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How Blacklist Ultimate became the most consistent team in CODM Garena Masters history

09:01 AM March 28, 2023

Blacklist Ultimate has done it again.

The Tier One Entertainment and Blacklist International-backed squad once again reached the top of the Garena CODM scene yesterday, March 27 when they defeated the uprising WPM LowKings, 4-2, in the CODM Garena Masters 4 grand finals. The title marked their second in four tries, but what’s impressive is not the titles won. It is their ability to stay consistent in the CODM scene no matter the roster, circumstance, and opponent.

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Along with their second overall CODM Garena Masters title, Blacklist clinched their 4th straight appearance as a grand finalist in the tournament. They notably won it all in Season 1 then Smart Omega swooped in and won the next two at their expense. Despite the two straight finals losses, they remained at the peak of their game only to fall short at the end. And then yesterday, Blacklist brought it all back by taking what was once theirs and grabbing it again for themselves.

Here’s how Blacklist became the most consistent team in CODM Garena Masters history.

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Photo from Blacklist International’s FB page

The return of Yato and Yobabs

Garena Masters 4 marked a new age for Blacklist International as they only had 3 remaining players from last year’s team: team captain John Benedict “JaBen” Julio, AJ “Eiji” Agbing, and Averson “Skerd” Salaya. However, they were not fazed as they were welcoming back their two young prodigies Gian “Yato” Socao and Railey “Yobabs” Abrenica who were turning 18 this calendar year. Both were notably put into the reserve list last Garena Masters because of age eligibility.

Yato and Yobabs didn’t waste any time integrating back their playstyles as both fit seamlessly again like it was nothing. Yato was his usual self, scoring and top-fragging for the team with ease. He also displayed his trademark aggressiveness and mind-boggling plays that left people in awe of his gameplay.

On the other hand, Yobabs proved himself as one of the best snipers in the tournament as he was converted into a full-time Search and Destroy player. His first bloods in the mode allowed Blacklist to gain momentum early and bring it all the way through. Yobabs’ important pick-offs as well in the grand finals series against WPM proved timely as they won the title in Game 6, Search and Destroy at Slums.

Eiji’s growth

Last year, Eiji played a Search and Destroy exclusive role for Blacklist Ultimate. The aggressive objective player was playing behind former teammates Martin “Tin” Yap and Shan Rouise “FDx” Mateo in the respawn game modes while providing his usual spark on SnD. With Tin and FDx’s departure from the club, however, Eiji reverted back to his original role on Blacklist’s world title-winning squad in 2021 and he did wonders with it. He was one of their most proficient players in both respawn and Search and Destroy game modes, providing the necessary kills and captures for the team. Eiji also successfully filled the void left by Tin, who was one of the most effective objective players in the scene. With Eiji’s growth by becoming an all-around player, he took Blacklist to new heights and to the title.

The acquisition of Rage

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Perhaps the most important and crucial element to Blacklist winning it all this season was the addition of Ronan “Rage” Eleria. The acquisition of Rage unlocked a different Blacklist side never seen before. Before, it was Yato and Tin, and Eiji providing the kills and slays for the team. Now with Rage, Blacklist created a humongous advantage in the slaying department by adding one of the top slayers if not the top slayer in the tournament. What’s even more crucial is they crippled rival Smart Omega by bringing Rage over to their side thus weakening them. This enabled Blacklist to defeat their tormentors who outclassed them back to back in Garena Masters 2 and 3. The agents finally defeated Smart Omega again with Rage’s help and they went all the way to the championship.

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