23savage gets double rampage as Kuku-led T1 upsets Neon to qualify for AniMajor

Published May 21, 2021, 6:53 PM

by Jeremiah Sevilla

Screenshots from PGL livestream

Thai star carry Nuengnara “23savage” Teeramahanon went ham on his Lifestealer as Filipino captain Carlo “Kuku” Palad and T1 took down OB x Neon Esports, 2-1, in the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) Season 2-Southeast Asia Upper Division to secure its second straight Major appearance on Thursday night, May 20.

The first-ever 12K MMR pro hit a double rampage to cap off his monstrous 13-1-17 kill-death-assist performance as well as T1’s thrilling 31-27 win in nearly 50 minutes in the deciding Game 3.

Veteran offlaner Kuku on his Axe also came through with a crucial three-man Berserker’s Call in a 42nd minute team fight in T1’s jungle that shifted the momentum to their side.

With only a sliver of health after the early part of the team fight, Kuku went back in and caught Prieme “PlayHard” Maque’s Mirana, Jaunuel “Jaunuel” Arcialla’s Io and most importantly John Anthony “Natsumi-” Vargas’ Gyrcopter.

23savage and Filipino midlaner Karl “Karl” Jayme’s Razor then did the clean up job, with only Japoy “Yopaj” Ferrer’s Windranger coming out as the lone survivor from Neon in the skirmish.

Stats from PGL livestream

With the triumph, T1 assured itself at least a group stage spot in the WePlay AniMajor slated June 2 to 13 in Kyiv, Ukraine after finishing with a 5-2 record in the eight-team Upper Division.

Kuku and the crew could even grab a ticket straight to the playoffs if it beats TNC Predator in the tiebreaker for the top spot on Saturday.

It would be T1’s second consecutive participation in a Major after playing in the Wild Card stage of the ONE Esports Singapore Major last March.

Barring any complication, it could be the first Major appearance for the 24-year-old Kuku as he missed the SG Major due to a “health problem” according to the South Korea-based organization.

With Kuku out, T1 tapped its former offlaner Lee “Forev” Sang-don as a stand-in but crashed out early of the $500,000 tourney.

Meanwhile, SG Major top six finisher Neon bowed out of contention for a seat in the AniMajor and even fell in danger of relegation to the Lower Division after dropping to 3-4.

Neon will fight it out against fellow PH squad Smart Omega and Boom Esports of Indonesia in a tiebreaker for the right to remain in the Upper Division, with the bottom team getting relegated.