Mineski made their case as the best Southeast Asian team at TI9 by besting the all-Filipino squad of TNC Predator 2-0 in their Group Stage match.
TNC’s morale was high after a 2-0 victory over Chinese team, Keen Gaming, earlier in the day and were looking to keep that momentum.
Game one saw them pin their hopes on Kim “Gabbi” Villafuerte’s Alchemist to carry them to victory, with Armel Paul “Armel” Tabios on Kunkka and Carlo “Kuku” Palad on Abaddon to buff and protect him.
Mineski countered with a mobile core duo in Ember Spirit for Kam “Moon” Boon Seng and Weaver for Nikolay “Nikobaby” Nikolov, hoping to kite and outlast their opposing hypercarry.
While Mineski were quick to turn on the aggression, Armel and Kuku were able to hold them off long enough for Gabbi to pick up his core items and start going ham — including an explosive gank on two unsuspecting Mineski heroes.
While TNC were able to take the lead after that, they would later botch a high ground siege attempt that saw Gabbi overextend and get killed despite having the Cheese.
This opened things up for Mineski, who later won a decisive clash in their bottom shrine to take a commanding lead and eventually force the GG call from TNC.
TNC opted to have Gabbi on Sven for game two, with a heavy teamfight composition around him courtesy of Tidehunter for Kuku and Warlock for Nico “eyyou” Barcelon.
Mineski fielded another aggressive lineup in Tiny for Moon and a roaming Mirana for Ryan Jay “ragingpotato” Qui, with Damien “kpii” Chok on Enigma for added pushing and teamfight power.
While Gabbi was able to get his farm, ragingpotato landed arrow after arrow on TNC’s other cores to help shut them down. Moon’s Tiny got the ball rolling as well, leading to a crucial teamfight in the top lane that resulted in a complete teamwipe by Mineski.
TNC were not able to recover from that, with only Gabbi able to keep up with the opposing cores in terms of farm while his teammates ended up lacking enough punch during subsequent clashes. It was only a matter of closing the game out from there for Mineski, with Moon leading the way with 11 kills.
Mineski will look to build on their 2-0 record against Keen Gaming, while TNC will have to bounce back from a 2-2 slate against a surging PSG.LGD in the last round of Day 1 of the Group Stage.
Be sure to check out our coverage of The International 2019 Group Stage for more TI9 action.