MPL-PH Season 5 Week 2: Blacklist Continues to “Break The Code”
Posted by Yuri Mangahas March 09, 2020

Upsets, comebacks, and dominating victories filled the second week of the Mobile Legends Bang Bang Professional League’s fifth season. With few teams displaying unbridled resilience to maintain their footing, fans were treated to thrilling battles throughout the weekend.

Day 1 Match 1: BSB (W) vs STI

STI started out strong in the opening phase of Game 1, shutting down three members of BSB and stealing objectives left and right. However, BSB retaliated hard by dishing out four kills in one stroke, giving them the opening they needed to begin funneling all resources into Jeraxnu’s Kimmy. Coupled with timely Lord kills, Shaiderqt’s Chou, and a Diggie-Nana tandem, Game 1 fell into the hands of BSB.

In Game 2, STI decided to employ a CC-heavy draft to nullify BSB’s frontliners from making an attack. However, both Wilson and Trebor played their roles pretty well, baiting STI at every turn and allowing BSB to destroy the eOlympians’ turrets. With a crushing Maximum Charge from Jeraxnu’s Kimmy, victory was secured for BSB.

Day 1 Match 2: Sunsparks (W) vs Geek Fam

Both teams came to this match with the intent of springing back from their Week 1 defeats, but the defending champs do not want to be counted out just yet. Sunsparks gained an early power spike at the laning phase of Game 1, with Jaypee, Kielvj and Greed logging kills for their team. The absence of a tank hero became Geek Fam’s undoing, as Sunsparks employed Flameshots and controlled the entire map to triumph at the first game.

Killuash displayed his effectiveness as a tank player in Game 2, leveraging the capacities of Uranus to push out minion waves and prevent Geek Fam from mounting a siege. The M1 representatives kept moving within the entire map to contain Geek Fam and funnel resources at their disposal. Jaypee’s Karrie and Kielvj’s Zhask disabled any opportunities for a comeback, allowing the Greed-led squad to dispose Geek Fam swiftly for a 2-0 series ace.

Day 2 Match 1: Blacklist International (W) vs ULVL

Continuing their momentum from Week 1, Blacklist International employed a support Natalya in Game 1 to outgun ULVL of their resources. The blue-clad team abused the Flameshot battle spell to shut off ULVL and provide enough space for Aqua’s Pharsa to dish out Feathered Airstrikes. With ULVL in shambles, Blacklist destroyed the former’s core decisively.

Recognizing the threat of a support-type Natalya, ULVL finally barred the hero from play and opted for mobile heroes in their draft. However, Blacklist answered with mages Pharsa and Cecilion to even the match. While ULVL seemingly had the advantage at the laning phase, Blacklist outplayed the former Team Gosu PH and contained their mobility with a series of well-timed Flameshots. Furthermore, Riddler’s Granger logged important kills for his team, ending in a 2-0 sweep for Blacklist.

Day 2 Match 2: STI vs Sterling Global Dragons (W)

The Dragons displayed their veteran dominance in Game 1, as they fielded a well-sustained draft punctuated by Kenji’s Uranus and Haze’s Rafaela. With Hadjizy’s Chou providing space with his solo-laning antics, SGD managed to limit STI’s map control and pin them to submission, ending in a one-sided victory for Game 1.

SGD figured out STI’s intention to funnel economy into their marksmen for a late-game attack in Game 2. Furthermore, the eOlympians picked a Lolita in a bid to defend their frontliners. With their strategy in check, SGD trounced STI of their resources and mounted immense pressure within the map. Heath’s Rafaela focused on deterring Lolita’s Noumenon Blast and Kenji’s Chou worked solely on objectives, crushing STI of their hopes to even the series.

With three consecutive losses in record, STI has to regroup and devise a plan to bounce back and maintain their footing in the preliminaries.

Day 2 Match 3: Onic PH vs Bren Esports (W)

Onic PH faced a strong draft contention in the form of Bren Esports’ Cecilion and Wanwan in Game 1. Knowing the marksmen’s late-game potential, the Season 4 runner-ups fielded a well-sustained draft with OhMyV33NUS’ Estes leading the charge. Onic PH made good use of Hylos’ Glorious Pathway and Harith’s Zaman Force to allow immense mobility in the field. Despite KarlTzy’s last-minute three-kill clutch, Onic PH shattered Bren’s defenses to take Game 1.

Not letting their Game 1 loss hamper their night, Bren employed a double marksman strategy to turn the tides. The team struggled securing their resources at the laning phase, with Onic PH’s Ling and Uranus controlling the map. Fortunately, landing a kill on Ling provided the opening Bren needed to snowball their attackers for a late game push, extending the series to Game 3.

The former Aether Main team dashed through the clincher in full momentum, as they funneled their economy to KarlTzy’s Wanwan to control the game at all phases. While the rest of Bren kept on stealing objectives, Lastii’s Grock had Wise’s Ling contained, disabling Onic PH’s offense and tipping the series to Bren’s favor.

Day 3 Match 1: Sunsparks (W) vs BSB

Both teams have bounced back from their respective Week 1 losses and if it serves as an indication, this battle is fated to happen. BSB focused on dismantling outer turrets at the laning phase, while Sunsparks maintained their rotations and stole resources from the newcomers. This gave Sunsparks the opportunity to gain an early power spike and turn the game to their favor. With two decisive aces, and Killuash’s Uranus baiting BSB in exchange for a Lord kill, the defending champs took Game 1 easily.

Sunsparks sustained their momentum in Game 2. The blue-clad team had BSB checked at all fronts, as the newcomers struggled to find their rhythm during the early phases of the game. With Jaypee’s Ling and Killuash’s Uranus limiting map control for BSB, it’s an easy victory for Sunsparks.

Day 3 Match 2: Bren Esports (W) vs Geek Fam

Bren Esports wasted no time in Game 1 and outgunned Geek Fam of all buffs and economy, strengthening their double marksman setup for a decisive rush. Lastii’s Baxia ran interference throughout the map, providing space for the rest of Bren to slowly crumble Geek Fam’s turrets and inevitably, their base itself.

With Coco’s X.Borg providing vision for his teammates, it was easy for Bren to carry out pick-offs and steal resources from Geek Fam. Bren’s attackers kept harassing  Geek Fam’s members within the jungle, allowing the former champs to control the game and secure their second win in Week 2.

Day 3 Match 3: Execration (W) vs Sterling Global Dragons

With Z4pnu returning in this important match, things are looking optimistic for the crowd-favorite Execration. Game 1 saw Execration playing a very systematic strategy for the entirety of the round. Z4pnu and Ch4knu fielded Uranus and Rafaela to sustain their teammates at every turn, while Cyre, Bennyqt, and Hate contained SGD in terms of map control. Despite SGD achieving a late-game power spike, Execration’s triple fighter setup proved tough for the Dragons. Execration swept SGD at the final minutes of Game 1, allowing the crowd-favorites to draw first blood in the series.

Execration kept mounting immense pressure on the Dragons at the beginning of Game 2. SGD struggled to break through their opponents’ defenses, but not at the expense of their resources. Once they achieved their power spike, SGD returned on the offensive. Haze and Heath protected SGD’s frontliners, while Toshi’s Bruno dished out multiple kills at all lanes. This enabled the Dragons to snatch a Lord kill and deliver a stunning ace, extending the series to a third game.

Execration flipped the story to their narrative in Game 3. Z4pnu’s squad limited SGD’s control over the map, with Hate’s Hayabusa focused on one simple objective: to steal resources. Z4pnu’s Chou and Bennyqt’s Karrie operated as a cohesive unit, battering the Dragons and ultimately, shutting down Haze’s Natalia. With all chess pieces in place, Execration pinned SGD for their first series victory in the season.

Catch MPL PH Season Five from Fridays to Sundays, 6:00 PM at MLBB’s Facebook and YouTube pages. You may also watch the games up close at Illumination Studios in Makati.

Now Reading: MPL-PH Season 5 Week 2: Blacklist Continues to “Break The Code”
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