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Former skipper Eyyou see TNC's surge continuing

Nico Barcelon, fifth from left, led TNC's breakthrough deep run in TI6. From TNC's Twitter page.
By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--Since most team captains use support heroes in a certain game, they hardly get noticed because of the heroics of the carry and even the offlaners.

But one should commend the skippers for pacing their teams to victory.

Take Nico Barcelon for example.

Barcelon, or Eyyou to the DOTA 2 community, became well-known as the captain of the TNC squad that made a historic Final 8 run last year in The International, the e-sport's grandest tournament, taking home US$519,262 (around PHP26.1 million at the current rate) in the process.

Since that stint, he bounced through four teams, but for him, the bond that he, Marc Fausto, Carlo Palad, Sam Hidalgo, and Jimmy Ho formed last year remains.

"Parang brotherhood kami sa TNC," Barcelon told Dugout Philippines on Tuesday.

Barcelon is currently signed with HappyFeet, and the Jessie Cuyco-led group was invited to play a friendly, which also serves as a tune-up for the club's ASUS ROG Masters campaign, during the relaunch of TNC's partnership with Syber at the High Grounds Cafe.

But while the ASUS ROG Masters is on his mind right now, Barcelon rued that he is not anymore with TNC, which once again made TI.

"Pag 'di para sa'yo, 'di para sa'yo, [pero] may darating na much better," he continued.

But he remains optimistic that TNC, now with support players Tims Randrup and import Theeban Siva helping the 1-2-3 offensive combo of Fausto, Palad, and Hidalgo, will do wonders in the seventh edition of The International, also known as TI7.

He stressed the case of Siva, who is now wearing the captain's armband for TNC, saying, "Nag-fit naman yung bago nila player, kasi kailangan talaga nila ng parang mag-ga-guide at magko-coach sa kanila. Yun yung kulang nila before."

With that said, Barcelon is expecting a deeper run for TNC this August in Seattle.

"For me, I guess mga siguro Top 4," he bared his forecast.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno