Kuku and T1 secure spot in The International 10 after crushing Aster in AniMajor playoffs opener

Published June 9, 2021, 8:24 PM

by Jeremiah Sevilla


Filipino captain-offlaner Carlo “Kuku” Palad and T1 thrashed Team Aster of China, 2-0, to start its campaign in the WePlay AniMajor playoffs upper bracket with a bang on Wednesday night (PH time) in Kiev, Ukraine.

Kuku’s Broodmother and Filipino mid laner Karl “Karl” Jayme’s Magnus powered the sweep that assured T1 at least a top six finish in the second Dota 2 Major of the year which will hand them 300 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) points, bringing their total to 970.

That is well past the threshold of 800 DPC points for Kuku and the crew to get a direct invite to this year’s The International 10 that boasts of the highest prize pool in esports history at over $40 million (more than P1.9 billion).

This would be the fifth consecutive TI appearance for the 24-year-old Kuku, who played for TNC Predator in the last four iterations of the most awaited annual Dota 2 tournament in the world.

Meanwhile, it would be just the TI debut for Karl (also known as Santino) as well as Thai 12K MMR carry Nuengnara “23savage” Teeramahanon and the Indonesian support duo of Matthew “Whitemon” Filemon and Kenny “Xepher” Deo.

Kuku surprised the analysts as he came through a top-tier performance on Broodmother in Game 1, dominating the laning phase to shut down Du “Monet” Peng’s Terrorblade and eventually set the tone for the 19-6 stomping in 33 minutes.

As Kuku’s Broodmother invaded Aster’s jungle triangle with the help of Xepher’s Enchantress, 23savage’s Morphling enjoyed a free game to farm his items and go on to gun down Aster’s heroes and structures.

Game 1 stats T1

Game 2 was even more lopsided for the current Southeast Asian kings with Karl’s Magnus making big-time catches through Skewer and Reverse Polarity.

A two-man RP by Karl on Monet’s Medusa and Liu “White丶Album_白学家” Yuhao’s Death Prophet allowed Kuku’s Viper and 23savage’s Lifestealer to clean them up as T1 took the first melee barracks at the bottom lane.

A setup by Karl with the Skewer on White Album for a quick pickoff at the mid lane and another two-man RP on Monet and Zhang “LaNm” Zhicheng inside Aster’s Radiant base forced the GG call in just 24 minutes with a 14-6 kill score.

Game 2 stats T1

T1 will next take on the winner between North American squad Quincy Crew and South American team NoPing Esports in the upper bracket semifinals on Saturday night.

For its part, Aster fell to the lower bracket where it will face Filipino powerhouse TNC Predator on Thursday evening.