Five of the country’s top gamers in DOTA 2 have come together to join a new squad known as Team Blacklist Rivalry.
The new squad is led by Nico “eyyou” Barcelon, who was part of the Polaris Esports squad that recently won the crown in the Asia Pacific Predator League 2022 in Japan.
Barcelon’s contract with Polaris has ended and executives at Blacklist International were fortunate enough to get him as he teams up with the likes of Marc “Raven” Fausto, Karl “Karl” Baldovino, Carlo “Kuku” Palad, and Timothy “TIMS” Randrup.
Aside from Barcelon, who was named the team captain, they were also able to get Palad, one of the big names in the Philippine DOTA 2 scene.
Kuku has earned a reputation as having had the highest average kills per game during international meets.
The 29-year-old Kuku has left T1, which tied for seventh and eighth places in the 2021 edition of The International.
“We talked about this before the TI early this year and putting up a team that can compete against the rest of the world. Finding Kuku and the rest of the players was such a fortunate thing,” said Tier One Entertainment CEO Tryke Gutierrez, who spoke about their acquisition with another exec Alodia Gosiengfao following an introduction done Sunday at the Gallery MiraNila by The Blue Leaf, Quezon City.
Gutierrez said being with great partners allowed them to get the new team together.
Predator Gaming has also partnered with Tier One Entertainment, along with esports organization Blacklist International, which is expanding their presence in Dota 2.
Baldovino also came from T1 with Palad, while Randrup came aboard after his stint with Boom Esports, while Fausto spent a year with Fnatic.
Blacklist’s effort to form a competitive squad came after they acquired the DPC Division 1 slot from Singapore-based RSG. Peter Atencio
The squad will make its presence felt in 2023 DOTA Pro Circuit.
“Tier One has always believed that talents in South East Asia are capable of competing globally regardless of which country,” added Gutierrez, explaining that they opted to assemble a full Filipino squad “because we also believe in the value of communication in a team game like DOTA 2.”
The players from the Philippines have had a long history of success in this game and for me, according to Gutierrez. “I’m just excited to have the opportunity to see some of the best players in SEA assemble under the Blacklist Rivalry banner and compete against the best in the world.”
This inaugural Blacklist International Dota 2 squad also joins the prestigious roster of Predator Gaming ambassadors.
“Predator Gaming is very happy to support Blacklist International. It has always been our goal to support esports from the grassroots to the professional level and we’re very honored to work with Tier One Entertainment and Blacklist International as they finally expand to Dota 2”, said Acer Philippines General Manager Sue Ong-Lim.
Acer Philippines’ Senior Marketing Manager Princess Laosantos called this development an epic partnership.