Star mid laner Armel “Armel” Tabios on his Puck ran amok in Game 1 as TNC Predator pulled a 1-1 draw against Team Spirit, enough to push the Filipino squad to the WePlay AniMajor playoffs in Kiev, Ukraine on Monday night, June 7 (PH time).
Armel’s Puck decimated Team Spirit’s support backline of Ancient Apparition and Dark Willow in crucial team fights, allowing the rest of TNC to swoop down on the remaining cores led by Illya “Yatoro” Mulyarchuk’s Wraith King.
With Armel at the helm, TNC went on to outlast Spirit in the series opener that lasted for an hour and four minutes with a 49-31 scoreline.
The 21-year-old 11K MMR pro finished the game with a stat line of 17-2-23 kill-death-assist to go with a whopping 55.5K net worth, which he showed off by buying two more Dagon 5 when GG’s were called.
That Game 1 win assured the Filipinos a spot in the playoffs of the year’s second Dota 2 Major and kept their chances of making it to the upper bracket through a tiebreaker.
However, Spirit struck back hard in Game 2 and crushed TNC’s upper bracket hopes with a 40-14 romp in 41 minutes behind Yatoro’s Ursa (16-0-15) empowered by Magomed “Collapse” Khalilov’s Magnus (4-2-14).
TNC ended the group stage with a 7-7 win-loss record and landed at the lower bracket where it will face the loser between fellow Southeast Asian team T1 and Chinese powerhouse Team Aster.
Filipino mid laner Abed “Abed” Yusop and his North American team Evil Geniuses also settled for a lower bracket spot. They will take on the loser between Quincy Crew and NoPing Esports.
Carlo “Kuku” Palad and T1 will battle fellow Dota Pro Circuit Season 2 regional winner Aster on Wednesday at 7 p.m., with TNC squaring off against the losing side on Thursday night.