Meet TNC Predator, The World-Class Pinoy DotA Team You Should Know About

Words by Cole Mañalac Professional gaming in the Philippines is a profession that most people would scoff at, especially with how conservative we are as a country. It’s ironic to say that despite the abundance of computer shops and opportunities for Pinoys to play tons of computer games, no one looks to earn from it. […]

The post Meet TNC Predator, The World-Class Pinoy DotA Team You Should Know About appeared first on When In Manila.

meet tnc predator the world class pinoy dota team you should know about - Meet TNC Predator, The World-Class Pinoy DotA Team You Should Know About

Words by Cole Mañalac

Professional gaming in the Philippines is a profession that most people would scoff at, especially with how conservative we are as a country. It’s ironic to say that despite the abundance of computer shops and opportunities for Pinoys to play tons of computer games, no one looks to earn from it. Dota is one of the few games that Filipinos have been slowly looking towards in a brighter light, and one of the reasons for that is none other than a five Filipinos who have represented the country internationally in Dota.

In Dota, matchmaking is divided into geographical regions, with the Philippines being a part of the South East Asian sector of matchmaking. The area is infamous for being one of the most toxic and ‘salty’ in the world. Following that, the competitive scene in the region (despite being fairly active) is seen as fodder for the more advanced areas such as the EU, China, and the CIS due to a lack of leadership figures (captains of the teams). Despite all of this, three organizations have risen through the ashes, and today we will be looking at the pride of the Filipinos. The phoenixes themselves: TNC Predator.

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TNC - Meet TNC Predator, The World-Class Pinoy DotA Team You Should Know AboutPhoto from TNC Predator Facebook Page

TNC Predator is a Southeast Asian-based multi-gaming organisation that possesses teams in six games including League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and DotA 2. Following the conception of their second roster in 2015, the group was relatively unknown in the international community. But that all changed with the acquisition of American player Jimmy ‘DeMoN’ Ho in 2016 before the most prestigious tournament in the game up until now—The International.

The International (TI) is the game’s annual Magna Carta, so to say. In it, 16 teams compete for the Aegis of the Immortal, a trophy that solidifies their title as the best team in the world. In 2016, TNC had just picked up DeMoN and were required to go through the open qualifiers due to the roster change. The team, consisting of Marc ‘Raven’ Fausto, Carlo ‘Kuku’ Palad, Sam ‘Sam_H’ Hidalgo, Nico ‘eyyou’ Barcelon, and Jimmy ‘DeMon’ Ho slugged through the first open qualifier, dropping the first one. However, the Filipino-based squad was able to come through the second qualifier, thus cementing their place in the SEA regionals.

tncpredator1 - Meet TNC Predator, The World-Class Pinoy DotA Team You Should Know AboutTNC Predator’s (then TNC Pro Team) roster for The International 6. Photo from ValveSoftware.com

In the regionals proper, they would face against teams thought to be the region favorites, such as Fnatic, Rave, Mineski, and Execration. Even with this, TNC was able to achieve an astounding 7-2 win-loss ratio, tied with Fnatic and Execration. They were able to beat the two teams, making a first-place regional finish, qualifying for the tournament proper.

The squad’s run in the group stage was nothing notable, with them arriving in the lower bracket. The Main Event, however, was a different story, as TNC was able to defeat Chinese team VG.R and proceed to one of the most iconic series in Dota history, TNC versus OG. For context, at the time, OG was one of the crowd-favorites to win the tournament, with the team winning nearly every Major heading towards the event. The best of three series showed one of the biggest upsets in TI history, with the team managing to pull off a 2-0 win against the European super squad. Despite their loss in the following series against the TI6 runner ups, Digital Chaos, TNC had already made a name for themselves and are still remembered for their stunning win.

TNC ESL One Hamburg 2018 - Meet TNC Predator, The World-Class Pinoy DotA Team You Should Know AboutTNC receiving a warm welcome at ESL One Hamburg 2018. Photo: ggesports,com

Following their success at TI6, alongside the departure of DeMoN, eyyou, and Raven from the squad, the organization retained a solid placing on succeeding tournaments, with an average of seventh place for the remainder of 2016. Even though they managed to show the community they had the mettle with victories in early 2017 against tier 1 teams such as Cloud 9 in WESG (World Electronic Sports Games), the Filipino squad was still a sardine in the ocean compared to the sharks such as Evil Geniuses, Team Liquid, Virtus Pro, and Team Secret. However, this was not the renaissance of the Filipino squad, as it would be another year and numerous roster shuffles before the team would see their peak. Though eventually, Raven and Sam_H would return for TI8.

TNC 2 - Meet TNC Predator, The World-Class Pinoy DotA Team You Should Know AboutPhoto from TNC Predator Facebook Page

Following a disappointing last place result in the event after losing against Mineski, players Raven and Sam_H would depart from the organization, allowing Kim ‘Gabbi’ Villafuerte and Micheal ‘ninjaboogie’ Ross Jr. to complete the team. With the new roster qualifying for multiple tournaments and placing 5th-6th in the Kuala Lumpur Major, things seemed to be looking up for them, as they had also managed to obtain a spot in WESG 2018. Despite these successes, the first two months of 2019 were shaky and following their failure to qualify for Dreamleague Season 11 and the Starladder ImbaTV Minor, ninjaboogie bade farewell to the squad, and eyyou marked his return to the team on March 20, 2019.

This arrival marked the beginning of another rise for the Filipino group. In the beginning, the new squad seemed to be unstable, with failures to qualify for the MDL Paris Disneyland Major and OGA Dota Pit Minor. The future of the group was unclear. However, they managed to throw those accusations out of the window by winning WESG 2018 and qualifying for the recent ESL One Birmingham Major by taking the spot from Mineski in a dominant 3:0 series in their favor. Alongside that, a resounding fourth-place finish in ESL One Mumbai paved the way for TNC to be a top contender in the international community.

tncpredator4 - Meet TNC Predator, The World-Class Pinoy DotA Team You Should Know AboutTNC hoisting their trophy and prize during WESG 2018. Photo from TNC Predator.

More recently, the team was able to qualify for the upcoming Epicenter Major 2019. This victory, alongside their 5th-6th place finish in ESL One Birmingham, seemed to cement their status as a tier 1 team. While there still may be debate and discussion regarding the stability of the group, there is no question that they have proved to the entire Dota community that the Filipinos are a force to be reckoned. And albeit wishful thinking, perhaps this is the year that TNC Predator will be able to obtain their highest placing in The International. Establishing for one and for all that the Filipino community is a serious contender in professional Dota, and that they are here to stay.

TNC Predator

Website: www.tncproteam.com
www.facebook.com/TNCProTeamDota2
Twitter and Instagram: @TNCPredator
Youtube: tncproteamtv

The post Meet TNC Predator, The World-Class Pinoy DotA Team You Should Know About appeared first on When In Manila.

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