A matchup that we are finally yearning to see - a test of skill, confidence, chemistry and discipline. Who will have the upper hand: the World Champions or the Kings of the SEA?
The first game's draft was interesting due to the fact that Blacklist International picked up the Faramis despite the Beatrix being open, which was grabbed by RSG. The Raiders' bans were mainly focusing on the Royal Duo, however Blacklist still chose to ban comfort picks that will potentially disrupt their strategies. Picks were standard all throughout, until Blacklist drafted the Edith which went into the hands of Hadji.
The first game started pretty explosive, which is not usually the case as both of these teams usually favor the late game with their scaling heroes. The early game was very even in terms of kills; both teams were able to trade each other's plays and pickoffs. This mid game, however, was all in favor of RSG, care of EMANN's Beatrix being able to find the members of Blacklist with his sniper and shotgun damage. The Raiders secured the first Lord and immediately exposed the base of the Agents, however Blacklist remained composed and confident enough to commit deep into the map to prepare for the next Lord fight. At minute 15, a crucial blunder occurred from the side of the RSG, wherein Blacklist were able to capitalize and punish their opponents, giving them some breathing room and map pressure. The late game was heavily a back-and-forth situation, initially led by Blacklist, however with a compelling clash wherein the Agents were outplayed by the Raiders, led by an amazing Noumenon Blast by Light, stunned most of the members of Blacklist, eventually taking them down.
The raiders lived up to their title as "the Kingslayers" as they eliminated Blacklist International, 1-0.
As game #2 started, Blacklist was still persistent in prioritizing the Faramis, but RSG grabbed the Wanwan this time since the Beatrix was denied in the banning phase. RSG's draft was relatively standard with a good late game insurance, meanwhile Blacklist's draft truly complimented their famous UBE strategy with good team fight capabilities from the Lolita and the Claude.
The early stages of the second game were definitely owned by the Agents, with an unusually aggressive playstyle by their side. It seemed like OhMyV33NUS decided to get right in the faces of RSG, zoning them out to secure objectives and protect their gold laner Oheb. The mid game was still dictated by Blacklist International, and RSG did not have any immediate answer since they were still in the process of scaling their Wanwan and Cecilion. All Blacklist International needed was the Lord to secure the win against the Raiders.
It was evident that the Agents were able to reprogram their code, as they tied the series to 1-1 against the Raiders.
Game #3's drafting phase was unique as compared to the first two games, since both Beatrix and Wanwan were up for grabs, however Blacklist, who was sitting on the Blue side, decided to prioritize the Wanwan, hence giving the Lolita and Beatrix for the side of RSG. A switcheroo also happened in terms of the EXP laners, as Nathzz and Edward technically swapped heroes from the previous game. The drafting phase concluded with a very mobile composition from the side of the Agents, and a pretty standard composition from the Raiders
It was a Blacklist-dominated early game, with a vital first blood kill onto EMANN and an effortless turtle take care of Wise's Balmond. However, the Raiders were able to equalize in terms of kills and tradeoffs. It was a very fast pace during the middle stages of the game; tradeoffs still prevailed, and kills were present all over the map. This pattern extended until the 12-minute mark, wherein Blacklist was able to activate Oheb's Crossbow of Tang, picking up two kills onto the side of RSG and eventually taking the enhanced Lord. Despite all of this, the Raiders still found ways to equalize the gold equilibrium by punishing their opponents in vital skirmishes. Blacklist was itching to end the game during the 18-minute mark after sieging RSG's midlane inhibitor turret, however their minion waves were not enough to push for the win. Both teams were evidently hungry for the win as the game was a never ending seesaw interaction between Blacklist and RSG. Eventually during the 30-minute mark, after a long Lord dance, Blacklist was able to conduct a sandwich play, catching EMANN off guard, resulting in the downfall of RSG.
It seemed like the Raiders were not yet capable of conquering the Kingdom of Blacklist as the Agents took the third game 2-1.
GAME 1 (20:06) - BLCK 15 (L); RSG 26 (W)
GAME 2 (10:44) - BLCK 10 (W); RSG 2 (L)
GAME 3 (32:33) - BLCK 26 (W); RSG 17 (L)