Vici Gaming (VG) knocked down TNC Predator to the Lower Bracket 2-1 in a grueling series that saw two out of three games go over 60 minutes.
TNC opened game one with Armel Paul “Armel” Tabios on Queen of Pain, Kim “Gabbi” Villafuerte on Lifestealer, and Carlo “Kuku” Palad on Sand King. VG countered with Zhang “Paparazi” Chengjun Juggernaut and Zeng “Ori” Jiaoyang on Lina.
TNC looked to be aggressive with their lineup, scoring a number of early kills, three of which were on Ori’s Lina, but VG were able to take down two towers in return. While things were even between the two teams early, VG won a decisive teamfight in the mid-lane to take the lead.
VG was able to build up their lead while also denying TNC opportunities to get kills and equalize the game. VG looked to further their lead by taking Roshan, but TNC contested their attempts and come out with the Aegis and force a stalemate.
Both teams continued to trade fights as they looked for opportunities to break into each other’s base, including one where TNC elude VG who almost had them in their clutches.
TNC broke the game wide open with a massive teamfight in the mid-lane where Ori was killed without buyback, followed by them jumping on VG to eventually take a 76-minute game that ended with no barracks destroyed.
For the second game, TNC ran a tri-core of Bristleback for Gabbi, Razor for Armel, and Tiny for Kuku. Meanwhile, VG picked up the Lifestealer on Paparazi for themselves to partner with Ori’s Kunkka.
TNC came out of the laning stage with a significant lead, with both Gabbi and Armel outpacing their counterparts and winning teamfights by virtue of how tanky they are.
However, VG were able to repel the ensuing TNC push and get multiple pickoffs to stall the game out — which let Paparazi catch up and eventually become the top hero in terms of net worth. With a farmed Lifestealer leading the way, VG took over fights and put TNC on the backfoot.
Despite a valiant defense, TNC were unable to weather VG’s onslaught and looked to decide the series in game three.
VG opted to decide the final game of the series late by picking Medusa for Paparazi and Leshrac for Ori, but TNC threw a wrench into their plans with a last pick Broodmother for Armel alongside Juggernaut for Gabbi and Earthshaker for Kuku.
In order to minimize the impact of the surprise Brood pick, VG put Zhou “Yang” Haiyang on Centaur Warrunner against it in the mid lane instead of Medusa as expected. TNC still put on a lot of pressure on Ori however, but Paparazi repeatedly provided reinforcements during ganks to turn the tables.
With Broodmother not having the effect it was supposed to, TNC struggled to execute their game plan. Meanwhile, VG’s cores had already grown strong enough to take over the ensuing fights and put the Filipinos on the ropes.
Even with Broodmother getting the highest net worth in the game, it was not enough to stand against VG’s onslaught. Eventually, the Chinese squad got crucial pick offs that opened up TNC’s base to take the series.
VG will advance to the Upper Bracket semifinal and face off against fellow Chinese juggernauts PSG.LGD in Day 3 of the Main Event. TNC will have to take the long way to the championship from the lower bracket and will await their opponents in Day 2.