|TNC Predator's Filipino core of Carlo Palad, Marc Fausto, Tims Randrup, and Sam Hidalgo eliminated their former teammate Theeban Siva, right. Mike Romero (file photo)|
By Ivan Saldajeno
MANILA--One thing was sure entering the two TI8 SEA Qualifier finals: TNC will be represented in Vancouver.
However, TNC Predator found itself fighting its sister squad TNC Tigers--and former skipper Theeban Siva--for the last ride to TI8 after conceding the first berth to Fnatic in the upper bracket finals.
But after a three-game classic, the now Carlo Palad-led squad made sure that an all-Filipino team will be going to TI8.
TNC's flagship team secured the other Southeast Asian seat in TI8 after edging the newly founded foreigner-laden Tigers in the lower bracket finals on Monday.
TNC Predator rose from a devastating Game 1 defeat to steal the best-of-three series away from TNC Tigers.
Game 1 saw a total team effort from TNC Tigers down the stretch overcoming an impressive early-game performance by Palad, who is now playing at Position 4, and new midlaner Armel Tabios as the Siva-led squad placed one foot into TI8.
However, a disabler combo of Palad's Jakiro, Hidalgo's Underlord, and Tims Randrup's Naga Siren paved the way for Tabios' Bloodseeker and, later in the game, Marc Fausto's Lifestealer to dominate Game 2 as the series went to a rubber match.
In the decider, Siva's support Silencer and Muhammad Rizky's Phantom Lancer led TNC Tigers to a 20-9 lead in kills as TNC Predator's low-key objective gaming was exploited.
However, Randrup made crucial Songs of the Siren that sparked TNC Predator's comeback, eventually neutralizing Rizky and forcing Siva to call GG after a 75-minute epic.
TNC Predator and Fnatic will join direct invite Mineski as Southeast Asia's representatives to TI8.
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