The grind continues for TNC Predator, as they look to sustain the strong start to ESL One Hamburg 2019 at Barclaycard Arena in Germany.
The Philippine-based pro gaming team, which had to pull out from last year's Major due to conflicting schedules, came out swinging in the opening day and swept its first two opponents. Chinese squad Vici Gaming and TNC both went 4-0 against the competition to finish on top of Groups A and B, respectively.
TNC exacted revenge on the group that eliminated them from Aegis contention in The International 2019, runner-up Team Liquid. Kim "Gabbi" Villafuerte was their MVP versus the Europeans, based on his solid performances as Morphling and Faceless Void. The Southeast Asian team put Game 1 away with a 31,000 gold lead, then overcame a 22-33 kill disadvantage in the following match before sealing the deal.
The next opponent, Ninjas in Pyjamas, wasn't any better. After TNC exposed the opposing captain Peter "ppd" Dager, the Swedish squad could only muster three kills to begin the series. NiP seemed to have figured things out a la Liquid in Game 2, until Timothy "Tims" Randrup's Enigma slammed the door shut in their faces with a game-winning Black Hole and Ultra Kill.
TNC, which currently consists of Gabbi, Tims, Armel Tabios, Australian Damien "kpii" Chok, and Korean Park "March" Tae-won, is set to face winless groups Gambit Esports (0-2-0) and Quincy Crew (0-1-1) tonight. The Pinoy-dominated team has looked great since the post-TI9 shuffle, but it doesn't mean they can be complacent.
After all, TNC knows a thing or two about upsets: