For the first time in five years, TNC Predator will miss the The International.
This, as the all-Filipino squad wasted a two-to-nothing advantage, surrendering the The International 10 slot to rival Fnatic via a 3-2 reverse sweep in the grand finals of the Southeast Asia regional qualifiers, Sunday.
TNC’s loss also marked the first time since TI 6 that The International will not feature an all-Filipino squad in its roster.
After dominantly taking the first two matches of the grand finals, TNC seemed to have ran out of gas come the next three matches — surrending Games Three, Four, and Five via lopsided results.
Polo “Raven” Fausto, who formerly played for TNC, took charge in Game Five with his Axe.
TNC snowballed its way to victory in Game One, leaning on the 1-2 punch of Gabbi (Ursa) and Armel (Templar Assassin) to score the 29-8 victory in just 36 minutes and five seconds of game time.
The former Clutch Gamers carry registered a game-high 17 kills laced with two deaths and five assists while Armel had a perfect 4-0-16 stat line.
Fnatic fought a little bit more come Game Two, but TNC still came out on top after a clean wipe near the Radiant top tier three tower with Gabbi’s Phantom Assassin capping off the win with an Ultra Kill.
Prior to this clash, Fnatic took the lead from TNC after a victorious clash near the Roshan pit which gave them a free run at the Aegis.
Gabbi finished with 18 kills along with three deaths and 10 assists while Marvin “Boomy” Rushton (Lion), who showed perfect initiations all throughout, had two kills, seven deaths, and 17 assists in the 31-26, 56:23-minute Game Two win.
Fnatic then prevented the sweep with Raven putting on a show with Terrorblade, putting up nine kills and 10 assists without a single death in the 27-13 Game Three domination in just 43 minutes and 29 seconds.
Raven’s Terrorblade once again worked wonders for Fnatic, this time teaming up with Ng “ChYuan” Kee Chyuan’s Ember Spirit to force a decider via a 32-13 stomp in Game Four.
ChYuan led the kills department with 12 kills along with 13 assists while Raven had eight kills and 13 assists in the 44:27-minute match.
This is Fnatic’s eight consecutive TI appearance.
But even with TNC out, the Philippines will still be represented by Raven and DJ, Carlo “Kuku” Palad and Karl “Karl” Jayme of T1, and Abed “Abed” Yusop of Evil Geniuses.