Filipino team TNC Predator finished the year on a high note, taking the championship at BTS Pro Series SEA Season 4 with a 3-2 victory over Team Dog in the grand finals on Sunday (20 December).
With their win, TNC take home the lion’s share of US$21,000 out of the tournament’s US$50,000 prize pool, solidifying their place as the top dogs of Southeast Asia ahead of the return of the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) under a new regional league format in January next year.
TNC’s path to the championship saw them top the group stage to set up a match against regional rivals Fnatic in the first round of the playoff upper bracket.
After defeating Fnatic, 2-1, TNC advanced to the upper bracket finals against Team Dog, a temporary stack headlined by top free agent Muhammad "inYourdreaM" Rizky as well as Evil Geniuses teammates Abed “Abed” Yusop and Daryl “iceiceice” Koh.
Team Dog were able to edge out TNC, 2-1, sending their opponents to the lower bracket finals and take the first spot in the grand finals.
TNC then faced off against T1, whose roster now mostly comprised of former players from Geek Fam, another regional rival that were unfortunately forced to disband in September. TNC dispatched T1 in a 2-0 sweep to set up a rematch against Team Dog in the grand finals.
TNC blitzed their way to an easy 27-minute victory in game one of the finals, making good use of a highly mobile and aggressive tri-core of Morphling for Kim “Gabbi” Villafuerte, a mid Batrider for Armel “Armel” Tabios, and an offlane Night Stalker for Damien “kpii” Chok.
Gabbi had 12 kills against just one death to pace TNC’s game one victory, which ended with a lopsided 28-6 kill score.
Shaking off their loss in the opener, Team Dog struck back hard and dominated TNC in games two and three, which ended in 39 and 28 minutes, respectively.
Down 2-1 in the series, TNC pulled out a strong midgame tri-core of Troll Warlord for Gabbi, Death Prophet for Armel, and Underlord for kpii.
Meanwhile, Team Dog looked to take it late with inYourdreaM on Spectre, Abed on Storm Spirit, and iceiceice on an offlane Enigma.
TNC executed their game plan near perfectly, controlling the midgame clashes and never letting the enemy Spectre reach her full potential. Armel had a game-high 12 kills against two deaths, while Gabbi pitched in with nine kills of his own, to force the finals to a deciding game five.
TNC went with comfort picks for the decider, with Gabbi on Morphling, Armel on Invoker, and kpii on Brewmaster, forming a strong tri-core to once again dominate the midgame team fights.
Much like the previous game, Team Dog drafted for the late game with inYourdreaM on Troll Warlord, Abed on Ember Spirit, and iceiceice on Enigma once again.
TNC saved their best for the last game of the series, as a near-perfect laning phase allowed them to snowball early and absolutely dominate Team Dog in the midgame.
🏆 @TNCPredator are your CHAMPS OF #BTSProSeries SEA! 🏆
GGs to all our competing teams! Until next time, that's all from the SEA region 👋
🗣 @MLPDotA & @johnxfire pic.twitter.com/yVWSPYGADf
— Beyond the Summit (@BeyondTheSummit) December 20, 2020
Despite their best efforts to stall, Team Dog was unable to stand up to TNC’s onslaught and were forced to call GG after 25 minutes — by far the quickest game of the series.
Gabbi notched 12 kills against two deaths to secure the championship for TNC, with Armel and kpii combining for a clean 10 kills to boot, as game five ended with a very lopsided 30-8 kill score.
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