TNC Predator shocked the Chinese crowd during the MDL Chengdu Major grand finals by defeating the favored home team Vici Gaming 3-1. The Filipino based team secured their first-ever DPC Major win and took home US$300,000 and 4,850 Dota Pro Circut (DPC) points.
Vici Gaming looked poised to take the entire tournament after destroying teams during their upper bracket run that lead them to the grand finals. But, TNC’s team captain Park “March” Tae-won made the proper adjustments to make sure his team was more prepared against the Chinese home team.
After being totally out drafted by VG during the Winners’ Final match, TNC chose heroes that perform well in the laning phase. Meanwhile, VG decided to go with the final pick Juggernaut, despite not having a Magnus on their team to cast Empower.
To start out the series, both teams played cautiously, with VG securing the First Blood nine minutes into the game.
VG’s lineup required them to play aggressively, as their heroes would not have the same impact during the late game compared to TNC’s heroes. The Filipino squad was well aware of this and countered accordingly. After two terrible middle lane engagements, TNC took complete map control and dominated game one.
TNC quickly took down Dire Towers and Shrines with little opposition from VG. TNC stomped the Chinese home team during game one and showed that they were capable of going toe-to-toe with the tournament favorites.
In game two, TNC went with the Morphling Earthshaker combo. The last time TNC drafted both heroes against VG, they were completely shut down during their Winners’ Final match.
However, TNC continued to focus on performing well during the laning stage. Armel “Armel” Tabios topped the Creep last hit score early into game two and punished VG whenever they overextended with their heroes.
Damien “kpii” Chok ‘s Timerbersaw freed up so much space for his teammates at the bottom lane. He also took down the Radiant tier two Tower at the 13-minute mark.
Because of this, VG’s hero rotations were easily anticipated by TNC and even with a Black King Bar on Zhang “Eurus” Chengjun, they couldn’t go up against the Morphling Earthshaker combo.
Eurus almost won his team a crucial team fight after surviving on a pixel of health, but he lacked the damage to take down Kim “Gabbi” Villafuerte’s Morphling.
VG hoped that a Divine Rapier on Eurus could get them back into the game. But, with the Phantom Assassin’s Black King Bar duration really low, she was quickly taken down, and TNC shocked the Chinese crowd by taking a two nothing lead against VG.
TNC hoped that their Ursa and Alchemist pick would earn them the clean sweep against VG, but the Chinese team managed to regroup and adjust in game three.
Instead of pressuring TNC’s Alchemist during the laning stage, VG decided to shut down the rest of TNC’s heroes. This strategy worked well, as TNC’s support heroes failed to make an impact throughout the game.
TNC did have their moments, where they managed to burst down the enemy Timbersaw. But, this was not enough to gain them map control.
VG won two pivotal team fights that secured them their first win of the series, giving the Chinese crowd some hope. Gabbi on the Ursa tried to burst down Roshan to retrieve the Aegis of the Immortal, but it was snatched by Eurus. Afterwards, VG was able to kite TNC’s heroes and take down three Radiant heroes in the process.
TNC tried to catch a retreating VG squad, which was countered by Zeng “Ori” Jiaoyang’s Ghost Ship ultimate. With TNC’s squad scattering, Gabbi was caught isolated. Timothy “Tims” Randrup used his buyback because he thought Gabbi would use his Cheese to fight back against VG. This mistake helped secure the Chinese home team their eventual game three victory.
VG immediately ran in and dominated the Radiant base knowing they had the hero numbers advantage with TNC not having their buybacks available. TNC eventually called good game and VG was able to prevent a 3-0 sweep.
TNC started their draft with the Disruptor and Naga Siren picks. And then, they followed it up with the Morphling Earthshaker combo again, which was not banned by VG.
Meanwhile, VG drafted the Templar Assassin, one of Ori’s best heroes. And, to supplement their damage dealer cores, they drafted heroes like Omniknight, Puck, and Lion.
Both teams had their moments at the start of game four. TNC tried to win the first team fight of the game with a Song of the Siren into Echoslam for Park “March” Tae-won. But, this was countered by VG’s Xiong “Pyd” Jiahan Purification heals.
TNC, however, soon found their footing once the Morphling farmed his Aghanim’s Scepter. Gabbi started morphing into the Earthshaker and dove deep into enemy lines, taking out VG’s support heroes in the blink of an eye.
A few moments later, VG was able to catch Gabbi in the middle lane after the Morphling Waveformed into three enemy heroes. This gave VG the opportunity to claim Roshan and slowly build up their lead.
VG was able to surprise TNC with a Nullifier pickup on Ori that caught Gabbi off guard. This gave VG complete map control and took down the Dire middle lane of Barracks.
For the next 20 minutes of the game, VG gained a 25,000 gold lead, along with the Aegis of the Immortal and Cheese advantage.
Despite this advantage, they chose not to siege the Dire base. As a result, TNC was able to pick up key items on their support heroes, including an Aghanim’s Scepter for Tims on the Disruptor. This gave TNC the control they needed to win an unbelievable team fight near the middle lane.
TNC’s late-game hero composition lead to some amazing combos and cost VG their core heroes, when kpii would cast his Song of the Siren ultimate to set up a Static Storm and Kinetic Field to blow up Ori’s Templar Assassin.
With the Aegis of the Immortal on Gabbi, VG lacked the control to bring down the Morphling twice. This eventually led to more hero trades and buybacks that VG lacked. With the Radiant base exposed, VG had no choice but to call good game and congratulate the Filipino squad for their first-ever DPC Major win.
Kim “Gabbi” Vilaffuerte also won MDL Chengdu Major’s Most Valuable Player Award after his amazing Morphling performance that won his team the tournament.
Meanwhile, Vici Gaming finished with a respectable second-place finish at the Major. They earned US$160,000 and 3,000 DPC points.
With the first 2019-2020 DPC Major now over, Dota 2’s upcoming Outlanders update will be released in the next few days. This also means Kuro “KuroKy” Takhasomi’s new organization will be announced soon as well.