By Ivan Saldajeno
MANILA--For the first time ever, the TNC Predator-Mineski rivalry, once known as eSports' answer to the PBA's "Manila Clasico", spilled to The International.
However, Mineski showed its formal rival the fruit of its huge rebuild.
Mineski came back from the dead to eliminate TNC Predator in their win-or-go-home TI8 lower bracket battle at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver on Tuesday (Philippine Time).
What seemed like a won game already for TNC Predator was overturned by one huge sneak attack from Kam Boon Seng as Mineski wasted no time in finishing off its objective despite the huge handicap.
Behind a solid game from core players Marc Fausto, Sam Hidalgo, and Armel Tabios with some help from captain Carlo Palad, TNC Predator raced to a 28-8 lead in kills even as the team razed all of the Tier 1 and Tier 2 towers of Mineski, and TNC Predator was on track of taking down Mineski's Tier 3 tower at the top lane.
However, Kam, using Shadow Fiend, took advantage of his double damage bonus and sneaked in from behind to lead Mineski in blasting out TNC Predator, setting up one quick push to the middle lane.
TNC Predator, despite the buybacks, could not handle Mineski's late charge and conceded in the 50th minute.
Mineski, led by skipper Michael Ross and star player Chai Yee Feng, will take on Virtus Pro in the second round of the lower bracket playoffs, which is now a best-of-three affair.
Virtus Pro was relegated to the win-or-go-home group after bowing to LGD-PSG, 2-0, in the upper bracket quarterfinals earlier Tuesday.
TNC Predator, on the other hand, will go home with US$124,343 (around PHP6.6 million), but it is expected to spike up depending on the final outcome of the compendium sales.
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