After dropping its first four games in the MPL Philippines Season Nine, Blacklist International finally scored its first win on Saturday afternoon at the expense of the struggling Bren Esports.
Indeed, it was a sweet victory for the back-to-back defending champions, who went through a number of beatings in the first two weeks of the tournament. But more than the win, Blacklist International head coach Kristoffer “BON CHAN” Ricaplaza is just glad that he was able to fulfill his promise to the team and its fans.
“Kagaya ng pinromise ko aabante tayo pagkadating ng third week,” said the M3 world champion coach. “Ayun, nagkakatotoo yung nasa plano namin, lahat ng nasa timeline namin.
“Sana masunod at magkatotoo.”
Last week, BON CHAN asked for the fans’ understanding regarding the team’s rough start. According to him, the team was still adjusting to the loss of power duo Johnmar “OhMyV33NUS” Villaluna and Danerie “Wise” Del Rosario – who both opted to skip Season Nine to rest. He also promised improvements from the team come the third week.
“Kagaya nung sinabi ko nung pagkasimula ng season, bigyan niyo kami ng two weeks dahil sabihin nating kinulang talaga kami ng oras para sa preparation. So parang may sinusunod kaming curriculum niyan e, may sistema kaming sinusunod na kinakailangan talaga namin ng oras para ma fill in yung mga gap na ‘di pa natututunan ng team,” said BON CHAN.
“Yung iba talagang hinuhusgahan na kami sa simula pero ‘di talaga natin sila [fans] masisisi kasi sanay sila na panay kami ang panalo. Pero sinet ko naman yung expectations nila na magsa-struggle talaga tayo sa first two weeks.”
Up against a struggling Bren Esports squad, Blacklist International showcased its improved wares en route to a grueling 2-0 win.
Kent “Kevier” Lopez, who struggled in the first two weeks of competition, finally looked comfortable with four kills and seven assists without a single death on Ling in the 15-7 Game One win. He then ended the series with five kills and five assists against one death on Roger to lead the 18-8 series-sealing sweep.
“Kaninang simula parang nanginignig pa nga yung kamay niya e, pero nawala rin,” quipped BON CHAN.
With the monkey finally off the reigning world champion’s back, BON CHAN is hoping that the team can build up from this momentum moving forward.
“Konting intindi na lang at malapit na tayo sa hinahanap nating form. Kaunting tiyaga pa.”