WATCH: TNC fighting to survive first day of Galaxy Battles II

MANILA, Philippines – The $500,000 Dota 2 tournament, Galaxy Battles II, started on a very sour note for Filipino teams highlighted by top team TNC's first round loss to Russia's Team Spirit. 

TNC, ranked 9th in the world by Gosugamers, was swept by Spirit, ranked 19th, in their best-of-3 matchup. Coming into the match, TNC was the massive favorite, given a 92% chance to win by Gosugamers. Not to mention, TNC had the home crowd behind them, but Spirit was not about to just keel over. With the upset, Spirit got themselves a date with China's 8th-ranked VGJ.Thunder, and assured themselves a top 5/6 finish, good for $35,000. 

Last Tuesday, January 16, Filipino team Skyville was eliminated by Indonesia's PG.Barracx in a battle that decided which team got the final tournament slot in Galaxy Battles II. Skyville is ranked 188th while PG.Barracx is ranked 190th, with the Filipino team being an 86% favorite coming into the match. Had Skyville won, they would have assured themselves at least $20,000. 

With TNC's loss to Spirit, they fall to the losers bracket, where they battle 25th-ranked Infamous from Peru in a do-or-die match. Lose and they go home pocketing $20,000. Win and they proceed to round 2 of the tournament, which will resume tomorrow, Saturday, January 20. The grand finals will be held on Sunday, January 21. 

Galaxy Battles II is being held at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan. –

Gelo Gonzales

Gelo Gonzales is Rappler’s technology editor. He covers consumer electronics, social media, emerging tech, and video games.