MPL 8 playoffs: Blacklist marches on, as OHEB returns; Nexplay eliminated

Angela Coloma, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 23 2021 05:01 PM | Updated as of Oct 24 2021 12:22 AM

MANILA—Blacklist International stayed alive in their title defense, after eliminating Nexplay EVOS 3-0 in the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Professional League Season 8 playoffs Saturday. 

It took 3 straight wins for Blacklist, joined by returning player Kiel "OHEB" Soriano, to move to the lower bracket finals. 

Jeniel "yellyHaze" Bata-Anon's Selena caused problems early on as its Abyssal Trap stunned player after player to set up early kills in Game 1. 

But Blacklist responded as their Arena of Effect (AoE) heavy lineup, highlighted by their surprise Karina and Harith picks, went online, swinging the momentum and eventually drawing first blood. 

OHEB made a splash to start the game with the MVP recognition in Game 1, with a 4-1-1 kill-death-assist rate.

Blacklist reached match point in Game 2, banking on a "double marksman strat" through a low-kill game. Blacklist only had 3 kills to Nexplay's 4 and it was regular season MVP Salic A "Hadji" Imam drawing the MVP award with his signature Chou taking in 3 assists. 

Blacklist capitalized on a lord steal in Game 3 to secure the series and eliminate Nexplay, with Edward "EDWARD" Jay Dapadap's Thamus earning the MVP plum. 

Before elimination, Nexplay EVOS, one of the most popular teams in the MPL franchise, secured their best playoff performance in Season 8 after drubbing RSG Philippines, breaking a "curse" of not making not past the first-round playoffs.

Blacklist will face Smart Omega Sunday afternoon to determine who gets into the Grand Finals and secures the last slot in the M3 world championship. 

NEXPLAY roster

COACH: John Michael "Zico" Dizon

  • Jeniel "yellyHaze" Bata-Anon (captain) 
  • John Paul "H2wo" Salonga
  • Renejay "RENEJAY" Barcarse
  • Tristan "YAWI" Cabrera
  • Setsuna "DOGIE" Ignacio
  • Sanford Marin "SanFord" Vinuya
  • Jhonwin Dela Merced "Hesa" Vergara
  • James "Jeymz" Gloria


COACH: Kristoffer Ed "BON CHAN" Ricaplaza

  • Johnmar "OhMyV33nus" Villaluna (captain)
  • Danerie James "Wise" Del Rosario
  • Kiel Calvin "OHEB" Soriano
  • Salic A "Hadji" Imam
  • Edward "EDWARD" Jay Dapadap
  • Mark Jayson "ESON" Gerardo
  • Dexter Louise "DEX STAR" Alaba