A New Chapter of the Filipino Dynasty Unfolds in the M4 Grand Finals

A New Chapter of the Filipino Dynasty Unfolds in the M4 Grand Finals
Publish Date 15 Jan 2023
Author Marc Corrales
Viewed 385 times

After a rigorous journey in the Groups and Knockout Stages led by the sixteen teams, it all boils down to the two reppresentatives from the Philippines, Blacklist International and Echo, in the Grand Finals. Will the defending champions, Blacklist International, be able to cement their legacy by being the first ever team to achieve a back-to-back world championship, or will Echo Philippines finally redeem themselves this time in this opportunity to go up against their solidified rival?

 

Game 1's draft was truly based on both teams' performances in previous games; the highly-contested Fredrinn was banned out, as well as the Karrie, Chou and Gloo. Blacklist International surprisingly prioritized the Barats for their first pick, while Echo immediately answered back wit hthe Yve, Lapu-Lapu and Akai. Blacklist solidified their damage dealers by getting the Pharsa and Harith for Hadji and Oheb respectively, meanwhile Echo banned out OhmyV33nus' heroes in the second phase. Surprisingly, no marksmen were picked between both teams, as they got DPS mages to be placed on the Gold lane instead.

The first two minutes were immediately a roller coaster all around the map; Wise was able to secure the first Turtle, but he alongside with Edward. were picked off by the members of Echo. Meanwhile, OhmyV33nus and Oheb were able to secure a pickoff onto Bennyqt at the opposite side of the map. It seemed like Blacklist International knew where the members of Echo were on the map, which made them do the plays they wanted to do. Eventually, Blacklist secured the second Turtle, but Echo were able to find pickoffs to trade. The third Turlte was then secured by Echo this time, followed by crucial sieges on the top lane, giving pressure in preparation for the Lord dance. With a 4,000 gold lead with a secured Lord, Echo had undeniable control of the map. With this lead, Echo were ready for any possible teamfight due to the damage output brought by Bennyqt's Lunox. After securing the second Lord and managing their win conditions well, Echo easily penetrated into Blacklist International's base and secured the first game of the series, 1-0.

 

It was pretty much the same formula in the second game's drafting phase, however Fredrinn was now left available and up for grabs for Wise. Moreover, it was OhmyV33nus who now grabbed the Lolita pick. Meanwhile, Echo took the Barats this time, alongside the Gloo and Pharsa, two notable heroes in the metagame. Finally, marksmen were picked for this game, as seen in Bennyqt's Brody and Oheb's famous Beatrix. 

The second game started the similar way; it was a slow pace, with both teams scouting each other until the first Turtle spawned, which was secured by KarlTzy. However, Blacklist International were able to trade off by picking up some kills. The same scenario actually happened by the second Turtle spawned, with Blacklist securing the neutral objective, meanwhile Echo were able to find the. trade offs. By minute 7, with superb positioning by the members of Echo, having ample vision of the opposing team, they were able to slay the third Turtle and crucial kills, eventually assuming their lead. After a Lord dance upon the 9th minute, Echo initiated a conceal play, picking off Hadji, further crippling the Agents, which led them to eliminate three more members and freely taking the first Lord. Upon their siege with the Lord, Echo was able to initiate and win another teamfight, allowing them to take down the middle lane inhibitor turret, exposing the base of Blacklist International. Eventually, a surprising yet expected play happened on the side of Echo, where Echo baited Blacklist International in taking the second Lord, while Bennyqt sneakily pushed the middle lane, swiftly sieging down the base of the Agents.

 

Game 3's drafting phase had a little bit of a twist, since Echo prioritized banning the Queen V33nus' heroes. With this, heroes such as Karrie, Kaja and Fredrinn once again were available, which were eventually drafted. Blacklist oriented their composition in area control and teamfight capabilities guided by a solid front line, meanwhile Echo was more of a dive and pickoff lineup after revealing the mid lane Gusion pick. 

It was a slow game in the early stages, where KarlTzy won the first Turtle dance with no casualties. It was a game of wave management, poking and setups by both teams, waiting for the right opportunity to engage and counter each other. With the debut of Gusion in the world stage, Sanji was able to garner three kills on the way to secure the second Turtle. Things started to get messy by the 7th minute, as skirmishes started to transpire around the map. Sanford's Lapu-Lapu was out for blood, relentlessly diving under the opponents' tower and picking up crucial kills. 11 minutes into the game, Echo was able to expose Blacklist's top lane, positioning themselves comfortable for the first Lord located on the opposite side. With an outstanding bait by the Lord and a pickoff onto Wise, Echo was able to mow their way down the members of Blacklist International, wiping them out, and sieging down the base of the Agents. Echo stood loud and proud with one more game to win for them to win the M4 world championship.

 

Game 4's bans were once again "textbook" between the two teams, but now Diggie was finally given priority on the side of Blacklist, however Echo took the notable counter, Hilda. By this time, Blacklist needed to anticipate what will Bennyqt use and how they plan to enable Oheb, one of their most important win conditions. Echo eventually drafted a flexible Lunox pick, while Blacklist answered back by grabbing the Benedetta od Edward. and the Beatrix of Oheb. It was then revealed that the Lunox was placed on the Gold lane and Sanji drafted the Xavier.

Game 4 was very heated in the Gold lane area, as all rotations and setups were focused around Bennyqt and Oheb. By the 5th minute, Echo was able to assert dominance in terms of kills and objectives; their composition was effective when it comes to early game pressure, and they were able to play around this win condition, giving space for their scaling members and damage dealers. With a defining lead of 4,000 gold, Echo easily secured the first Lord, enabling them to pressure the turrets of Blacklist. Despite Blacklist being on the backfoot, Edward.'s Benedetta did wonders in split pushing for his team, giving them ample breathing room. However, Agent 0's efforts were not enough, as Echo's snowball effect and momentum prevailed, continuously pressuring and picking off the Agents. Eventually, Echo found themselves at the base of Blacklist International, and the M4 trophy was finally at their grasp, decoding the defending champions with a full 4-0 sweep.

DRAFT:

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POST GAME STATS:

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MVPs:

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