The first week of MPL-PH was a testament of how difficult it is for Blacklist International without the VeeWise tandem. Entering the second week of the tournament winless, the team aims to find their new shade of black, UBE 3.0 as they say, with the hopes of gaining footing in the tournament with their current roster. NXPE, on the other hand, buffed with newly recruited rookies that performed well in the Sibol Qualifiers, looks to hand the current MPL-PH and world champions its third loss in the tournament.
It was the Franco pick that shocked Blacklist International in the first game of the series—a taste of their own medicine seems to be the best way to put it. The early to mid phases of the game felt like a tug-of-war, with both teams trading objectives from different areas of the map. The emergence of the Demon Slayer jungle emblem helped Blacklist secure the early objectives of the match as the KDA Machine, Hadji playing Valentina, leads the kill board for them. RENEJAY, however, with the magnificent use of Franco's Iron Hook, turned the tides against the current champions. With crucial hooks, he was able to put a huge pressure against Blacklist International.
Unfazed that he is facing the best gold laner and MVP in the world right now, Donut continues to dive fearlessly against the Filipino Sniper, even using the same hero that gained the latter his moniker. It was specifically this damage by Donut's Beatrix that devastated Blacklist International, resulting in Oheb's 1/5/3 standing and their eventual loss.
Armed with almost the same roster as the first game, NXPE marches on, looking to sweep Blacklist International. With the same caliber of performance coming from DONUT, NXPE easily took the mid game, securing objectives and kills against the opposing team. The crucial hooks from RENEJAY, now backed up with S4gitnu's Edith, impeded the movement of the key players of the other team, forcing them to their base for the most part of the mid game. However, it was this mistake from NXPE and the brilliant setup from DEX STAR—in his debut series after two seasons—that resulted in Blacklist's come back. Proving to everyone that they have the composure of a champion, Blacklist International takes game number two (2).
Entering the third game with his signature Alice pick from Season 7, all eyes are on Oheb as he promises a strong early game after getting the first blood against DONUT's Beatrix. After banning RENEJAY's Franco that made things difficult for them in the first two (2) games of the series, Blacklist relied on the scaling capabilities of their two (2) core heroes. However, NXPE started going aggressive against the current champions, rendering them helpless as they mercilessly destroy the opposing team's turrets. The team found it difficult to react after RENEJAY's excellent playmaking coming from Edith which then made it easier for NXPE to go all in against the players of Blacklist International. Throughout the game, they were unable to trade objectives and were forced to retreat. This game-ending clash initiated by RENEJAY's Edith resulted in 4 kills as NXPE triumphantly walks towards the jungle rookie of Blacklist International. Excellent rotations from an excellent draft resulted in a single death against the World Champions. The new shade of black is yet to be found as Blacklist International walks into Week 2, winless.
GAME 1 (17:01) - BLCK 8 (L); NXPE 14 (W)
GAME 2 (20:17) - BLCK 16 (W); NXPE 11 (L)
GAME 3 (14:43) - BLCK 1 (L); NXPE 11 (W)