Kristoffer “Bon Chan” Ricaplaza hoped for an all-Filipino matchup in the Finals—and he did get one: Blacklist versus Echo Philippines, with the latter defeating Onic Esports earlier this Thursday, January 12.
Like the Codebreakers facing RRQ Hoshi with a hostile crowd and silencing them, the Orcas did the same to the Indonesian powerhouse. ECHO PH quickly brought their opponent down to their knees with a 3-1 series win.
Recently, Ricaplaza wanted a case of déjà vu in the Mobile Legends M4 World Championship finals.
“For example nung M3 na natalo rin kami sa BTK, this time we lost to Falcon and sana doon ulit magtapos na same rematch as MPL Season 10 and hopefully ma-defend ulit namin ‘yung title,” he said.
Orcas Swallowing the Hedgehogs
In game 1, Onic had the upper hand in the early game, thanks to their Pinoy import Kairi “Kairi” Rayosdelsol’s Granger. He first drew blood on Tristan “Yawi” Cabrera’s Khaja at the top lane before killing Karl “KarlTzy” Nepomuceno’s Freidrin to secure the turtle.
However, Alston “Sanji” Pabico’s Xavier gave ECHO their first score by eliminating SANZ’s Valentina. Yawi ties the score, two apiece, after picking off Nicky “Kiboy” Fernando’s Khufra.
When it comes to damage output, Onic has the advantage. However, Sanford “SanFord” Vinuya’s Joy proved to be the menace the Hedgehog wanted to avoid. He managed to shatter the Hedgehogs’ defense by backstabbing them.
Although they secured the first game, Onic did not want to disappoint their fans. With the help of Kairi’s Hayabusa, the Indonesians were able to tie the series 1-1.
To prevent the Hedgehogs from taking the lead, ECHO banned all of Kairi’s signature heroes—Hayabusa, Ling, and Fanny. It helped the Orcas win, thanks to their tanky lineup.
Now that ECHO is up with a 2-1 lead, Onic tried to tie it in Game 4. At some point in the match, Onic seemed to have the win at the palm of their hands. But the defense of SanFord prevented them from extending the game up to Game 5.
With Frederic Benedict “Bennyqt” Gonzales’ hero getting painful, he prevented the series from progressing even further. His Beatrix destroyed anyone who stood in his way, racking 11 kills and eight assists in two deaths.
Yawi’s Chou also was an important asset of ECHO in securing their upper finals bracket. His pick roamed the map and made unbelievable sets, thus helping his team get the win and the series.
For sure, OKBET players will rejoice with whoever emerges the winner knowing that two Filipino teams are fighting for the chip.
Filipinos meet at the Finals
With Blacklist beating RRQ Hoshi and ECHO defeating Onic, two Filipino teams clashed last Friday, January 13, to secure an upper grand finals spot. But the defending champions, the Codebreakers, showed why they were the reigning titleholder as they managed a comeback 3-2 and clinched a spot in the upper grand finals spot.
Right off the bat, the Orcas showed why they deserved to be in the upper-bracket finals. In game 1, ECHO surprised Blacklist with their aggressiveness, especially coming from Yawi’s Hilda.
The Codebreakers struggled to build items as their opponent quickly picked them off. ECHO was diving towers left and right, cornering the players of Blacklist and slaying them. Game 1 easily concluded in under 14 minutes, with the Orcas getting the round.
However, the defending champs came back in game 2, with Kiel “OHEB” Soriano showing why he is one of the best marksmen in the league. He finished the match with six kills, four assists, and zero deaths.
Heading to games three and four, both teams tried to gain the lead. ECHO grabbed game three, while Blacklist managed to push the series into five games.
But in the final round, the Codebreakers, with Jonmar “OhMyV33NUS” Villaluna’s Estes, turned things around. They defeated the Orcas 6-13, thus securing their grand finals spot.
“I don’t know. Maybe it’s kinda like expected. Because there are a lot of overpowered heroes right now. They also have to watch for Hadji’s Pharsa and Edward’s Benedetta. Maybe… uhh… it’s the reason why they lost once again,” Villaluna concluded after winning the series. His signature hero, Estes, was not banned in Game 5, preventing any burst damage from ECHO.
In MPL Season 10, both teams faced each other in the finals and grand finals, with the Codebreakers grabbing the title as the MPL-Philippines’ back-to-back champion.
Meanwhile, ECHO heads back to the lower bracket hoping to get a rematch with Blacklist in M4’s grand finals.