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    ON THIS DAY 7 YEARS AGO: TNC shocks Dota world by ousting OG in TI6

    Aug 10, 2023

    WITH JUGGERNAUTS like Fnatic and Mineski dominating the Southeast Asian region, the odds have always been against TNC.

    When the team was first formed back in 2013, they immediately disbanded, but their absence didn't really last as the flames of the Phoenix experienced a rebirth.

    TNC's return in 2015 saw some promise and potential, which reached its fruition in 2016 when the team made drastic moves, acquiring former Mineski superstar Carlo "Kuku" Palad, rising talent Marc "Raven" Fausto, and North American Jimmy "DeMoN" Ho.

    With their arrival, the Phoenix evolved, securing their very first The International birth, a monumental moment as the Philippines finally returned to the biggest stage in Dota.

    Yet despite their efforts, there were doubts if the Phoenix could ascend given the possibilities of the team getting their visas denied.

    Lucky for the org, their prayers were finally answered as TNC managed to fly all the way to the KeyArena in Seattle. They even managed to secure Lee "SunBhie" Jeong-jae as their coach.


    Finally it was time for the Filipinos to fully showcase their unwavering spirit. TNC came in guns blazing as they finished 5th in their group stage campaign, securing their lower bracket spot.

    After eliminating Vici Gaming Reborn, TNC proceeded to the next round. In an unexpected twist, the heavy favorites OG was sent to the lower bracket by South Korea's MVP Phoenix.

    Up next...TNC vs. OG, a classic battle between David vs. Goliath.

    The Miracle of TI6

    Prior to the beginning of the match, OG was blessed with a star-studded ensemble featuring, Dota 2 legends Johan "N0tail" Sundstein, Amer "Miracle" Al-Barkawi, and head coach Sebastian "Ceb" Debs.

    Complimenting them are the likes of David "MoonMeander" Tan, Andreas "Cr1t" Nielsen, and Tal "Fly" Azik.

    No one could stop the OG juggernaut as the team were crowned champions in the Frankfurt Major, Manila Major, and Boston Major.

    It was in Frankfurt where OG made quick work of the Filipino squad Mineski.

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    Going up against a heavily loaded OG squad, it seemed all hope was lost for the Filipino squad. Their group stage battle would further support the Phoenix's doom as OG easily dismantled them with Miracle's Invoker overwhelming the Filipino squad in one of their battles.

    Given what happened in the group stage, was TNC ready for the lower bracket rematch? From the moment the series began, it seemed TNC adapted from OG.

    Game 1 saw TNC surprisingly dismantle OG, as the latter struggled to deal with Kuku's Phantom Lancer + Diffusal Blade. Miracle, who was then using a Medusa was ripped to shreds by this combo.

    Then in Game 2, TNC unleashed their signature Filipino style of Dota with the Huskar and Dazzle combo, but despite the familiarity in their composition, OG stormed back at the early-to-mid stages of the game.

    It seemed TNC's chances of winning was about to evaporate as OG commanded most teamfights, but TNC's fighting spirit kept on.


    Like a dog scurrying the streets only to survive, TNC slowly bounced back, grinding their way by securing key pickoffs.

    But if there was one saving grace for the Filipino underdogs, it was Samson "Sam_H" Hidalgo as his Faceless Void made crucial Chronosphere setups, creating space for Raven to wreck havoc with his Drow Ranger.

    The tables were turned and everything boiled down to the final push. OG tried desperately to defend with Miracle buying the high risk, high reward Divine Rapier.

    But everything started crashing down for the heavy favorites and multi-Major champs as TNC stunned the Dota community. The Filipino community erupted as shoutcasters Marlon "Lon" Marcelo and Aldrin Paulo "Dunoo" Pangan screamed: "THE GREATEST UPSET OF THEM ALL!"

    A team that only had the support of one nation, suddenly touched the hearts of the community and became heroes.




    While it was a victory for the ages, TNC's Cinderella run ended as the team got eliminated by fellow underdogs Digital Chaos.

    But the legend of TNC didn't just end there as the team kept on inspiring the Filipino esports community, by winning the WESG 2018.

    In the end, TNC became the role model for aspiring esports professionals. With them making waves in the local setting, the misconceptions and negative stigmas surrounding esports and gaming slowly dwindled.

    And their valiant efforts likewise made us believe that the Filipino esports athlete can compete in the global stage.

    Yet despite the success that the team garnered, which included an MDL Chengdu Major championship in 2019, the Phoenix's Dota 2 squad eventually met its end.

    It was announced on December 11, 2022 that the team decided to take a break from the competitive Dota 2 scene.

    Get more of the latest sports news & updates on SPIN.ph

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