Well that was quick. TNC Predator finally had their revenge for the 3-1 loss they suffered at the hands of Fnatic. They won the MDL: Changsha Major – SEA Qualifiers Grand Finals 3-0 to knock out Fnatic and claim a place in the Chinese Major. Abed “Abed” Yusop had a particularly poor day as he got completely shutdown thanks to the pressure TNC Predator applied on all three games.
Here’s a short recap of the Grand Finals.
The first game was yet another case of Armel “Armel” Tabios styling all over his opponents with Shadow Fiend, enhancing his team's extremely aggressive draft with his heavy magic burst. If it wasn't already clear from the series prior to the grand finals that his Shadow Fiend was a must-ban hero, this game certainly made sure to clarify it for good.
Game two started off very well for Fnatic, thanks to Jacky "EternaLEnVy" Mao's Morphling grabbing a big handful of early kills on Sam_H's Night Stalker. Djardel "DJ" Mampusti's Dark Willow was also beginning to scale well into the mid-game, giving the impression that they already had the game on lock.
But Armel “Armel” Tabios made sure to quash Fnatic's hopes of tying the series up with some clutch rotations to halt their momentum. A crucial mistake made by Universe, where he botched up a Dark Rift play, allowed TNC Predator to breach the base in the late game and steal the second win in the series.
Armel’s Shadow Fiend made a return in game three, after finally being left in the drafting pool, and he made Fnatic pay for it. Armel this time went for a physical damage oriented build with which he could scale better in the late game. The Venomancer was another great draft pick by TNC, which topped off the magical damage output of their draft to take care of Fnatic’s relatively fragile heroes; securing the victory for the Filipino squad.
So it is the SEA duo which caught the attention of the world at the Dota 2 Asia Championships 2018, Mineski and TNC Predator who will once again represent the region in China. Will they be able to replicate their success? We’ll find out soon enough.
With the BO5 series coming to a close so soon, the ESL One: Birmingham Open Qualifiers kicked off earlier than scheduled. You can watch them HERE