Prelude for a Champion: A TI Primer – TNC Pro Team

TNC Pro Team ready to lead Southeast Asian region to battle at TI7

 

With this year’s iteration of The International fast approaching, it seems appropriate to offer fans both new and old a breakdown of who it is they’re going to be watching in Seattle. This series of posts will each be dedicated to one of the 18 teams that will be participating in The International 2017, with the aim of giving readers a brief overview of the teams, their position coming into TI, and what their expectations might be. Please note that these posts will not contain a comprehensive history of the teams, nor will they go into minute detail for each of the players. There are more thorough breakdowns for teams and players available out there, a la SirActionSlacks’ “TI Down Low” series. These posts aim to provide something more akin to an “in a nutshell” level of information. Today we will cover the first of our Southeast Asian representatives at TI, and the winner of the SEA Qualifier – TNC Pro Team.

TNC Pro Team have worked its way to the forefront of Southeast Asian Dota in recent months. By this point, it should come as no surprise that TNC is yet another team at TI taht has made roster changes deep into the season. TNC made an interesting decision by bringing in a new support player in”1437”, adding a Canadian player to the formerly all-Filipino squad. The move was made even more interesting when it was revealed that 1437 would also be taking over the duties of captaining and drafting for the team. Though the change was significant, it seems to have elevated TNC’s level of play just in time for a run at TI.

This isn’t the first time that TNC will be making an appearance at TI, nor will it be the first time that the team will do so with a North American player on the roster. AT TI6 last year, TNC found a certain degree of success with a similar lineup to the one that is heading to Seattle this year. That 2016 team provided one of the greatest upsets in Dota 2 history, famously winning a series against OG 2-0 to knock the European favorite out of the tournament. TNC will be looking for a similar performance this year, as well as a chance to improve upon last year’s finish.

The expectations for TNC are a bit mild coming into TI, as we haven’t gotten to see enough to make any bold statements yet. TNC’s roster changes make it hard to evaluate where the team’s expectations might be in Seattle. The team has had very few opportunities to play since finalizing its roster, but those results that we have seen are very positive for TNC. A serious run at the Aegis of Champions seems unlikely for this SEA squad, but if the team’s performances in the couple of tournaments that we have seen holds up, then TNC should be more than capable of finishing within the top half of the teams at TI.

TNC’s roster has produced a limited pool of results, but strong performances internationally along with dominant play within the Southeast Asian region bode well for the team. The new lineup was tested within days of its completion at the StarLadder i-League Invitation #2, and the team passed with flying colors. The SEA squad won its group with a perfect 4-0 record, and defeated fellow TI participant Newbee in a 2-0 series in the semifinals before losing the grand finals against Team Liquid 2-3 for a 2nd place finish. TNC was tested again at the Galaxy Battles LAN in China, where the team posted a 3rd place finish. The squad posted a 2-1 group stage record, but ended up seeded 3rd after a three way tiebreaker in its group. In the playoffs, TNC beat Infamous, Invictus Gaming.Vitality, and Mousesports before losing to Planet Odd in the lower bracket final. Following these tough runs through international events, TNC was ready to bring its talent back to its home region as it participated in the TI7 Southeast Asian Qualifier. The team absolutely dominated its regional competition, posting an 8-1 group stage record that allowed the team to bypass the playoff bracket and win a spot in Seattle.

TNC come into The International 2017 as one of the strongest teams in the Southeast Asian region, and a force to be feared in the field of TI participants. The recent addition of 1437 has buoyed the already talented team to a new level, and though the team has not played as many games recently as other competitors, the results have been impressive so far. None of the teams from the SEA region seem to be looked at as strong favorites to win TI7, but if any of the Southeast Asian teams are poised to make a run for the Aegis of Champions, it has to be TNC. The SEA region is largely overlooked when talking about TI, but TNC is looking to prove that underestimating SEA teams can be a costly mistake.

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