 playoffs after winning 2-1 against Nexplay EVOS Saturday.
Blacklist took Game 1 in clean fashion behind OHEB's Kimmy, who produced 6 of Blacklist's 8 game kills, no deaths, and one assist. Blacklist newcomer Salic "Hadji" Imam's took the MVP recognition in Game 1.
Jhon "H2wo" Salonga's Claude and Jeniel "Yellyhaze" Bata-anon's' Yve set the tone for Game 2, even as Blacklist had shown signs of life midway through the set to equalize.
Yellyhaze along with Renejay "Renejay" Bacarse's Pacquito and Lancelot gave the defending champs a tough time for most of Game 3.
But at the 23rd minute mark down the Lord area, Blacklist baited Yellyhaze into using his ultimate at the wrong time, giving the defending champs more breathing space to take the Lord in the 23rd minute mark to put them at level.
Yve's ultimate, "Real World Manipulation", creates a purple field around the hero, slowing down nearby enemies and allowing teammates room to set them up.
A crucial "Way of the Dragon" by Hadji's Chou knocked out H2wo, leaving Nexplay with only 4 players for 80 seconds. This gave Blacklist enough room to take the base and secure their 11th straight win.
The win cements the defending Philippine champions' hold of the top spot in the league rankings with 28 points.
The MPL Philippines Season 7 defending champions remain undefeated this season, winning 11 straight.
The tight matchup gave Nexplay EVOS one point to place 5th with 15 points, ahead of defending world champs Bren Esports by 1 point.
Blacklist will face 2nd seed Onic Philippines in Sunday's match-up, 4 p.m., while Nexplay will face a struggling TNC Pro Team in the next match-up.