T1 stuns Neon to complete SEA reps in SG Major; TNC not included

Published February 26, 2021, 4:51 PM

by Jeremiah Sevilla

Photo from PGL livestream 

Filipino 11K MMR midlaner Karl “Karl” Baldovino wreaked havoc with his Death Prophet in the decisive Game 3 as T1 upset Neon Esports, 2-1, to qualify for the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC)-SEA Upper Division on Thursday night, Feb. 25. 

Karl’s “beyond godlike” DP came through with 12 kills and 16 assists against only two early deaths to power T1’s 33-20 victory in 35 minutes of action in the all-important game. 

Photo from PGL livestream 

Lao carry Souliya “JaCkky” Khoomphetsavong’s Wraith King also played big with nine kills and 13 assists against a lone death even as Filipino veteran offlaner Carlo “Kuku” Palad’s Dragon Knight contributed two kills and 16 assists with five deaths. 

Photo from PGL livestream 

Despite a struggling start in the DPC, T1 finished the season with a 5-2 record to secure a coveted spot in the Singapore Major–the first Dota 2 Major tournament of 2021 which will be hosted by ONE Esports and PGL on March 27 to April 4. 

The South Korean organization, which also has the Indonesian support duo of Kenny “Xepher” Deo and Matthew “Whitemon” Filemon, even got a shot at a Major group stage seat as it forged a best-of-three tiebreaker against Neon (5-2) for No. 2 on Saturday, Feb. 27. 

Completing the cast of SEA representatives in the much-awaited Major is Fnatic (6-1), which snagged the top spot in the eight-team, six-week regional league for a ticket straight to the Major playoffs. 

Meanwhile, TNC Predator failed to live up to expectations as it fell short of qualifying for the SG Major. 

The Filipino powerhouse team bannered by the trio of Kim “Gabbi” Santos, Armel “Armel” Tabios and Timothy “Tims” Randrup, wound up with a 4-3 slate, with its losses inflicted by Execration, Neon and Fnatic. 

Nevertheless, TNC remained in the Upper Division and will still contend for a spot in the second Major next season. 

Also staying in the premier group are Execration and Boom Esports of Indonesia while getting promoted were Lower Division’s top finishers Smart Omega and Lilgun of Mongolia.