By Arvin N. Migallos and Mark Angelo Mañes


Execration, with their revamped code, proved too much to handle for a seemingly flawless Blacklist International as they bag the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Southeast Asia Cup (MSC) 2021 title, 4-1, in an all-Filipino Grand Final, Sunday night.

Photo from: Z4pnu Official FB page

Execration did a "cinderella run" from the lower bracket of the annual tournament, where they went on to face regional ML powerhouses Resurgence (Malaysia) and Evos Legends (Indonesia) alike.

"Sabi nila ako daw yung pinakamahinang Funnelist sa Pilipinas, pero sa South East Asia ako yung pinakamalakas!" said EXE's core, Kiel 'KielVj' Hernandez in a post game interview.

Blacklist showed their dominance in the first game showcasing their "ultimate bonding experience" or "UBE strategy" picking off Execration's heroes one after another, 1-0.

It was a different story in Game 2 though, as EXE stole Brody from BLCK's Danerie 'Wise' Rosario leading to the latter's collapse and leveling the series at one game apiece.

Blacklist bounced back in Game 3 as they managed to take back the Brody to gain advantage, but a pivotal Lord River clash was enough for Execration to flip the tides.

BLCK forced teamfights in the early to mid stages of Game 4 to gain upper hand. Yet, EXE's modified UBE startegy and steely composure paid off as they get critical pick offs to bring them at championship point.

This was not the first time they faced each other in the grand finals. They were also leading 3-1 in the recent Mobile Legends Professional League - PH (MPL-PH) Season 7, where unfortunately, they were reverse swept by the latter, 4-3.

Although that happened, it was clear that EXE learned form their past mistakes, overcoming the Franco threat of Mark 'Eson' Gerardo with team prodigy Duane 'Kelra' Pillas' Chang'e initiating the charge and sealing the deal.

Kelra was crowned tournament MVP with his signature heroes Harith, Lunox, and Claude. He had an 8.3 average KDA, 755.1 AGPM and 4,168 ADPM in the tournament's duration.

This is Execration's first international title since acquiring Obs Gaming's roster in 2018, with pioneers Billy 'Z4pnu' Alfonso and Jomie 'Pakbet' Abalos still seeking for an MPL-PH championship.

Execration will take home US$70,000 (₱3.34 million) as champions, while runners-up Blacklist Int'l won't go empty handed with their US$30,000 (₱1.43 million) cheque.

2019 MSC Champions EVOS Legends settled for US$ 15,000 (IDR 213 million, ₱716,700) as third placers.