Back on top: TNC wins BTS Pro Series S4 against Team Dog in thrilling finals

TNC Predator snapped its championship drought as it ruled the Beyond The Summit (BTS) Pro Series Season 4 Southeast Asia after outlasting Team Dog, 3-2, in the nail-biting grand finals late Sunday night.

The Filipino powerhouse team overhauled a 1-2 series deficit then banked on its 11k MMR stars Kim "Gabbi" Villafuerte and Armel "Armel" Tabios in Game 5 to claim the crown in the eight-team regional tournament and bag the $21,000 (P1,009,644) winner's prize. 

Following a series of dismal results and the release of Korean captain Park "March" Tae-won, TNC finally snared its first title since winning the ESL One Thailand 2020 last September. 

TNC also proved doubters wrong as its insertion of coach Kim "Febby" Yong-min into the main lineup paid off. 

It was a sweet vengeance for TNC after losing 2-1 to the Abed "Abed" Yusop and Daryl "iceiceice" Koh Pei Xiang-led ragtag Team Dog in the upper bracket finals. 

TNC first dispatched former standout Carlo "Kuku" Palad and Karl "Karl" Jayme's T1 Entertainment & Sports, 2-0, in the lower bracket finals to arrange a grudge match against Team Dog. 

The four-time The International participant drew first blood in the title clash behind Gabbi's monstrous Morphling that finished with a 12-1-5 kill-death-assist record. 

However, iceiceice's Viper (16-3-12) and Indonesian carry Muhammad "inYourdreaM" Rizky's Anti-Mage (11-1-12) showed up in Game 2 before Abed's Storm Spirit (12-2-12) and iceiceice's Enigma (3-1-17) pushed Team Dog to championship point. 

Armel went to work with his Death Prophet (12-2-7) in Game 4 to keep TNC's title hopes alive while also bringing the momentum to their side. 

Gabbi's Morphling (12-2-5) was once again a brutal force in Game 5 while Armel's Invoker (7-0-14) made numerous outplays to elicit the GG call from Team Dog in just 25 minutes. 

Australian offlaner Damien "kpii" Chok's Brewmaster (4-0-14), Timothy "TIMS" Randrup's Mirana (4-1-17) and Febby's Clockwerk (2-5-18) were equally brilliant in the all-important game. 

Abed and his Team Dog walked away with $11,000 (P528,830) while Kuku and T1 got $6,500 (P312,490) for a third-place finish.