Blacklist International Bolsters Lineup with 343 and Xepher Ahead of The International 12 Regional Qualifiers

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The short transfer market ahead of The International competition has surprised the community again with numerous names revealed as targets from big Southeast Asian teams. One of them is Blacklist International, who has just announced the addition of Adam “343” Erwann Shah and Kenny “Xepher” Deo as new recruits in order to maximize their chances in the Regional Qualifiers for The International 12 on August 27th.

343 will take over for head coach Michael “Ninjaboogie” Ross Jr, who stepped down about two weeks ago. The Malaysian’s arrival comes as a surprise given how long he has been out of competition. Since leaving his position as head coach of the Nigma Galaxy squad in September 2022, he has worked as a caster and commentator for a number of big tournaments, including the Dreamleague Season 20 and the Riyadh Masters 2023.

The other new addition is Xepher, who joined them shortly after parting ways with Boom Esports days ago. Interestingly, Xepher was not hired as a replacement or new player, but rather as an assistant head coach. This marks his second visit to the Philippines, having previously played for the T1 squad from November 2020 to November 2022 before returning to Indonesia at the end of 2022.

Both of their expertise and insight will undoubtedly be valuable advantages for Blacklist, which is currently working to improve its sloppy performance following criticism. This critique was underscored by their supporters, who drew comparisons between the team’s showings in the Dota 2 Pro Circuit SEA Tour 3 tournament and the Bali Major, which took place nearly a month ago.

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