The fourth day of the Playoffs at the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB) M3 World Championship kicked off with a highly-anticipated battle between the tournament favourites... though it happened in the lower bracket.
In a rematch of the ONE Esports MLBB Pro League (MPL) Invitational finals, MPL Philippines Season 8 champions Blacklist International avenged their loss to MPL Indonesia Season 8 champions ONIC Esports by defeating their Indonesian rivals 2-1, and knocking them out of the M3 World Championship on Tuesday (14 December).
Blacklist International had a strong start to the M3 World Championship as expected, sweeping Group A to earn an upper bracket berth.
Meanwhile, ONIC Esports stumbled in Group B and only managed a 1-2 record that forced them to start the Playoffs from the lower bracket.
Blacklist International then fell victim to a 3-2 upset from North America's BloodThirstyKings, which dropped them to the second round of the lower bracket, while ONIC Esports defeated Team SMG in the first round to set up a showdown with their Filipino rivals.
In the first game of the elimination match, ONIC found ways to get ahead in the early game, bullying the Filipino team and taking down the first turrets in the laning phase.
However, at the 7-minute mark, Salic "Hadji" Alauya Imam found an opportunity to pick off the Indonesian team, turning around the gold lead favouring Blacklist International.
The game extended to 23 minutes, with Blacklist International destroying the ONIC base. Kiel "OHEB" Calvin Soriano was named MVP, with a 71% kill participation rate.
Blacklist International was off to a good start in game two, building a decent gold and kill lead in the first 13 minutes and securing objectives across the map. However, the tides turned at the 15-minute mark as ONIC outscaled the damage coming from the Filipino powerhouse.
The 2021 MPLI Champions found an opportunity to break through the map on the way to their opponent's base, taking the 21-minute victory and forcing a decisive game three.
Muhammad "Butsss" Satrya Sanubari was named MVP of game two, as he was instrumental in making space for his team with his Esmeralda pick.
Blacklist International picked up the pace in the decider, utilizing all their members for a split push strategy through Edward "EDWARD" Hay Dapadap's mobile Lapu-Lapu pick.
With a tanky frontline and a scaling composition, the Filipino team stayed in control of the match and overpowered the MPLI Champions.
Despite ONIC Esports' best efforts to keep their tournament hopes alive, their Filipino rivals destroyed their base in under 13 minutes to kick them out of the M3 World Championship.
OHEB once again took the MVP honours, as he expertly used Beatrix to help Blacklist International live to fight another day.
Blacklist International will move on to Round 3 of the Playoff lower bracket, where they will face Keyd Stars in a best-of-three series on 15 December. Meanwhile, ONIC Esports bow out of the M3 World Championship with a 9th-12th place finish, taking home US$10,000 in consolation.
For everything you need to know about the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang M3 World Championship, click here.
Anna is a freelance writer and photographer. She is a gamer who loves RPGs and platformers, and is a League of Legends geek. She's also a food enthusiast who loves a good cup of black coffee.