Tino’s speedy Io lifts Smart Omega past Cignal Ultra and into the DPC-SEA upper division

Published February 16, 2021, 4:40 PM

by Jeremiah Sevilla

Photo screen-grabbed from KuyaNic (LuponWXC) Youtube livestream 

Up-and-coming carry Justine “Tino” Grimaldo came through with a monstrous effort on his Io in Game 2 as Smart Omega swept Cignal Ultra, 2-0, to secure its promotion to the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC)-Southeast Asia upper division on Monday night.  

Tino made the Kobold Foreman neutral creep his partner-in-crime using the Helm of the Dominator to gain additional movement speed and with an Aghanim’s Scepter in just 12 minutes started to snowball in the closer of the battle between the lower division leaders. 

The rising position-1 star racked up 14 kills and 15 assists against a lone death to power Omega’s 36-17 stomp in just 32 minutes. 

Veteran offlaner Jun “Bok” Kanehara also stepped up with his Lycan equipped with Necronomicon and Orchid Malevolence getting 10 kills and 11 assists against a single death. 

With the sweep, Omega improved to 5-1 at No. 1 and sealed a top two finish that guarantees a promotion to next season’s upper division where the Dota 2 Major participants are determined. 

It was not an easy feat for the Smart-backed boys as they needed to outlast Cignal first in the tightly-fought series opener. 

Omega emerged victorious in the final clash behind midlaner Mc Nicholson “Mac” Villanueva’s Void Spirit and Tino’s Monkey King to close out Game 1 with a 36-28 win in 46 minutes. 

Cignal, which stayed at No. 2 with a 4-2 slate despite the defeat, will face Malaysia’s Galaxy Racer led by veterans Lee “kYxY” Kong Yang and Adam “343” Shah in a must-win match on February 20 for a chance to make it to the upper division. 

The Warriors will need Mongolia’s Lilgun, which beat them and Omega, to lose one of its two remaining series. 

Omega, meanwhile, will end their successful campaign in the eight-team lower division versus Indonesia’s Army Geniuses on February 24.