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Bren regains deadly form; Blacklist stays clean



Bren Esports finally found its groove and delivered an impressive performance in Week 5 of the Mobile Legends Professional League (MPL) Philippines Season 8 over the weekend.

After a rough start, the MPL Season 6 champion clobbered Onic before posting back-to-back victories over Nexplay EVOS to keep its flickering hopes alive in the most prestigious Esports tournament in the country.

Bren took advantage of the absence of Renejay “RENEJAY” Bacarse for Nexplay EVOS in their first meeting, but still managed to pull off an overwhelming victory  in their second encounter with the star Experience lane back in the roster.

Bren coach Francis “Duckeyyy” Glindro said the players finally came to their senses when they realized that they were close to getting eliminated.

“The team learned that getting close to elimination is not a good feeling,” Duckeyyy said.

“They forgot the core of gaming. They were playing because it is their job and they get paid. I made them realize that at the end of the day, it is a game meant to be enjoyed which is why we decided to go back to our classic game style.”

While Bren Esports finally found its footing, reigning MPL champion Blacklist International continued its dominance after winning their two matches via a pair of sweeps of TNC and RSG to improve its standing to 10-0.

“RSG is a really good team. There is no doubt with how they performed,” Blacklist coach Kristoffer “Bon Chan” Ricaplaza said.

“We even expected that they would be the first to beat us but we were able to win because of our scaling heroes. The right moment came for us and we were able to move forward, but RSG is a really good team.”

The ten-game winning streak surpassed Blacklist’s 9-0 run last season.

The victory over RSG also sent Blacklist into the playoffs and with four more games left in the group stage, Bon Chan picked the top three teams that could trouble them the most.

Against Nexplay EVOS, the Bren crew of Angelo Kyle “Pheww” Arcangel, CJ “Ribo” Ribo, Karl “KarlTzy” Nepomuceno, David Charles “FlapTzy” Canon, and Allan “Lusty” Castromayor Jr. looked cohesive in the opening game, but saw the round stolen from them after one mistake.

Bren had to lean on a no-assassin lineup come Game 2 with Natan, Alice, Yve, Rafaela, and Thamuz while the crowd darling, Nexplay Evos, drafted Jawhead, Chou, Yi Sun-Shin, Lapu-Lapu, and Harley.

Nexplay EVOS took the early lead taking all three turtle kills and was also ahead on the scoreboard, 8-7, at the 8:00 mark. Bren retaliated by forcing a push on top which they dearly paid for by losing Natan, Rafaela, and Thamuz.

A crucial lord take happened two minutes later where Pheww was taken down, but Bren still secured its objective. The lord, however, did little for Bren as Nexplay EVOS continued to pressure the reigning M2 world champions in the crucial stretch of the game.

A crucial fight in the jungle wiped out Nexplay EVOS at the 15:40 mark.

Bren took lord then broke eight turrets during their push. RENEJAY tried a split push to the bottom twice, but Bren refused to fall for Nexplay EVOS’ old trick until making a final push by breaking base to force a tiebreaker.

Bren was dominant in Game 3 as it went for a GG push as early as the 10:00 mark. In the end, KarlTzy’s Natan took the credit for the win after he ended the match with 5/1/5 kills, death, and assists.

While the win over Nexplay EVOS had shut doubters, Bren’s most impressive victory to date came at the expense of Onic PH last Saturday.

Onic pulled off a shocker with its Alucard draft, but it was not enough to halt KarlTzy’s Natan in Game 1.

Riding the crest of their momentum, Bren closed the show in the next round with a Eudora-Khufra combo to bag its fourth win of the season and improve its standing to 4-6 win-loss card.

“It is safe to say the new patch favors us this season because KarlTzy is well known for his marksman heroes apart from his assassins. A lot has happened in the bootcamp, KarlTzy has matured when it comes to his perspective and gameplay,” Duckeyyy said.

“It was tough for Onic because we played classic Bren using limited heroes since we are past our experimentation pace. We went back to their old preferences in terms of the draft and how they play.”

“Like what FlapTzy said, it is wrong that we are the ones adjusting to them. We went back to our classic ultra-aggressive style of game, but this time they have matured as players. It sank in that even though they are world champions, it is easy to fall.”   JM SIASAT