The Philippines’ top Dota 2 squad bows out early on the first official day of the Kiev Major after losing to fellow Southeast Asian team Faceless. The two Southeast Asian teams fought tooth and nail for three games to advance to the quarterfinals but eventually, Faceless came out on top. Below’s a recap of what happened. We’ve also embedded the streams of the matches from Mineski:
Game One – Faceless’ fast victory
Faceless took control immediately in the first game after a clash early on in the middle of the map. Despite the draft being relatively even on both sides, Black’s Slark proved to be difficult to contain for TNC. Iceiceice’s Abaddon and Xy-s’ Ogre Mage also made it difficult for TNC to push back. Faceless was quick to punish overextensions and took out one objective after another. Before they even hit the 20-minute mark, they already had a hold over Roshan, before eventually barreling down into the Dire base. The game lasted only 25 minutes with TNC conceding after losing a final clash near the river.
Game Two – TNC fights back
Game two proved to be a lot less one-sided. TNC brought in Windranger and got Slark this time to even out the score. Kuku’s Windranger took control early on. The game lasted longer with TNC keeping a slight lead all throughout. TNC stayed ahead by sticking together as they roamed around the map. They were also better with coordinating their ganks, always taking Faceless by surprise or outplaying them in team fights. Faceless was forced to call GG after more than 40 minutes.
Game Three – A nail-biting finish
The 3rd game was nerve wracking for Filipino fans. Faceless got to pick Black’s Slark again. But TNC came prepared. They made it a point to keep their eye on Slark early in on the game to shut down his growth. TNC was able to take the lead early on and maintain it for almost the entire game with well-coordinated fights across the map.
However, patience is a valuable virtue in Dota 2, and a Slark with 84 stacks, together with Jab’s threatening Medusa, broke down the entrance of TNC’s Radiant Base successfully bringing them back into the game after 40 minutes. Once TNC’s defenses were down, Faceless made it a point to press their advantage until the end. TNC was forced to concede after 48 minutes.
The loss is a bit of a shock for those following the pro DOTA scene as many expected that TNC would be a strong contender in the tournament, having beaten some heavyweights in the past. Meanwhile, Faceless was the underdog that struggled early on.
In a TNC post after the match, sentiments were mixed. Some expressed support for the team while others were more explicit in their disappointment:
Faceless will go head to head with OG who defeated Random in their own quarterfinals showdown. Their fight also went the distance, 2-1. – Rappler.com