THE INSIDE INTEL: Looking back on the DPC SEA Division I Winter Tour with Carlo “BossKu” Palad


Metro Manila, Philippines  - If there was a box that Blacklist Rivalry’s offlaner Carlo “Kuku” Palad needed to tick off about their performance in the Dota 2 Pro Circuit (DPC) qualifiers for the Lima Major, it would be two key things.

BossKu told Beyond The Rivalry that one of the things they needed to improve was taking control of the game. “Kailangan naming mag-improve, lalo na sa Game 1 kasi di naman laging mare-reverse sweep (We need to improve on winning our Game 1s. We can’t always depend on reverse sweeps.)” 

After a great start in the first four matches, Blacklist Rivalry eventually went on to get 4th place in the DPC Division I SEA Winter Tour, after a series of defeats against Team SMG, Execration and Geek Fam, as well as dropping a 0-2 against Talon that ended their hopes of playing in the Lima Major. 

Execration, Talon and Geek Fam will compete in The Lima Major in Peru from February 22 to March 5.  

Nevertheless, Blacklist Rivalry, composed of BossKu, Marc Polo “Raven” Fausto, Nico “eyyou” Barcelon, Karl “Karl” Baldovino and shotcaller Timothy “Tims” Randrup, won 60 DPC points and will remain in Division I for the next DPC tour.

Another thing that BossKu noted as part of the lessons they learned during their first outing as Blacklist Rivalry is knowing when to be more aggressive in game, calculating their maneuvers, and focusing on in-game discipline, especially during the first few matches of the tournament versus Bleed Esports, Fnatic, and Boom.

Siguro, nasobrahan kami sa aggressiveness and kulang pa sa discipline kasi most of our games, kami ang nagda-drive ng game, lagi kaming lamang, so yun siguro yung need namin i-fix. (Maybe we got too aggressive and lacked discipline because most of our games, we drive the game and are always ahead. That’s what I believe we should fix)”, Kuku said.

It can be recalled that during the January 30 battle between Blacklist Rivalry and Geek Fam, Blacklist Rivalry was able to secure their first round and take control. However, a resurgent Geek Fam bounced back on the second and third rounds despite Blacklist Rivalry’s continued offense to stretch the game and eventually force a rubber match between the Filipino “redeem team” and Talon Esports for the final Lima Major slot.

In hindsight, Kuku believes that the team has good qualities which make them worthy opponents for this edition of the DPC as well as in future tournaments. “Tingin ko, iba lang siguro yung understanding namin sa game. Bawat isang player, alam nila yung bawat role. Mabilis din kaming mag-reset (I think we have a different understanding of what the game is and how it’s played. Each player knows their role. We also reset fast),” Kuku said. The latter proved important during the BLR-Geek match as quick resets bought the team good time in terms of pushing back Geek’s hold on certain Roshans.

Blacklist International co-owner and Tier One Entertainment CEO Tryke Gutierrez even visited the team after their Geek Fam match, saying in a Facebook post that their loss in their first DPC outing as Blacklist Rivalry was “too hard to come back from.” However, Gutierrez assured that this will be a valuable lesson as the squad regroups for the next DPC tour. “We will remember this moment.. We will be back,” Tryke said as part of his post.

“We are aware of the problems and we are here to help support the players and help identify solutions to the problems and support them with what they need. The team has now agreed on finding a coach as we go deeper into the season. We will not replace any of our players. We will not waste this free time to just lick our wounds, we will work on our team so that you'll see a better product in the coming months,” Gutierrez said in a separate Facebook post.

BossKu also asked fans for their continued support, especially as the team now regroups for their next DPC outing.

Support lang and panoorin niyo lang yung mga laban namin! Feel ko nagagawa rin naman namin yung paimpress sa mga fans din, yung bawat gameplay namin, so ayun. May times sigurong matatalo kami, wag kayong magexpect na perpekto kami. Laban lang. Puso lang (Please support and watch our games! I feel that we try to impress our fans through our gameplay. There are times that we will lose, so please don’t expect that we’re perfect. We’ll continue to fight, and we’ll give it heart.),” Kuku said.