After a failed bid to qualify for the Singapore Major, TNC Predator decided to release its captain-hard support Kim “Febby” Yong Min and offlaner Damien “Kpii” Chok on Wednesday, March 3.
“We would like to thank Kim Yong Min (Febby) and Damien Chok (Kpiidota) for sharing their unrivaled professional skills with the team and bringing us multiple title wins during their stay. Today, we are announcing their release in our current roster,” TNC said in a statement posted on its official social media pages.
“For our next step, the team decided to move towards greater heights and agreed to part ways. Although this is the time we move on in our own pace towards the Aegis, our friendship never stops and we hope that in the future, we meet again with Kpii and Febby in the battlefield,” it added.
Kpii expressed his gratitude to TNC, his team for nearly two years, while saying that he is now LFT (looking for a team) through Twitter.
“Thank you for everything. And now LFT,” he said with a smile emoticon.
Only the Filipino trio of carry Kim “Gabbi” Santos, midlaner Armel “Armel” Tabios and position-4 support Timothy “Tims” Randrup remain in the team.
TNC, the last Southeast Asian team to win a Major title back in November 2019 in Chengdu, China, failed to live up to expectations as it fell short of making it the first Major tournament of 2021.
The Filipino powerhouse squad fell out of the race to SG after finishing fourth with a 4-3 record behind fierce rival Fnatic (6-1), Neon Esports (5-2) and T1 (5-2) in the first season of the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC)-Southeast Asia Upper Division.
Throughout the six-week inaugural DPC-SEA season and even in previous online tournaments, the South Korean support Febby and the Australian offlaner Kpii struggled with ping issues as they were playing in their respective homes, with the COVID-19 pandemic not allowing them to join the Filipino trio in the bootcamp.
Nevertheless, TNC stayed in the Upper Division next season for another shot at the second Major before The International.
Febby started his career with TNC as a coach in January 2020 before getting his time to play as a stand-in when the team released his longtime friend and ex-captain Park “March” Tae Won last December.
The 27-year-old Korean immediately made his presence felt as he steered the team to the BTS Pro Series SEA Season 4 championship, ending its slump since winning the ESL ONE Thailand 2020 in September.
Febby was then officially added to the roster in January this year for the first DPC season.
Kpii, for his part, began suiting up for TNC in September 2019 after his stints with various teams including MVP Phoenix, EHOME, Mineski and most notably Newbee.
A TI7 runner-up, Kpii helped TNC rule the MDL Chengdu Major–the first Major after TI19–and the ESL One Thailand.
Interestingly, Kpii and Febby were teammates along with March in the South Korea-based MVP Phoenix team that finished 7th-8th in TI5.