Kuku TI streak snapped as T1 falls short in LCQ

Filipino Dota 2 star Carlo “Kuku” Palad will be missing out on The International for the first time since 2016 as T1’s bid for a spot for Dota 2’s crowning tournament came to an abrupt end after falling to the hands of Vici Gaming in the lower bracket of TI11 Last Chance Qualifiers.

Carlo Kuku Palad (Photo from Valve)

Hopes were high for Kuku to keep his bid for a sixth straight The International appearance ahead of the LCQ especially with the addition of former OG stars Anathan “ana” Pham and Topias “Topson” Taavitsainen but still fell short as T1 couldn’t sustain the momentum after making it to the upper bracket semifinals.

T1 got swept by Team Secret and fell to the lower bracket to face Chinese crew Vici Gaming. The SEA powerhouse went off to a rousing start as it drew first blood in the series following a convincing 28-20 triumph behind Kuku’s Nature's Prophet and Topson’s Primal Beast.

T1 though just couldn’t put the nail in the coffin to Vici Gaming in Game 2 and allowed its Chinese counterpart to force a winner-take-all match after a back-and-forth grind-out affair for the equalizer.

Riding the momentum of the Game 2 win, Vici Gaming showed no letup in the decider despite T1 taking control of the game during the laning phase with the the Chinese crew pulling off clutch plays courtesy of Pan “Frisk” Yi’s Rubick.

A wipe on T1 members following a forced clash allowed Vici Gaming to secure the Roshan which ultimately triggered the downfall for the last SEA hope in the qualifiers.

Earlier in the tournament, all-Filipino crew Polaris Esports got an early boot after getting dropped to the lower bracket following a 2-1 loss to Team Liquid. The Filipinos then got swept by Wildcard Gaming, 2-0, in the lower bracket.

Despite the exit of Kuku’s T1 and Polaris Esports, the Filipinos remain well-represented in this year’s iteration of The International with eight Filipinos participating courtesy of SEA teams Boom Esports and Fnatic and NA team Evil Geniuses.

Erin Jasper “Yopaj” Ferrer, Timothy “Tims” Randrup and Andrei ‘skem” Ong is part of the Boom Esports while Fnatic has four Filipinos in its crew in Djardel “DJ” Mampusti, Armel “Armel” Tabios, Jaunuel “Jaunuel” Arcilla and Marco Polo Luis “Raven” Fausto. Abed “Abed” Yusopp is the only Filipino playing outside SEA teams with EG.