After a recently ended win streak from the side of RRQ Akira, the Brazilian champions remain steadfast and ready to go against the defending champions, Blacklist International, who still remain determined and hungry towards breaking history of winning the title for the second time. Who will remain triumphant and confident in the upper bracket in this best-of-five series?
Both teams focused on respect bans on each other's comfort potential comfort picks, however Karrie was left open, which was grabbed by Blacklist for their first pick. On the other hand, RRQ Akira took the Yu Zhong, a popular M4 pick on the EXP Lane, accompanied by the ever-threatening Valentina. Blacklist, however, drafted the signature Estes pick of OhmyV33nus. Eventually, Blacklist revealed the Barats pick as their jungler with the Pharsa for scaling damage, while RRQ Akira drafted the Beatrix, Hayabusa and Atlas for solid teamfight potential.
In under a minute, Blacklist was able to get the first kill on Tekashi due to a fast rotation by Hadji on to the EXP Lane. The first turtle was also taken by the Agents, however RRQ Akira was smart in picking off Oheb to get a trade. With the combination of the Purify spell and the sustainability from Blacklist International's composition, RRQ Akira found themselves in awkward situations in initiating teamfights. It seemed like Blacklist International was able to anticipate the famous Hayabusa pick that was going around in the tournament, since their composition was all about sustainability brought by the Barats and Estes synergy, taking all of RRQ Akira's damage output with ease. The entire map was in Blacklist International's control nine minutes in, slaying the first Lord and exposing RRQ Akira's base. By the 12th minute and a 12 thousand gold lead, It was definitely a one-sided game in favor of Blacklist International.
The second game drafting process was no different, as both teams still resorted to respect banning each other's heroes. This time, RRQ Akira was on the Blue side, picking the Gloo first, which led to Blacklist still grabbing the Karrie accompanied with the Yve. Diggie was also picked up by the Agents to counter RRQ Akira's Lolita and all potential crown control brought by the Brazilian champions. RRQ Akira eventually drafted the Leomord, making its M4 debut, and Blacklist answered by drafting the Fredrinn.
It was a slower start compared to the previous game, as some skirmishes transpired around the map but these did not translate into kills. RRQ Akira secured the first Turtle, but Blacklist International remained to be leading in terms of gold throughout the mid game. Despite RRQ Akira leading in terms of objectives, Blacklist International still managed to keep up in terms of gold which was helpful in scaling especially for Oheb and Hadji. With RRQ Akira having the map control advantage, they were able to hold Blacklist off from positioning by the Lord area. However, Edward's impact in cutting waves and zoning away key heroes and giving space for the rest of the Agents. After numerous teamfights around the Lord area, Blacklist was finally able to slay the Lord in the 16th minute with a crucial Retribution play from Wise. By minute 18, with a crucial pick off onto Kiing, RRQ Akira was left crippled, and Blacklist eventually found themselves by their opponent's base.
For the third game, with Blacklist International back on the Blue side, they decided to prioritize the Benedetta since the Karrie was finally banned by RRQ Akira. Estes was once again drafted by the Agents, paired with a flexible Valentina pick, while RRQ Akira drafted Chou, a new pick for this series. Blacklist then drafted the famous Filipino Sniper's pick, Beatrix, followed by the Faramis, meanwhile the opposing side revealed the Baxia pick as an answer to Blacklist's composition.
It was a good start for the side of RRQ Akira, grabbing sneaky kills on WIse and OhmyV33nus as the Turtle spawned. Tekashi's early damage and pressure from the Lapu-Lapu and Baxia's passive enabled RRQ Akira to exert aggression onto the Agents. However, by the 7th minute, Blacklist was able to recover after sustaining a hefty mid lane skirmish and picking off Seigen in the process. 9 minutes through the game, although RRQ Akira had more map control, the gold lead was pretty even with RRQ Akira being only at most a thousand ahead. After a lengthy fight around the Lord area, it was Blacklist who secured the first Lord, giving them the opportunity to get the upper hand in terms of map control. However, after a deadly ambush by Tekashi and Kiing onto Oheb, Blacklist ended up running back to their base as RRQ Akira slowly took them down one-by-one, eventually finding the base of Blacklist and forcing to lengthen the series.
With RRQ Akira now on the Blue side, banned out the Karrie once again and grabbed the Gloo, while Blacklist International answered back with the Benedetta, Pharsa and Estes. RRQ Akira drafted the Xavier and Chou once more, two key heroes from the previous game. Additionally, Baxia was revealed again by the Brazilian champions, however Blacklist took a different turn and picked the Akai jungle for Wise.
Blacklist had an early edge over RRQ Akira, with OhmyV33nus surprisingly drawing first blood against Luiizz and another kill onto Kiing. However, it was RRQ Akira securing the first few Turtles of the game. To retaliate back, Blacklist International continued to find kills around the map. With this, Blacklist International finally secured their first Turlte by the 7th minute and eventually taking down the first outer turrets, giving them a five thousand gold lead. This lead eventually snowballed, enabling them to easily secure the first Lord of the game. Oheb was very on-point, utilizing his sniper well, standing at a 7/0/2 KDA ratio 12 minutes in, proving the world why he deserves the title of "The Filipino Sniper." After an incredibly extended clash around the base of RRQ Akira, Blacklist was finally able to find their way to victory, winning the series 3-1.
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