Three-time champion Blacklist International faces a huge challenge as it competes without head coach Kristoffer Ed “BON CHAN” Ricaplaza in Season 11 of the Mobile Legends Professional League Philippines starting Friday.
In a statement, the organization stressed that BON CHAN had already begged off, paving the way for assistant coach Aniel “Master the Basics” Jiandani to emerge as head coach.
The absence of the 33-year-old BON CHAN will be a major blow to Blacklist.
In fact, the former EVOS Esports player is considered as the mastermind behind Blacklist’s success in both local and international plays and is credited for the UBE (ultimate bonding experience).
He is also a drafting genius who makes sure that Blacklist will always be two steps ahead of its opponent.
“Coach BON CHAN is the mastermind who led the creation of our world champion UBE strat, the man who steered us to three MPL PH championships and back-to-back appearances in the M-Series World Championships,” Blacklist said.
“While we miss his leadership in the bootcamp and our huddle rooms, we will always remember him as a mentor and a legend of PH MLBB. This is not the last time we will see Coach BON CHAN in BLCK colors.”
“Together, we’ll break the code again soon.”
Aside from BON CHAN, Blacklist general manager Elrasec “Rada” Ocampo and MPL veteran Mark Jayson “ESON” Gerardo also decided to take a season break.
They will also miss middle laner Salic “Hadji” Imam.”
Known for his role in team fights and brilliant use of Pharsa, Hadji stepped up as Blacklist team captain when the dynamic duo of Johnmar “OhMyV33nus” Villaluna and Danerie James “Wise” del Rosario decided to skip Season 9.
Blacklist stressed that Hadji will not be in action until Season 12.
“Salic “Hadji” Imam is taking a rest this Season 11. Our KDA machine is the MPL PH regular season 8 MVP (Most Valuable Player) who went on to win three championships and the M3 World Championship with Blacklist,” the organization said.
“It won’t be long until we see him back in the Land of Dawn. The KDA machine will be back in MPL Season 12.”
With that, Blacklist will bank on Edward Jay “EDWARD” Dapadap, Renejay “RENEJAY” Barcarse, Jomari David “ArcherPerezz” Perez, John Redick “SuperRed” Bordeos and Kenneth Carl “Yue” Tadeo as it shoots for its fourth title.