Interview with DEX STAR from Blacklist International – “I think this is the right time, we want to claim it.”


The MPL PH Season 7 is currently at its peak, with Blacklist International on top of the ranks as the undefeated team. With the help of the unique hero pool of the dynamic duo VeeWise, their promising rookie Oheb and the teams’ creative chemistry, they managed to remain undefeated in the current season. One of the team’s signature tactics, the “Nice One, Baby” has put a lot of teams from the MPL PH Season 7 down on their knees with the unorthodox Rafaela and Estes combo. Needless to say, all eyes are on Blacklist International and what surprises they might bring to the table in the upcoming matches.

In an exclusive interview with AFK Gaming, Blacklist International’s Analyst and 6th Man, Dexter “DEX STAR” Alaba shares his thoughts about the current season on MPL PH and what they plan to do, moving forward.

What does it take to be the only unbeaten team so far in MPL S7?

If I say it to you, it wouldn’t be a secret anymore, right? Just Proper communication, then apply what we’ve practiced. We do make preparations. We’re not a team that does not make preparations. In all our games, we always prepare. Maybe Team Communication, then friendship, something like that.

We do have a secret, but no one has to know because it’s a secret.

What did you change from last season? Did anything change in training that worked?

There were big changes with our routine, especially when VeeWise joined. Now it’s really systematic. We have a routine that we follow. Not just whenever we want to practice, it’s not like that. Our communication has definitely improved. I think that’s it.

Since OhmyV33nus and Wise joined, how has the team changed?

Of course, at first, it was a struggle with team chemistry. Good thing we had time since they’ve been here since November. During the first few months, we struggled. Eventually, we worked it out. Thank you, and shoutout to Boss Rada that helped us work on our chemistry.

Who do you think are your toughest competitors?

Before, it was Work Auster Force because of their mechanical skill. We feel like they really are advance. Because their players are still young, but since they got defeated by Bren Esports, it would be a good fight with Bren versus us.

What does it mean to you to win this season’s MPL?

It is very important, of course, for all teams. And of course, we have VeeWise, who went runner up twice. They’re grand finalists, so they didn’t win the title. As for me, a veteran in the MPL. Top 4 is my highest attainment. I think this is the right time. We want to claim it.

What do you guys do for fun as a team when you aren’t practicing?

To each their own. Since they’re all gamers, they also play other games outside Mobile Legends just to remove boredom or tilt. Like, something to relax them. Maybe, I shouldn’t mention these games.

Do you have any unique rituals that nobody knows about? (Lucky seating positions etc.)?

Not totally a ritual or anything. It’s not unique. Almost everyone prays, right? Maybe like what the coach always says, he doesn’t take a bath every game.

Apart from KielVJ, who is a rising star that you think will make it big in MLBB?

In our team, it’s Oheb. He doesn’t get noticed that much because his teammates are also good. In terms of mechanical skill, Oheb can perform.

For the veterans, you mentioned KielVJ, right? Since he’s no longer a rookie, I think it’s Edward. He has improved a lot. Every team noticed it. Almost all of his lanes, he dominates or doesn’t lose.

Who is the biggest prankster on the team?

There isn’t a prankster here, except Eson and me. The two oldies.

Who is always hungry?

It’s Robby. I can control it now. It’s Robby.

Who is always late?

It’s Eson. He has a lot of things to take care of. So, it’s Eson.

Work Auster Force had a hard time dealing with your double healer strategy. What made you think that this strategy would work against them?

Actually, before the match started, we said, “I think the Estes strategy would work on them.” Because their gameplay is more on “pick off,” or they don’t push. We chose to fight with a clash-type hero. That was our strategy against Work Auster Force.

Do you believe that utility supports are going to be viable in the current meta, or will it only work in pro play?

Actually, even in pub (public) games now, it’s more on utility. I played for four consecutive days. It’s really viable, generally. Everyone can see it. Numbers don’t lie. Rafaela is getting a nerf soon because in high elo she is in demand.

What are your thoughts about the new Tank hero Gloo?

I still can’t say anything about his gameplay, but I already used him. He’s very tanky. He’s good at buying time. Maybe he’s well paired with damagers because he really can tank. I feel he’s getting a nerf.

What do you think needs to be done for you to win this season’s MPL here on?

Maybe we just continue the good things we do. The bad things we do, we improve it. And where we lost, We study it thoroughly. And also, The confidence and team chemistry, it’s all there. Where we made mistakes, we need to be advance, ahead because all teams got their eyes on us.

How do you guys balance life as esports players?

There’s nothing to balance. During Covid, we always stay indoors, the boot camp. Unlike before, we have to travel to specific places. Then the time management, we really need to manage our time. But now, since we’re here in the boot camp, our schedule needs to be ahead by a week. So we know our plans and what we should do.

What would you say to the new players of the game who are trying to make it as pros?

Just keep practicing, keep spamming. Don’t get tired, don’t be choosy with your teammates. If you lose, take a rest. We all didn’t immediately become pros when we played Mobile Legends. We’ve all been there. We also lost. During season 1, we didn’t pass the qualifiers.

Oheb, he wasn’t a pro player, and he got noticed because we lost to him a couple of times. Just like that, be noticeable by pro players, not noticeable through trash talk. Show that you are good.

One of the biggest esports events in the Philippines, MPL PH Season 7 sees eight of the best Mobile Legends esports teams from the Philippines along with two rising teams from the qualifiers to compete for the title of MPL PH Season 7 Champion and the lion’s share of the $120,000 Prize Pool.

Keep up with the live scores, schedule, stream links, and more with AFK Gaming’s hub for the MPL PH Season 7.

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