Filipino squad TNC Predator earned their first tournament win of the year by emerging victorious in the ESL One Thailand 2020 Asia tournament.
They defeated Indonesian team BOOM Esports in a back-and-forth grand final match that went the full distance.
TNC’s carry players came up big during the final day, with Armel “Armel” Tabios making a case for himself as the best midlaner in the region.
BOOM managed to secure Game 1 with Randy “Dreamocel” Sapoetra’s perfect 13/0/1 KDA Terrorblade performance. And, in the following game, Kim “Gabbi” Villafuerte and Armel answered back with an impressive 20/3/20 KDA record, combined on the Drow Ranger and Void Spirit.
In the third game of the series, TNC’s support players in Timothy “Tims” Randrup and Park “March” Tae-won helped Gabbi and Armel secure 9/0/12 records on the Faceless Void and Lina, which gave them a 2-1 lead over BOOM.
Gabbi even dodged a blink-in Ravage from Saieful “Fbz” Ilham with a perfectly timed Black King Bar activation, which led to BOOM getting teamwiped.
BOOM would eventually push the series to a final game, with Rafli Fathur “ Mikoto” Rahman taking over Game 4, showcasing an incredible 12/0/7 Outworld Devourer game that shutdown TNC’s last pick Pugna for Armel.
With the score even at 2-2, it was Armel who willed his team to victory with a stellar Magnus performance that had BOOM struggling the whole game. TNC also won all of their lanes in the early game, as March shut down Fbz’s Nature’s Prophet by constantly harassing him in the Dire jungle.
TNC’s lineup shined by having two initiators in Armel’s Magnus and Damien “kpii” Chok’s Void Spirit, who locked down BOOM’s carry heroes and prevented them from gaining any momentum.
And, while BOOM was focused on dealing with Armel and kpii, Gabbi swooped in with his Slark, finishing most of the team fights for TNC.
As Game 5 progressed, TNC showed they could sustain a prolonged team fight better than BOOM, as they had the tools to disengage whenever one of their carry heroes were caught in dangerous situations.
TNC continued to build up their lead by hunting down BOOM’s heroes who tried to play defensively, while trying to catch up in gold and experience. But, with TNC shutting down the entire map, BOOM were forced to scatter, leaving an opening in their base. TNC ended the game and the tournament with a final push at the 31-minute mark.
TNC’s road back to the top has proven difficult. But the team has managed to pull themselves together to win one of the biggest online tournaments in the Asian region, as they get to take home US$50,000.
After their back-to-back ESL One Hamburg 2019 and MLD Chendu Major wins at the end of last year, the team has struggled to produce the same results this year. And with teams like Geek Fam, BOOM Esports, and Neon Esports steadily improving, TNC was forced to buckle down to establish themselves as one of the best teams in the region.
READ MORE: Geek Fam has disbanded its Dota 2 team