TNC, Bren still reeling
Blacklist International broke their own winning streak record last season after sweeping Echo PH in their second Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Professional League (MPL) Season 8 encounter Saturday night.
It was a back-and-forth clash between Echo and Blacklist from the get-go in Game 1, with Echo even looking poised to take it from the mid-game.
But Kiel Calvin "OHEB" Soriano's Alice went on a frenzy with a Monster Kill in the 25th minute to cap the long fight, eventually taking the MVP award by staying unblemished, and a 6-3 kill-assist record.
A Luminous Lord gave the defending champs enough breathing space to cap Game 2 within 20 minutes, with Danerie James "Wise" Del Rosario's Bruno taking the MVP.
The win gave Blacklist their 8th win in a row, their longest after last season's 7-0 streak. With the immaculate run, Blacklist took hold of the top seed in the league with 20 points.
Meanwhile, RSG PH have now won 3 of their last 4 games in the MPL after sweeping TNC, who reeled to their 4th straight loss.
Glimpses of coach Brian "Panda" Lim's micro-scale and macro-scale tactics showed in Game 1, as the squad gradually took objectives and eventually edged their foes.
Jonard Cedrix "Demonkite" Caranto's Paquito and Joshwell Christian "Iy4knu" Manaog's fully farmed Alice went ham against the struggling TNC squad, combining for 9 kills to propel RSG through a dominant Game 2.
Meanwhile, defending world champs Bren Esports continued to struggle in MPL after another sweep by second-seeded Onic PH.
Bren was level with Onic in Game 1, but a maniac by Allan "Baloyskie" Baloy's Natan helped them breeze through the set. Baloyskie, the team's captain, earned MVP with a 8-1-3 kill-death-assist rate.
Bren showed glimpses of life in Game 2, leading in kills in the mid-game and even taking the Lord, but Onic was caught up after a series of show-stopping plays, capped off by kills courtesy of Baloyskie, Karl Mico "Micophobia" Tarala and Gerald "Dlarskie" Trinchera, to secure the sweep.
Bren remained bottom of the league rankings with 5 points, while Onic firmed up second place with 16 points.