TNC Predator came into ESL One Mumbai as one of the dark horses to take home the title. Unfortunately, they were eliminated by Keen Gaming and were resigned to a fourth-place finish in Mumbai. We sat down with Carlo "Kuku" Palad to discuss whether the lower bracket semifinal exit at ESL One Mumbai was disappointing and about Mineski’s chances at the MDL Disneyland Paris Major.
Gfreak: Hi Kuku, welcome to Mumbai. Top 4 at ESL One Mumbai, how do you feel about this performance?
Kuku: Maybe we started a little slow in this tournament. I think if we were in the Upper Brackets, we would have gotten Top 3. But we lost to Team Team and Na’Vi, so *shrugs*.
Gfreak: Speaking about Na’Vi, did they surprise you with their strong play?
Kuku: We had no information about them. So yeah, they surprised us with how they played.
Gfreak: How confident are you about getting to TI9?
Kuku: Right now, it is really hard to say. Because we are not playing in the MDL Disneyland Paris Major. So we missed another Major again. If we don’t qualify for the last Major, we need to go through the regional TI qualifier. So we aren’t really in good shape.
Gfreak: Mineski have secured a Top 2 finish in this tournament. What are your thoughts on them?
Kuku: I think they’re on another level like Fnatic and us (TNC). I think we are the big 3. So I don’t know if they will improve or if they’ll be a shaky team after a big event, like the Paris Major.
Gfreak: How do you think they will perform at the MDL Disneyland Paris Major?
Kuku: Right now, I don’t know because Bimbo is not playing with them, but they’re in the Grand Finals. I don’t know whether it is a good thing or a bad thing because if they become the champions here and then they get Bimbo in the Paris major and they don’t perform well, I think they will be shaky.
Gfreak: What do you think about the Indian fans
Kuku: The fans here are like the Philippines crowd, they’re so hyped and they cheer for everybody. So it is very good.
Gfreak: We saw that you got recognized by Indian fans in a restaurant. Did you expect to have so many fans in India?
Kuku: Not so much, because I didn’t know we were famous here.
Gfreak: If you could have done one thing differently this DPC season what would it be?
Kuku: I think the series to qualify (for the MDL Disneyland Paris Major) against Mineski, we were under so much pressure. So we didn’t perform well. We won Game 1, we became very over-confident going into Game 2 and we lost. Then in Game 3, we changed too much and we lost.
Gfreak: What did you do differently to beat them at the ESL One Birmingham SEA Qualifiers?
Kuku: That time, we knew about them and how they drafted because they already showed their draft style, how they play and how they lane. So we changed a bit, we changed some things about our draft. We adjusted.
Gfreak: Any shoutouts or messages for your fans in the Philippines and India?
Kuku: To all my Filipino fans, thank you for support, Salamat. To all Indian fans who cheered for us in ESL One: Mumbai, thank you so much.
Shoutout to my family. Shoutout to my kid: my daughter :)