With M5 taking place in the Philippines, how’s Blacklist’s vets dealing with pressure?
As the last point of the enemy’s base fell away, Blacklist International’s Edward Dapadap and coach Aniel “Master the Basics” Jiandani were already out of their seats and celebrating as they knew they were heading to the M5 World Championships.
This is the third appearance of the organization in the prestigious international tournament but there’s more at stake this time. For the first time ever, the M series of tournaments will be held in the Philippines. It’s a big moment for Philippine Mobile Legends and esports scene, so how are the two holding up?
For Blacklist’s Edward, it seems like M5 isn’t any different from another tournament. “Di siya feeling international kasi nasa Pinas siya,” he says cheekily. The veteran EXP Laner has been with Blacklist for every one of their M series appearances so he’s no stranger to the pressure.
Still, there’s a different kind of weight to it taking place in the Philippines. How is Edward able to keep his composure?
The answer to that is surprisingly simple: “Bago ako pumasok sa pro scene wala ng pressure sa akin kasi batak na ako sa mga offline tournaments. Yung mga dating tournaments sa mga mall at barangay,” said Edward. He also has nothing but confidence going into M5 because “dito din sa Pilipinas gaganapin (ang M5) so parang may home court advantage tayo.”
Home Court Advantage
Coach Master the Basics mirrors this sentiment about Pinoys having a home court advantage for M5. “Na-experience ko na to papunta sa ibang country,” said Blacklist’s coach. “Sobrang bigat pagka ang fans or yung crowd ay against sa inyo.” As someone who’s seen this team go through multiple international events, he knows full well the power of a crowd.
“Ngayon, expect natin ay yung buong crowd, or lagpas kalahati ng crowd, ay sigurado sa atin nag-chicheer so malaking boost sa confidence sa mga players yun,” said the coach. Now the pressure is on the other international teams as “alam nila na yung crowd ay against sa kanila.”
If anything, coach Master the Basics has his eyes on the Pinoy imports in the other M5 teams. “Sa tingin ko, dun talaga yung magpapahirap sa amin kasi home country nila. Ma-boboost yung confidence nila and ang kailiangan lang mag-adjust is yung mga kasama nila.”
Exciting times are ahead and we can’t wait to see how Blacklist and the other participating teams perform in the M5 World Championships.
Banner images by Keith Medrano/Moonton Games.