|From TNC's Twitter account|
By Ivan Saldajeno
MANILA--TNC pulled off the biggest upset of TI6, eliminating pre-tournament favorites OG via a 2-0 sweep in the second round of the lower bracket at the Key Arena in Seattle on Wednesday (Philippine Time).
The Filipino e-sports team avenged their group stage loss to the European club in the most opportune time possible, sending the reigning champions of the Frankfurt and Manila Majors out of the de facto "Seattle Major" in a huge stunner only a few saw coming.
TNC went off to a hot start, scoring 12 kills in just 17 minutes of Game 1 with Marc Fausto's Lifestealer getting six straight.
But OG recovered, making five straight kills, taking Roshan down that handed John Sundstein, as Drow Ranger, the Aegis, and taking down TNC's first two middle lane towers.
Despite getting "out-pushed" with all its Tier 1 and Tier 2 towers razed, TNC took over late in the game, as Fausto bounced back even as Carlo Palad, as Phantom Lancer, led in a crucial 4-for-1 clash exchange that sparked the big comeback.
TNC finished the series opener on a 22-5 run as OG called "GG" after 55 minutes.
OG, with their backs surprisingly against the wall, started Game 2 on a high note, scoring 17 kills in 20 minutes with Amer Barqawi, as Ember Spirit, credited for seven straight.
TNC slightly recovered, but OG continued to keep control of the game, eventually razing all of TNC's Tier 1 and Tier 2 towers and even their bottom lane's Tier 3 tower and one of the two barracks.
TNC then went for focusing solely on the middle lane, eventually razing the Tier 3 and the barracks, although OG was able to defend the mid lane and even went for a counter-push even as Al-Barqawi took down TNC's Tier 3 tower at the top lane and Andread Nielsen, playing Io, killed TNC's courier.
But TNC did not waver, again going all-in on the middle lane push and getting four unanswered kills with Palad, now playing Huskar, leading the way and even taking Barqawi's Divine Rapier, forcing OG to call GG after an hour, completing the shocker.
TNC is now assured of a seat in the Top 8 and nearly half-a-million dollars (almost PHP 23.2 million) in cash prize, putting the team at par, assuming the quintet that also composes of Nico Barcelon, Sam Hidalgo, and Jimmy Ho share its potential winnings equally, at par with the guaranteed prize Olympic silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz will get following her second place finish in women's weightlifting.
[Related Story: House and lot, tons of cash await silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz]
TNC will take on the winner of another Lower Bracket Round 2 match-up between LGD and Digital Chaos, which is ongoing as of posting, in the next round.
Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno