Two large names have clashed once again as a new season of the MPL is upon us. The defending champions Blacklist International have been the standard of excellence in Mobile Legends: bang Bang for so long, winning multiple titles locally and internationally. However, the newly crowned world champions, Echo Philippines, have brought MLBB gameplay to even greater heights, decoding the M3 and MPL Season 10 champions. Now they have crossed paths once again; one team now rebuilt and “recoded” with the same goal, while the other being fresh and promising from the world stage. Who will draw first blood?
The drafting phase was very reminiscent of the past heroes from their M4 matches, banning out key heroes from both teams. Echo once again picked the Fredrinn for KarlTzy, alongside with Sanford’s Gloo and Sanji’s Pharsa, meanwhile Blacklist International drafted the consistently popular Lapu-Lapu, Valentina, and the slowly rising Moskov pick. Blacklist still held on to their signature UBE strategy, by drafting the Faramis on their side, meanwhile Yawi was given the Atlas, alongside with Bennyqt’s Beatrix. Finally, making a comeback, Wise’s Granger was picked to cap off the drafting phase of the first game.
Due to the nature of tank junglers, Echo was able to dominate the first few minutes of the game, slaying the first Turtle. No blood was shed until the third minute, although skirmishes were very close, especially on the gold lane. Echo once again secured the next turtle, followed by destroying the first tower on the gold lane, giving the Orcas a solid 3,000 gold lead. Blacklist International were having a hard time in terms of positioning and objective taking due to the constant dominance and pressure brought by Echo. At 8 minutes into the game, Blacklist International were running out of space for map presence and farm, as Echo’s lead continued to snowball. The agents needed a miracle, followed by Super Red’s power spike to activate in order to equalize with the Orcas. But unfortunately, Echo did not give any room to let that happen, as they easily sieged into the base of Blacklist International, taking the first game, 1-0.
Banning patterns were relatively similar in game 2, except for the fact that Joy was left open for grabs for the side of Echo. Due to this, it was Blacklist who grabbed the Fredrinn for themselves, but Echo responded with the Barats pick, a familiar matchup seen in M4, and Bennyqt’s signature Brody capable of assassinating enemies and making backdoor plays. Echo’s five bans were mostly targeted on OhmyV33nus, hence she was forced to grab the Faramis once again. On the other hand, Echo drafted the Valir for Yawi, a familiar pocket pick that has been used for situational games. One common thing to note from both teams was the sustainability they possessed for extended teamfights.
Yawi and Sanji’s combination of skills posed a demeaning threat right off the bat, harassing and bullying Yue during the first minion wave. However, Blacklist were able to win the first turtle over, alongside picking off three members from the side of Echo. Blacklist’s composition possessed a lot of displacement capabilities, giving them opportunities to pick off their enemies. Echo needed to work around Sanji’s Yve and Bennyqt’s Brody to secure teamfights all over the map. A messy teamfight occurred as the third turtle spawned, which was secured by Sanford, which ended up with Echo winning the small battle, equalizing the game. As the first Lord spawned and the first Lord clash happened, Echo was able to break through the UBE, separating and isolating the Agents. Echo was then able to secure the first Lord, which helped them siege the top side of the base of Blacklist International. An attempted backdoor play was initiated by Bennyqt, but Echo was heavily punished for this, as Blacklist equalized the game. It was heavily a back-and-forth game between the two teams, as the clashes were alternately won. However, as the final Evolved Lord spawned, Blacklist was able to secure it, but Echo swept the entirety of the Agents. Due to long respawn times by the 23rd minute onwards, Echo were able to push and siege straight into the base of their enemies, securing the second game and their first win of the season against the defending champions, 2-0.
POST MATCH STATS:
*ERRATUM: Yawi used Atlas for Game 1.