Rome wasn't built in a day, as the saying goes. 

When Blacklist International partnered with Rivalry to assemble the "best Pinoy players" in a single team, the excitement among Filipino Dota 2 fans reached a fever pitch. The community was abuzz with questions: Who would be playing? Who would be coaching? Could we really succeed? The clamor was so loud that it seemed impossible to escape discussions about Tryke's ambition to bring together the finest Filipino Dota 2 team in 2022.

Then came December 2022, when an all-Filipino team, comprised of renowned names from the scene, including veterans who made their mark as far back as Dota 1, finally united under one banner. They shared a common goal: representing the Philippines in international tournaments, particularly The International.

The first step was a significant one, but surprisingly smooth: they secured a slot directly in Division 1. For a newly formed team in the Southeast Asian Dota 2 scene, this was a seemingly unattainable dream.

However, the first four months of 2023 proved challenging for the Filipino Dream Team. Tour 1 of the DPC SEA Div 1 turned out to be a grueling battle, with younger and more robust teams dominating every game day. Blacklist Rivalry found themselves in a situation where they had to win a BO3 against Geek Slate, but the latter staged an impressive comeback to sweep the PH team. This setback led to another clash, this time against Talon, but 23savage and his team shattered Blacklist's dreams of making it to the Major.

Tour 2 exposed the glaring issues within Blacklist International. While they didn't lose enough games to be demoted to Division 2, they also failed to win sufficient matches to secure a spot in the top four. This prompted a game-changing decision for the entire organization. They needed a backup plan, another seasoned player who could approach the game systematically and hold his own against the best in Southeast Asia.

After a series of tryouts, they found a well-known figure in the PH scene, albeit not Filipino. Kpii had previously played with Filipino-based teams and had ample experience alongside Filipino players. It was a perfect fit: Filipinos knew him, trusted him, and Southeast Asia fans were aware of his capabilities. However, sacrifices had to be made. Kuku had to step down and fully embrace his potential as a shot caller, transitioning to the position 5. The veteran and matured pro took on this task without hesitation.

Thus, the PH Redeem Team was formed. Kuku took the helm, TIMS became the explosive Position 4, while Karl and Raven provided the firepower, with Kpii serving as the glue that held the system together. This squad demonstrated their dominance in the group stages of Tour 3, winning five out of seven series and eventually securing the second slot for the Bali Major by winning the tiebreaker against Execration. It was a significant achievement for the organization, marking the furthest they had ever gone, and the farthest the PH Redeem Team had ever ventured.

Although the beginnings of the team were met with considerable criticism amid the hype, it all eventually fell into place as they qualified for The Bali Major. The road to get there wasn't easy, and the destination wasn't exactly paradise either. But that's a story for another time.

Yet again, Rome wasn't built in a day. Three Majors later and no ticket to The International yet, it all comes down to the Regional Qualifiers. One last chance for the Filipino Redeem Team to live up to their name. Does Blacklist Rivalry deserve the spot? Only time will tell.