Bon Chan Explains Why Blacklist International Avoids Assassin Heroes
Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB) fans are familiar with the iconic Ultimate Bonding Experience (UBE) strategy by Blacklist International. While some esports teams managed to outsmart the champions a few times, no one has consistently managed to hard counter this strategy juust yet.
Through a YouTube series titled “Turning Point” presented by the co-owner of Blacklist International, Tryke Gutierrez, the team’s head coach Kristoffer "Bon Chan" Ricaplaza revealed the story behind how the most iconic in Mobile Legends esports came together and how the team’s captain Johnmar “OhMyV33NUS” Villaluna was essential for the strategy to be effective despite the constant shift in the meta.
Bon Chan also explained why the team avoided using Assassin heroes for a brief time.
Bon Chan focuses on improving the team’s strengths instead of fixing its weaknesses
In the fourth episode of Tryke Gutierrez’s YouTube series featuring Blacklist International’s head coach, Bon Chan, the two discussed the origin of the UBE Strategy.
According to the coach, upon OhMyV33NUS joining the team, he had been reviewing the pro players' past matches and teams to see which heroes OhMyV33NUS excels at. Based on his observations, the pro player is more effective when using heroes such as Estes and Rafaela.
“First of all, I reviewed his past matches where his team has the best performance,” stated Bon Chan. He added that OhMyV33NUS’ previous team, ONIC PH, was at its peak during Season 4 and 5 which is where he found out about the pro player’s favorite heroes. Taking notes from ONIC PH’s past matches, he asked OhMyV33NUS to try and use the heroes he is good at.
This became so effective for Blacklist International that the counter-strategy “Hack-a-v33nus” was made in an effort to suppress the effectiveness of OhMyV33NUS by banning as many of his favorite heroes as possible.
“I just brought back (strategies) where Wise and V33 (OhMyV33NUS) were strong,” stated Bon Chan.
Why Blacklist International avoided using Assassin heroes until the acquisition of Xavier “KEVIER” Lopez
One of the topics discussed in the interview was the reason why the team has always avoided using assassin heroes up until its roster revamp, due to the unavailability of OhMyV33NUS and his partner Danerie "Wise" Rosario.
“The main heroes of V33 are Rafa (Rafaela), Estes, Mathilda. If you partner him with assassins, they keep jumping here and there, and it annoyed V33,” stated Bon Chan.
He added that Marksman and Fighter heroes are the perfect fit for the UBE strategy as these heroes are still agile but not so much so to the point that it would hinder OhMyV33NUS’ capability as the team’s support.
“So you’re pointing out that the reason why we’re not picking assassins for Wise is not that he can’t play it but partly, on a collective, it amplifies V33’s heroes when we pick marksman for Wise,” echoed Tryke.
However, Bon Chan stated Wise is more than capable in using assassins, based on the coach's observation behind the scenes. “If you see Wise’s stats on assassins, I think he has a 90% win rate on his Ling and we also saw him using Lancelot in previous seasons.”
Bon Chan admits to underestimating BloodThirstyKings (BTK) during the M3 World Championship
Bon Chan and Tryke also discussed the unexpected upset against BTK during the M3 World Championship. According to the head coach, he underestimated the team and he barely had any data to come up with a plan to beat them.
“I admit, we underestimated BTK and that’s where we made a mistake. Although it was a close fight, if you observe closely you will feel that it wasn’t Blacklist’s playstyle,” stated Bon Chan.
The coach further added that the team was pretty relaxed during the fight as they did not expect BTK to be so formidable. This led to the team losing the match and being sent down to the lower brackets of the M3 World Championship.
Despite the unavailability of two of its core members, Blacklist International has put together a solid lineup with its new member KEVIER. The pro player specializes in assassin heroes but is also quite flexible enough to fill in different roles for the team. Without OhMyV33NUS leading the iconic UBE Strategy, the team aims to present a brand new strategy that revolves around KEVIER’s specialty heroes. Fans can look forward to a whole new playstyle from the back-to-back champions in the upcoming MPL PH Season 9.