LOSING two major superstars in Johnmar “OhMyV33nus” Villaluna and Danerie James “Wise” Del Rosario was definitely a huge blow for the codebreakers. After all, these two individuals revitalized the organization to the point where they won back-to-back MPL trophies and an M3 World Championship title.
But amid their absence, Blacklist still has key pieces for the upcoming 9th Season of the MPL Philippines.
The MVP trio consisting of MPL-PH Season 7 finals MVP, Edward “EDWARD” Jay Dapadap, Season 8 MVP, Salic “Hadji” Imam, and M3 World Championship MVP, Kiel “OHEB” Soriano are still intact.
And to complement their services? Blacklist decided to bring back their reserve player, Mark Jayson “ESON” Gerardo into the starting lineup. He once played for the Codebreakers back in Season 7 where they won the championship.
The arrival of Hadji forced ESON to serve as the team’s 6th man while assisting Coaches Kristoffer “BON CHAN” Ricaplaza and Dexter Louise “DEX STAR” Alaba in their coaching duties.
While some fans have speculated that DEX STAR will be part of the starting lineup, Blacklist revealed that rookie Kent Xavier “KEVIER” Lopez will be part of the final roster. He was part of the Origen Esports squad that garnered the championship in Juicy Legends.
How will Blacklist lineup fare in Season 9?
Given that Hadji could play multiple positions, as well as ESON’s role as a support/tank player, and KEVIER’s arrival, it would be interesting to see how Blacklist’s enigmatic lineup will make its mark in Season 9.
It is likely that OHEB and EDWARD would remain at the sidelanes while KEVIER would be the team’s jungler. Hadji has oftentimes switched roles with V33nus in terms of the midlane and roaming role, which might happen with ESON.
However, the absence of V33nus would definitely affect the team’s shotcalling, especially since the team has respected and valued his leadership since his Onic PH days. This could be ESON’s time to finally shine, given his overall experience that stretches all the way back to Season 2.