By REYNALD MAGALLON
The Philippines may not have a team in Dota 2’s The International but the country is still well-represented once the tournament kicks off in Bucharest, Romania on Thursday, October 7 (Manila Time).
A total of five Filipinos will take part in the battle for the Aegis of Champions in TI10 led by Dota 2 stars Carlo “Kuku” Palad of T1 and Djardel “DJ” Mampusti of Fnatic.
Joining Kuku on his fifth straight TI appearance is Karl “Karl” Jayme who is also set to make his debut on the crowning tournament of the Dota Pro Circuit. DJ, who is also on his fifth straight stint, is joined by Raven “Raven” Fausto who will be making his fourth stint.
Abed “Abed” Yusop, on his fifth TI appearance, is the other Filipino in the tournament and will be playing for Evil Geniuses.
There will be an early clash between Filipinos in the group stages as Kuku’s T1 and Abed’s EG were both drawn in the “Group of Death” where they are joined by two-time and reigning The International champions OG. Top squads in Team Aster, Alliance, Virtus.pro, Team Undying, and Thunder Predator complete the Group A.
Fnatic, meanwhile, will be in Group B and will battle it out against WePlay AniMajor titlist PSG.LGD, European powerhouse Team Secret, Vici Gaming, Quincy Crew, Elephant, Team Spirit, Beastcoast, and SG Esports.
Kuku and T1’s Thai Nuengnara “23savage” Teeramahanon, and Indonesian rookies Kenny “Xepher” Deo and Matthew “Whitemon” Filemon will be opening their campaign against Invictus Gaming while Abed and EG’s Atour “Arteezy” Babaev, Daryl “iceiceice” Koh Pei Xiang, Andreas “Cr1t-“ Nielsen, and Tal “Fly” Aizik will take on Team Aster in a Best-of-2 series at 3 PM before. T1 and EG will square off later in the day at 7 PM. EG will also wrap up Day 1 with a clash with Invictus gaming at 11 PM.
DJ, together with Fnatic’s Malaysian Ng Kee “ChYuan” Chyuan, Singaporean Yang “Deth” Wu Heng, and Thai Anucha “Jabz” Jirawong, will go for a winning debut against Vici Gaming in their first game at 5 PM before taking on Elephant at 9 PM.
Top four teams in each group will advance to the upper bracket playoffs while the team that will finish dead last in each group will be eliminated. The remaining teams, meanwhile advances to the lower bracket of the playoffs