Blacklist International have claimed a consecutive Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Professional League Philippines (MPL PH) title after they defeated ONIC PH 4-1 in the grand finals of Season 8 on Sunday (24 October).
Blacklist International won their first-ever MPL title after outlasting Execration in the grand finals of MPL PH Season 7 back in May. As the country's defending champions, Blacklist entered the regular season of Season 8 as the heavy favorites. The team finished the regular season atop the standings with a 13-1 record, with midlaner Salic "Hadji" Imam taking home the regular season MVP award.
Blacklist got directly seeded into the semi-finals of the playoffs for having the league's best regular season record. However, they were upset by fourth seed Omega Esports, 3-1, and got knocked down to the lower bracket.
Blacklist then bounced back from their previous loss by sweeping Nexplay Esports 3-0 to advance to the lower bracket finals and earn a rematch against Omega, who were swept by second seed ONIC PH in the upper bracket finals.
In a massive reversal of their previous meeting, Blacklist defeated Omega 3-1 to advance to the best-of-seven grand finals against ONIC PH.
Both finalists looked to be evenly matched to start the finals, as Blacklist easily took game one before ONIC bounced back to win game two and tie things up.
With the finals now essentially a best-of-five, Hadji alongside Danerie ”Wise” Del Rosario and Jonmar “OhmyV33nus" Villaluna fueled a surging Blacklist in the next three games.
Blacklist took a 2-1 series lead after they routed ONIC in a 14-minute game three with a 24-11 kill lead. The eventual champions only continued to snowball in game four, as they stomped their opponents to the tune of 17 unanswered kills in just 11 minutes of action.
Smelling blood in the water, Blacklist fended off ONIC's attempts to mount a comeback and won game five with a 19-10 kill lead to secure their second-straight MPL PH title.
Hadji bagged the finals MVP award due to his versatility and playmaking prowess that fueled his team's run to the championship.