TNC Predator made an impressive run at the Dota 2 Asia Championships after finishing fourth place in Asia’s biggest Dota 2 LAN event.

 

TNC Predator made an impressive run at the Dota 2 Asia Championships 2018 after finishing fourth place in Asia’s biggest Dota 2 LAN event. Despite bowing out of the tournament in the final day prior to the finals, we showed the world that ‘Pinoy Dota’ is something not to be taken lightly.

Let’s look back at our boys’ great run at DAC 2018.

Bowing down to Vici Gaming

Our great run at the DAC 2018 group stage was spoiled after our first upper bracket match against Chinese giants Vici Gaming.

We started our series strong by stomping Vici through Armel’s core Leshrac and Raven’s free farming Troll. They however quickly struck back in game 2 after Zhang “Paparazi” Chengjun went berserk on his 16-0 Slark.

Game 3 went to a different route for both of us. They were able to hold Sam_H’s offlane Batrider but Tims came into action with his support Tiny, farming up a Dagger and Shadowblade within 18 minutes of play to become a serious tempo setter for our team.

We lead as much as 28k in net worth but momentum shifted to Vici after Raven dropped his Divine Rapier on his Gyrocopter, handing it over to Paparazi’s Dragon Knight. Vici held the momentum to send us in the Lower Bracket to once again face NA hopefuls Optic Gaming.

Breaking the tie against the westerns

We were slated up to face Optic in the first round of the lower bracket playoffs. We looked at our mistakes in our game 3 loss against Vici, and made the proper adjustments as we relied once again on Armel and Raven’s Timbersaw and Gyrocopter. We managed to take the early lead with the help of Kuku’s support Leshrac together with Sam_H’s signature Sand King.

Optic went on to create space for Anders “Pajkatt” Olsson’s Lone Druid that sooner beefed up in the late game. They managed to hold their high ground for a bit of time while Pajkatt rats his way up to our Tier 3 towers. However, we were able to bring down Pajkatt along with their Phantom Lancer, both without buybacks, in a smoke on smoke clash that eventually gave us the victory and the chance to battle out Team Liquid in the 2nd round of the LB playoffs.

The same situation as Optic, we split our first encounters with Team Liquid and we look to settle who would advance to the first best of three series in the lower bracket.

Liquid saw how devastating a free farming Armel can be as he stomped everyone else who come to his middle lane, cherry topped by turning around Liquid’s three man gank into a triple kill in the eight minute mark with the help of Tims’ Elder Titan.

They also experienced how hard the boys can hit with Tims’ ET strategy, pulling enemy camps to make the most out of his Astral Spirit. Amer “Miracle-” Al-Barkawi had a hard time on his Faceless Void, getting hit to the face with Tims’ 170 damage right clicks tagged along with Sam_H’s Sand King.

The game went fully our way after a team wipe at the 30th minute lead by Raven’s Outworld Devourer, whose Sanity’s Eclipse blew up most of Liquid heroes in an instant. The same thing happened in the 43rd minute, prompting them to call out ‘GG’ and end their DAC 2018 run.

Going toe to toe with the Bears

It was a challenging day for the boys. After a tense victory against Liquid to secure top 4, we found ourselves face to face against three-time Major winners Virtus.Pro, who were also vying for the lower bracket finals spot at the DAC.

Game 1 saw Kuku work on all the space he can take to pressure VP’s cores, farming up a medallion and blademail to amplify the already staggering damage output brought by Raven’s Luna and Armel’s Tiny.

His global play is paired by Sam_H’s consistent roams on his Night Stalker that helped us clear out the majority of the map.

The game’s most crucial point is us taking Roshan at the 39th minute mark while Kuku locks in Roman “RAMZES666” Kushnarev’s Gyrocopter using his Sprout to prevent him from interfering in our Rosh attempt. Kuku continued to bait until backup came and we managed to kill RAMZES off. VP tapped out shortly despite their barracks being intact, giving us the game 1 victory.

VP adjusted to our play style in game 2 by picking up an off lane Doom that built a Pipe of Insight to negate the majority of our magic-heavy damage output. RAMZES’s Troll went out of control, giving VP mega creeps and forcing a game 3 decider.

We tried to secure game 3 using our comfort picks, however VP stayed with their Doom pick while Alexei “Solo” Berezin, picks his signature Disruptor and another signature hero for RAMZES with the Lifestealer. The laning stage was an even bloodbath for both teams until RAMZES completes his Radiance in the 20th minute, giving him the opportunity to take out our mostly squishy heroes that eventually gave them the victory and the slot at the lower bracket finals.

Lessons learned

Our DAC 2018 might have ended with a defeat but the learnings and experiences whole tournament long have given us lessons to ponder and work on. We hope that we can bring our experiences to other tournaments and qualifiers, identify and weed out our errors, keep our strong points steady, and be a better team come future LAN tournaments.

We go home with a cash prize of $85000 but most importantly, we gained additional 75 Dota Pro Circuit points each that would help for our campaign to earn a slot at the TI8 Direct Invites.

This journey isn’t possible without your thorough support. Thank you for supporting us althroughout and thanks be to God!

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