Image Courtesy: ESL
After an impressive Group Stage performance which saw TNC Predator qualify for the Upper Bracket of the ESL One Birmingham 2019 playoffs, a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to Evil Geniuses pushed them back to the Lower Brackets.
There they had a 1-day break where they waited for their challenger to step up. Well earlier yesterday, we found out who their challenger will be. Team Secret pushed through and set up a clash against the surging TNC Predator side in an elimination match.
Here’s a brief recap of how they managed to do that.
A Clash of the Titans was expected when OG stepped up to face Team Secret in this elimination match. One was the most successful team in the DPC this season. The other was the reigning TI champions. Fans at Arena Birmingham were all hyped and expecting one hell of a match. However, what they got was a one-sided mauling.
Game 1 saw Team Secret pull out one of the greediest lineups we’ve seen in this patch, featuring an Enigma, Tidehunter, Lone Druid and Terrorblade. OG, quite simply, failed to punish it. Jerax’s rotations on the Earth Spirit, for once, was uninspiring. He failed to slow down any of Team Secret’s 4 cores, as they farmed up a storm and were gearing up to take multiple objectives.
OG’s plan to counter Team Secret’s lineup with a Silencer would have worked if they just didn’t lose their lanes so hard. After the laning phase, Team Secret kept on building on their lead eventually stockpiling a 20k lead by the 30-minute mark to overwhelm OG and win game 1.
Game 2 was far more one-sided. Yapzor and Nisha on Grimstroke and Morphling tore through the OG lineup snowballing to an easy 28-minute victory and booked their slot in the next round of the playoffs.
TNC Predator’s game against Team Secret kicks off at 04:30 PM IST | 07:00 PM SGT. The Filipino team has had quite a strong showing in this tournament, a win over Team Secret would give them a substantial amount of momentum heading into the Lower-Bracket Semifinals as well as the Epicenter Major.
Perhaps TNC can take inspiration from fellow underdogs, Gambit Esports who put on a hell of a show earlier yesterday.
They brought down European giants Team Liquid with a 2-1 victory in the first series of the day. Afoninje was the MVP in this series as put his team on his back on both their wins and played some phenomenal Dota to outclass and outmatch his counterparts Miracle and Matumbaman to knock them out of ESL One Birmingham 2019.
Their next match was against Vici Gaming. The Chinese team has been one of the best performers in this season of the DPC. But, the CIS team seemed unhinged.
Gambit Esports took the fight to Vici Gaming in Game 1. While the laning phase was relatively even, the Russians cranked it up a notch after the 20-minute mark. They simply ran at Vici Gaming who had no answer for the aggression. For context: After the 20-minute mark, Gambit picked up 16 kills while Vici got 0. The CIS team took a convincing 1-0 lead.
Game 2 was all Immersion. In perhaps, the best individual performance of 2019, he clawed apart Vici Gaming almost single-handedly, putting up an absurd 17-1-18 KDA over the 30-minute game, taking part in 35 out of the 37 kills Gambit secured. This is a new record for support kills within that time period.
Can TNC Predator follow Gambit’s road and bring down one of the favourites? Or is there only room for one Cinderella run in ESL One Birmingham? Find out later today.