Blacklist International announced on Wednesday evening that mid laner, Salic “Hadji” Imam, will not be participating in the upcoming MPL Philippines Season 11.
Hadji has been a staple in MPL Philippines since the second season, taking part in all seasons except for the first one. He has also been a regular participant in numerous international tournaments, playing non-stop for years.
In the past year, Hadji has taken part in a number of notable events including the MPL Philippines Season Nine, 31st Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam, MPL Philippines Season 10, 14th IESF World Championship, and the M4 World Championship.
Now, Hadji has decided to take a break for the upcoming season, allowing himself time to recharge and come back stronger.
The decision to sit out the upcoming season was not just limited to Hadji, as two other key members of the team, veteran roamer Mark “ESON” Gerardo and head coach Kristoffer “BON CHAN” Ricaplaza, will also be taking a break.
This comes as a surprise to many fans, as the team had a strong showing in the recent MPL Philippines Season 10, where they successfully reclaimed the championship title after beating ECHO. However, their momentum was short-lived as they eventually lost to the same team in the M4 World Championship grand finals, halting their historic back-to-back win streak in the M-Series.
Despite the absence of Hadji, ESON, and BON CHAN, two of the team’s star players, Johnmar “OhMyV33NUS” Villaluna and Danerie “Wise” Del Rosario, have confirmed that they will be participating in the upcoming season.
The organization has not yet announced who will be joining the two in their campaign, leaving fans in anticipation of who will fill the shoes of Hadji, ESON, and BON CHAN.
Overall, the decision to sit out the upcoming season by Hadji, ESON, and BON CHAN highlights the importance of taking breaks and prioritizing one’s well-being in the competitive world of esports.
It remains to be seen how this will impact Blacklist International’s performance in the upcoming MPL Philippines Season 11. Still, fans can be sure that the team will come back stronger and more motivated in future seasons.