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    DPC SEA Season 2 starts this week, with 24 Pinoys competing in Upper Division

    by gab pe
    Apr 12, 2021
    PHOTO: (From Left, clockwise) Neon Esports, Fnatic

    THE DOTA 2 Pro League Southeast Asia Season 2 starts Monday, April 12, with teams now going overdrive to earn much-needed DPC points to qualify for the 12 direct invites for The International.

    In the Upper Division, 24 Pinoys (divided into six teams) are competing, which gives the top 3 teams a chance to compete for additional DPC points in the second and final major of the season.

    The DPC SEA season 2 starts April 12 with South Built Esports taking on Vietnamese team 496 Gaming. While the Upper Bracket starts April 14 with Omega taking on Mongolian squad Lil Gun and TNC Predator facing off Execration.

    Here's a look at the squads.

    OB Esports x Neon (OB. Neon)

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    Pinoy squad OB. Neon, composed of John Anthony ‘Natsumi-‘ Vargas, Erin ‘Yopaj’ Ferrer, Prieme ‘PlayHard’ Maque, Andrei ‘skem’ Ong, and Jaunuel ‘Jaunuel’ Arcilla, were the darlings of the recently concluded ONE Esports Singapore Major, giving viewers one of the greatest underdog runs in Dota 2 history.

    During the major, the team was not playing at full power, playing with Singaporean stand-in Deth. Still, the team finished 5th to 6th, and with the full squad now back together, the team looks to prove themselves once more as the best in the region.

    OB. Neon stands as one of the favorites in the new season. They recently finished 2nd in the Predator League 2020/2021 and proved their mantle during the ONE Esports Singapore Major when they took Europe’s top seed Team Secret to the limit in a best of three.

    TNC Predator


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    TNC Predator has revamped their roster going into the DPC SEA season 2, parting ways with Korean support Kim ‘Febby’ Yong-min and Australian offlaner Damien ‘Kpii’ Chok.

    The team is once again a full Filipino squad after signing offlaner Jun ‘Bok’ Kanehara and new captain Marvin ‘Boomy’ Rushton from the SEA Games-winning squad Adroit/Omega Esports. They join the core of Kim ‘Gabbi’ Villafuerte, Armel ‘Armel’ Tabios, and Timothy ‘Tims’ Randrup.

    TNC Predator recently won the Predator League 2020/2021, making short work of OB. Neon in the best of three finals. The new-look squad looks to regain their status as the best SEA team and secure their spot in The International.

    Fnatic


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    Fnatic, headed by Pinoy captain Djardel ‘DJ’ Mampusti and carry Marc Luis ‘Raven’ Fausto, had a major to forget, eliminated early by fellow SEA team OB. Neon. Before the major, Fnatic was the region’s top seed, only losing a single match in season one of the DPC.

    Fnatic did change their offlaner post-Singapore major, now fielding Ng ‘ChYuan’ Kee Chyuan in the offlane. With the change, the Southeast Asian squad looks to stabilize themselves and finally secure their spot in The International, currently standing with 425 points.

    T1

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    T1 surprised many SEA fans when they overtook TNC Predator in season one of the DPC SEA and became the region’s third representative in the ONE Esports Singapore Major.

    The team is fielding two Pinoys Carlo ‘Kuku’ Palad in the offlane and Karl ‘karl’ Jayme in the midlane. The Team also recently signed storied Thai carry Nuengnara ‘23Savage’ Teeramahanon.

    Unfortunately, the squad had to play with a stand-in during the major, as Kuku was unable to join the team in Singapore. The squad failed to make it past the Wildcard stage, racking up their sole win against cellar-dweller Team Nigma.

    Execration


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    Execration retains their DPC Upper Division spot after their 6th placed finish in Season 1. The team, composed of Yuri ‘Yowe’ Pacaña, Don Carlo ‘BDz’ Manalo, and Ralph ‘RR’ Peñano, grabbed two crucial wins during that first season to save their spots in the Major.

    The team also had a couple of roster moves at the season's end, acquiring Fernando ‘Nando’ Mendoza and Jinn ‘Palos’ Lamatao to replace Argle ‘Ken’ Llesis and Glenard ‘Rupido’ Rugay. The new roaster is already making strides recently, winning the Moon Studio Spring Trophy, which saw them go against teams from China and other DPC SEA contenders.

    Omega Esports


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    Formerly known as PLDT-Smart Omega, the squad acquired the disbanded Adroit squad from the SEA Games 2019. The team earned their spot in the Upper Division after finishing in the top two of the DPC SEA Season 1 lower division.

    The team recently added veterans Samson ‘Sam_H’ Hidalgo and Mark ‘Shanks’ Redira to the original core of Justine ‘Tino’ Grimaldo, Mc Nicholson ‘Mac’ Villanueva, and Bryle ‘cml’ Alvizo, after ‘Bok’ and ‘Boomy’ were recruited to TNC Predator.

    The team is already adjusting well, winning the Asian New Bloom tournament and coming in second in the Moon Studio Spring Trophy.

    Teams in the lower bracket

    Two more Pinoy teams will be competing in the DPC Lower division. Unfortunately, teams playing in the lower division will qualify to the second major of the season, but the top 6 teams will still earn a piece of the USD 75,000 prize pool.

    South Built Esports

    South Built Esports, composed of players from the former Vice Esports, dropped from the Upper Division after netting just a single win in the Upper Division. Despite the loss, the group still earned $22,000, or around P1.07 million.

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    The group, composed of Mark Anthony ‘Bob’ Urbina, Michael ‘Enryu’ Ladines, Joshua ‘Samael’ Dela Serna, Ryniel ‘Zenki’ Calvez, recently added former Cignal Ultra carry Denz ‘Abat’ Anedez just in time for the lower bracket.

    Cignal Ultra

    The last Pinoy team playing is Cignal Ultra. The National Season 2 Champions looked dominant in the first few weeks of the DPC SEA season 1 lower bracket, but lost their chance after crucial losses in the last weeks of the tournament.

    Cignal lost their carry ‘Abat’ in the post-season 1 shuffle but has brought in Avelino ‘Ab1ng’ Parungao as the replacement. ‘Ab1ng’ joins James Cedrick ‘Jamesy’ John, Van ‘Van’ Manalaysay, Erice ‘Erice’ Guerra, and Jomari ‘Grimzx’ Anis.

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    PHOTO: (From Left, clockwise) Neon Esports, Fnatic
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