Blacklist International will have to face another season without its top players.
On Thursday night, the Tier One-backed team announced that stars Johnmar “OhMyV33NUS” Villaluna and Danerie “Wise” Del Rosario would be skipping the upcoming MPL Philippines Season 12, which serves as the qualifier for the prestigious M5 World Championship.
“Siguro sa tagal na nila sa competitive scene, yung mismong pag-iisip kasi kailangan pa rin i-pahinga. So kung tingin nila na hindi na ganon yung gigil kase nga [kailangan nila] ng pahinga, and deserve naman nila kasi ang tagal na nila sa scene,” said Blacklist International head coach Aniel “Master the Basics” Jiandani.
Master the Basics, set to begin his second season as the team’s top shot caller, mentioned that both players are welcome to return next season if they decide to play professionally again.
For now, however, Master the Basics said that the team will focus on the players currently on the roster, allowing their two stars to take a well-deserved rest.
“Ang dami na nilang achievements, ang dami na nilang naipundar so enjoyin nila ‘yon. And kung sa next season may gigil na ulit or gigil na ulit sila mag-laro, welcome sila,” he added.
This marks the second time that the V33Wise duo has decided to take a break. After helping the team secure the M3 World Championship last year, the power duo chose to skip MPL Philippines Season 9, where the team ended up in seventh place.
Despite the significant setback from the absence of the two, Blacklist International received a much-needed boost for the upcoming Season 12 with the return of Salic “Hadji” Imam and Kiel “OHEB” Soriano.
Similar to what V33Wise did in the past – and just now – both Hadji and OHEB took a one-season break in Season 11. However, the team managed to persevere and secure second place in both the MPL and the 2023 Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Southeast Asia Cup.
Hadji will assume the role of team captain in Season 12, alongside returnees Edward “Edward” Dapadap, Renejay “Renejay” Barcarse, OHEB, and former ONIC PH jungler Stephen “Sensui” Castillo in the starting lineup.
Season 11 starters Kenneth “Yue” Tadeo and Howard “Owl” Gonzales will serve as reserves, along with rookies Russel “Eyon” Usi and Kim “Kimpoy” Dela Cruz.
Also set to rejoin the team is former head coach Kristoffer “Bon Chan” Ricaplaza, who will now take on an assistant role alongside Dexter “DEX STAR” Alaba and Justin “Calad” Limbo.
“Hinahanap hanap ko pa din talaga na makabalik sa competition, nakakamiss din talaga,” said the three-time MPL PH champion coach.