Photo from Blacklist International’s Facebook page

Blacklist International fell short of its bid to win the ONE Esports: MPL Invitational title as the Filipinos bowed to Onic Esports, 3-1, in the Grand Finals on Sunday, Nov. 7

After a rousing start for Blacklist in Game 1, the MPL Indonesia champions pushed the right buttons in the next three games to finish off the MPL Philippines titlists in four games and claim the MPLI title and the lion’s share of the $100,000 cash prize.

The Indonesians banked on its unorthodox picks and double-marksman composition to shock the tournament’s heavy favorites.

Blacklist actually had the chance to send the series to a deciding Game 5 following an impressive start in Game 4. Danerie “Wise” Del Rosario’s Bane had his free reigns in the jungle as Onic tried to pressure Kiel “Oheb” Soriano’s Lunox in the Gold Lane.

However, the surprise mid lane Claude pick together with a jungle Natan rescued Onic once more to prevail in a crucial Lord dance at the 14-minute mark of the game. Drian on the mid lane Claude dived through the clash and peeled off Blacklist heroes one-by-one to secure the Lord and score a wipe out.

The Filipinos refused to go down without a fight as Edward “Edward” Dapadap on the Paquito successfully defended the base against the Lord and killed two heroes from Onic. Blacklist tried to go for their own death push but the Filipinos got punished by Claude and Esmeralda once more as the Indonesians ended the series 23-15 in 17 minutes of play.

Dian finished with a 4-3-8 KDA in the deciding Game 4 while Sanz unloaded a 6-4-5 stat line to cap a series-long brilliance that also saw him getting the MVP honors in the Games 2 and 3 using his signature Yi Sun Shin.

It was actually Blacklist who started out the series with guns blazing as the Filipinos dominated the Indonesian champions, 12-5, in just 15 minutes of play. Salic “Hadji” Imam’s Jawhead tank and Jonmar “Ohmyv33nus” Villaluna’s Estes dictated the tempo while Oheb’s Lunox quickly snowballed and dominated every team fight for the Filipinos.

‘The Prince’ put up a perfect performance on the Lunox with a 7-0-3 KDA to draw first blood.

Blacklist continued to roll in the second game as they quickly took down the outer and mid tier turrets behind the aggression from Wise’s Bane and OhmyV33nus’ Mathilda.

However, Onic’s frontlines anchored on CW’s gold lane Ruby and Kiboy’s Rafaela held the fort for the Indonesians, allowing its two-marksman setup with mid Natan and jungle Yi Sun Shin to go online in the late game.

After a quiet Game 1, Sanz came out alive on the YSS in Game 2 with a 10-0-3 KDA to help Onic tie the series.

Onic ID’s head coach Ahmad Marsam “Mars” Fakhre displayed his drafting prowess in Game 3 as the Indonesians targeted Wise during the draft. Onic banned three Wise heroes in Barats, Aldous and Karina while also picking YSS and Bane, forcing the Filipino jungler to pick Granger.

The ploy paid off for the Indonesian as they clobbered the Filipinos, 13-6, behind another impressive performance form Sanz’s YSS who finished with a 5-0-5 KDA to take the commanding 2-1 lead.

With the win, Indonesia has now secured two MPLI titles both at the expense of a Filipino squad – the first time when Alter Ego defeated Bren Esports, 3-0, in last year’s edition of the tournament.

Source: Manila Bulletin (