By Ivan Saldajeno
MANILA--Entering Day 4, TNC Predator was at the cusp of entering The International 2018 Main Event at the upper bracket.
Early Sunday (Philippine Time), however, Secret brought the Filipino side down to a do-or-die situation.
Secret scored a dominating 2-0 sweep against TNC Predator in the latter's final group stage assignment at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver.
Marcus Hoelgaard went on a tear as hard carry Wraith King, going 12-1-11 in kills, deaths, and assists even as support Yazied Jaradat went a perfect 6-0 with 17 assists with his Dark Willow as Secret completely slowed down TNC Predator's carries, Marc Fausto and Armel Tabios.
In Game 2, it was Adrian Trinks's turn to play Wraith King, and the offlaner delivered too as Secret provided an even more dominating win even as Yeik Nai Zheng's Kunkka joined the fun with Jaradat's Willow once again giving Fausto and Tabios a hard time.
Only Sam Hidalgo, who played comfort hero Mirana, was the lone bright spot for TNC in the rematch.
Coupled by Vici's stunning 2-0 sweep of Virtus Pro that catapulted the team to the top four, TNC Predator fell to fifth place in Group B at 7-9, while Secret moved up to a tie with VP for second at 8-6.
Optic's 2-0 sweep of Pain that put the former in a possibility to finish the group stages at 8-8 shut down TNC Predator's last ditch to go back up to the Top 4.
Only the top four teams in each group will make the upper bracket of the playoffs, that will start on Tuesday (Philippine Time). Thus, TNC Predator, which can only as high as fifth, will have to fight for its tournament life on the said day in the one-game lower bracket first round.
However, if TNC Predator stays in its current spot by the end of the remaining matches, the team has an opportunity to choose on who among the seventh and the eighth seeds in Group A it wants to face.
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