Blacklist Rivalry opened their Dota Pro Circuit debut on a high note, winning their opening DPC 2023 SEA Tour 1 Division 1 match 2-1 against Bleed Esports. 

Carlo “Kuku” Palad and his Filipino squad derailed Bleed’s momentum going into the DPC SEA regional league, following the Singapore-based team’s M88 Invitational 2023 championship win.

However, the 26-year-old still has a healthy respect for his opponents. After the match, Kuku — who now goes by “BossKu” — explained how strong Bleed are as a team, and why he thinks they’re the squad to beat in Southeast Asia.

Blacklist Rivalry Kuku explains why Bleed Esports is the strongest team in DPC’s SEA region

Blacklist Rivalry Dota 2 roster with TIMS, Raven, Kuku, Karl, and eyyou
Credit: Tier One

The first game of the series saw both teams battling for lane control with Bleed’s core heroes going for early game rotations. Blacklist used their TPs to provide backup so they wouldn’t lose their lanes. However, Bleed continued to play aggressively, diving Blacklist’s towers for early game kills. 

Bleed would go on to take a 1-0 lead over Blacklist with a clutch play from Prieme “PlayHard” Banquil. The support player used Tiny’s Toss and threw Blacklist’s mid Leshrac to his teammates to secure the win. 

In an interview after the match, Kuku said that Bleed is the strongest team in the DPC 2023 SEA Tour 1 Division 1 tournament because of their synergy.

“They are always sticking in-game, and it’s really hard to get pick-offs against them,” he said. 

Kuku also said that they got outplayed by Bleed after their 2-0 loss to them in the M88 Invitational tournament. However, Blacklist were able to make the right adjustments to get their revenge against Bleed. 

In game two, Blacklist drafted an offlane Centaur Warrunner to counter Bleed’s midlane Lina. Their 2-0 win at the M88 Invitational could have given Bleed false confidence, which led to them assuming they would win despite the counter-pick, said Kuku.

“In the last tournament, we got destroyed by Bleed, so maybe they got baited,” he added.

The decider game was a close battle between the two teams. Bleed continued to be the aggressor, initiating the fight with Mars’ Arena of Blood ultimate. Despite isolating Karl “Karl” Baldovino’s Tiny, Bleed couldn’t burst down the midlaner. 

The following team fights would play out similarly, with Bleed focusing on Karl’s Tiny, even as the rest of Blacklist’s heroes won their team fights. Blacklist eventually gained a 30,000 gold and 40,000 experience lead, propelling them to a series victory.

Blacklist Rivalry’s 2-1 win over Bleed Esports sees them tied for first place with Execration and Geek Slate, two teams who also won their opening DPC 2023 SEA Tour 1 Division 1 matches.

Watch Kuku’s full post-game interview in the video below.

READ MORE: All 2023 Dota 2 Major locations revealed, South America to host its first Major