Blacklist International is looking to use unorthodox plays and strategies when it campaigns in the Group Stage of the M4 Mobile Legends World Championships that is set to run until 15 January at the Bali United Studio in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The three-time Mobile Legends Professional League Philippines champion will chart an unfamiliar territory as organizers decided that Group Stage matches will be played in a best-of-one series — a format that would require the team to get out of its comfort zone.
Despite having to alter its game plan, Blacklist was able to start strong.
With the star tandem of Danerie “Wise” del Rosario and Johnmar “OhMyV33nus” at the helm, the reigning champion opened the Group Stage with a bang, pulling off a 1-0 victory over Incendio Supremacy of Turkey on Sunday.
With the win, the Tier One-backed squad seized an early lead in Group A heading into a crucial battle with John “Zico” Dizon-led Burn X Flash of Cambodia and Falcon Esports of Myanmar on Tuesday.
Blacklist coach Kristoffer Ed “BON CHAN” Ricaplaza admitted that key adjustments have to be made if they want to emerge as back-to-back champions of this 16-team Mobile Legends tournament that offers a prize pool of roughly P45 million.
“We somehow do not favor the best-of-one format but of course, we have to adjust,” BON CHAN said.
“The best we can do is to prepare plays and strategies for best-of-one that could surprise our opponents.”
BON CHAN admitted that the format offers very little room for error so they have to be at their best if they want to retain their status as the best in the world.
“That way, we do not have to get even to those who could beat us,” he said.
“Since it is just best-of-one, there is no repeat so we have to prepare out-of-this-world and key strategies to surprise them in that one game.”
Aside from Wise and OhMyV33NUS, also bannering Blacklist are Kiel Calvin “OHEB” Soriano, Edward Jay “EDWARD” Dapadap and Salid “Hadji” Imam.
Together with another local team in ECHO, Blacklist took the four-hour flight to the Indonesian capital ahead of the tourney to make sure that they are mentally and emotionally ready to face the best Mobile Legends squads in the world.
BON CHAN admitted that spending the holidays away from their families is quite sad, but they have to endure it if they want to retain their lofty status and make the country proud.
“It is somehow sad that M4 is going to happen in the New Year because we cannot be with our families,” he said.
“But for as long as we are together and have fellow Filipinos during the New Year, then I guess everything will be okay. I hope everything will be okay. If we get good results, then every day will be Christmas for us.”