TNC Predator has defeated BOOM Esports to take the ESL One Thailand title
Months of being a punching bag for other Southeast Asian Dota 2 teams have finally come to an end. TNC Predator have taken home their first online title of the season at ESL One Thailand with a 3-2 win over BOOM Esports. This is the team’s first overall win of the year, with their most recent title coming last November at the MDL Chengdu Major, the first Major of the 2019-20 Dota Pro Circuit.
From the start, this was one of TNC’s better showings this season, going 4-1 (9-3 overall) in the group stage, only dropping a full series to Fnatic. That led into a deep playoff run, where they took down Neon Esports and then swept BOOM in the upper bracket finals. Despite being knocked down to the lower bracket, BOOM continued to impress in yet another big tournament, with Alfi “Khezcute” Nelphyana and his squad eliminating a struggling Fnatic roster, who they previously swept in the group stage. That ended a loser’s run from Fnatic that involved sweeps of Geek Fam, Sparking Arrow Gaming, and Neon Esports.
A Terrorblade first draft for BOOM led to a slow death for TNC to start the final series, with Gabbi’s Phantom Assassin being the only net positive hero on the side of TNC. Randy “Dreamocel” Sapoetra played out of his mind on that Terrorblade, going 13/0/1 for 37,300 damage to give his team the early edge.
TNC did bounce back with a strong Void Spirit/Drow Ranger combo for Armel and Gabbi controlling the entire second round. BOOM had no chance to find their footing as TNC marched to a 28-8 victory.
Game three had a similar outcome, with the Armel and Gabbi duo going untouched with identical 9/0/12 lines on Lina and Void Spirit respectively, but BOOM forced a decisive game five behind a massive Outworld Devourer game from Rafli “Mikoto” Rahman.
TNC closed things out with a strong Magnus performance from Armel and solid all-around performance for everyone else, especially kpii who was great all tournament, taking home $50,000 and their first title in just under 10 months.
After the games came to a close, it was announced that TNC Predator’s Damien “kpii” Chok and Fnatic’s Anucha “Jabz” Jirawong were the two players who were nominated as contenders for the Mercedes Benz MVP of ESL One Thailand 2020 from the Asia region. They will go up against South American players, Rodrigo “Lelis” Santos and Leonardo “LeoStyle-” Sifuentes in the final vote for the MVP trophy. The winner of this trophy will receive a brand new Mercedes Benz car as a reward.
With no other SEA tournaments on the horizon, it ends up being a crucial victory for TNC Predator who can claim to be the top dogs in the scene for quite some time.
Before the tournament, TNC Predator was amongst the top 5 favourites to take this tournament. After Raven left Geek Fam for Fnatic, it felt like Geek Fam just lost their crucial piece in becoming a SEA’s strongest team. Fortunately, Geek Fam had an unlikely friend to assist them in their rounds at ESL One Thailand 2020. Fellow 10,000 MMR player, Abed Azel L. Yusop, lends his hand to his buddies at Geek Fam. Sadly, that didn’t help them too much as they finished in a dissapointing 7th-8th place.
With all eyes on Geek Fam to take the championship, other participants might have different plans. There might be bigger fishes in the SEA, such as the Indonesian giants, BOOM Esports, who made a name for themselves, after placing second at BTS Pro Series Season 2: SEA and ESL One Birmingham 2020. In the end, they’ve managed to catch out 2nd place.
The once great, TNC Predator, has been rather quiet after earning their first major championship title at Chengdu Major 2019. It was definitely too early to count them out, as they’ve returned back on the SEA throne.
Most probably the best bet here was Neon Esports finishing top 4, which no one expected.