Finally, a Pinoy team at TI6. It took six years, but we the Filipinos have someone to root for in The International.
After a long time of battling it out in many MPGL’s against Mineski, TNC now dons the right to claim being the “Best Filipino Dota Team” now. Their run at the qualifiers was more than dominating, only dropping two games in the first phase. Thanks to the arrival of formerly retired TI player himself, Jimmy “DeMoN” Ho brought some additional flare to the TNC lineup to finally break through the SEA scene and as such qualify to TI6.
This team was in a long-running rivalry against another Filipino titan of a team, Mineski. While it was constantly Mineski that took the spotlight often — especially with the team’s qualification to The Frankfurt Major 2015 — TNC was there quietly in the shadows. Back in the ber-months of last year, Mineski qualified for their first international LAN through a Major, and TNC was there to qualify for WCA 2015 with less spotlight in the community.
Then came Carlo “Kuku” Palad to TNC. While it was a very good pickup for the team in paper, they still faced woes — most notably in the Manila Major Qualifiers — as their teamwork is still not intact. Not to mention Kuku is a natural core player, and having him in support lowers the team’s offensive ceiling.
However, it only took an ambitious move that had the TNC management and DeMoN into one agreement. About two months now, the famous “Classic Jimmy” player has landed into Philippine shores to change our fate forever.
The addition of DeMoN in the lineup opened up a lot for TNC to bloom. Kuku, most notably, has been back to play Position 2 where he shines better. DeMoN‘s better grasp of the game allowed the playmaking duo of Sam “Sam_H” Enojosa Hidalgo and Nico “eyyou” Barcelon to make more aggresive moves from the map. These two are known for their electric plays in the Pinoy DotA scene, and the duo has been making the better decisions with a lighthouse to guide their way.
Not to mention how Marc Polo “Raven” Luis Fausto has been phenomenal in the carry role, more so because of his ridiculous farming statistics.
If you look at how Raven has been averaging for the last three months, you’ll be surprised. 314.54 average last hits for a carry in this fast-paced meta is something teams should keep an eye on. What’s really amazing here is that he can still average 8.83 kills across his games with exceptional command of the Juggernaut and the SEA-special Terrorblade. As such, his KDA average is off the charts, proving to be the finest of Pinoy’s carries.
It’s also good to take note on Kuku‘s also stellar statistics, averaging 268 Last hits per game while still maintaining an 8.5 kill average. TNC’s playstyle allows the two core heroes to be tremendously huge, while the remaining three heroes makes plays off of fewer farming amount. It’s more like a three-man party of Sam_H + eyyou classic duo backed up by the wiser veteran DeMoN that makes a lot of space for Kuku and Raven.
In this game, we can see how well TNC utilizes the Vengeful Spirit defensively and the Beastmaster offensively:
Contrary to most Pinoy and SEA teams, TNC approaches their game in a slower-paced meta. They pick core heroes that are best with lead farm, such as Terrorblade and Juggernaut and itemize them in such a way that they are still good with mid-game but more importantly shine in the late game. As such, the core ingredient for this team is actually the Vengeful Spirit, which is highly used defensively and allows both Kuku and Raven to wreak havoc while not worrying so much for themselves.
While TNC still has a lot of room to improve, the international scene could prove to be one hell of a challenge for this relatively young team. Nevertheless, it’s a sweet spot at the main event that TNC have earned; and more importantly a chance for Filipinos to reclaim the 20-million dollar Aegis. Or at the very least, open up the road to a TI championship to the international Lan-desiccated Pinoys.
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