TNC Predator are one of the main favorites at the first Major of the season title, and so far everything went according to the fans’ expectation for them.
Seeded in Group A, alongside EHOME, Fighting PandaS and Team Unknown, the Southeast Asia powerhouse squad had arguably the easier matchups to start the Major and are now the first team to reach the playoffs undefeated. Their group stage run started against Team Unknown, the tournament underdogs, who could only land a total of seven kills through the entire best-of-three series. They got completely obliterated in game one by a Magnus – Phantom Assassin combo, while in game two they experienced a similar demoralizing loss, but from a Night Stalker – Magnus – Ember Spirit trio core. The entire series lasted for 40 minutes, game two, in particular, being painful to even watch, as TNC made their way into the group A winners’ series with a 17 minutes victory.
In the other opening matchup of Group A, EHOME managed to take down 2-1 Jacky “EternaLEnVy” Mao’s Fighting PandaS, who looked a bit too impatient to bring some unconventional picks for the current meta. After they took game one from the Chinese team with a nearly flawless gyrocopter from EE-sama, Fighting PandaS tried to surprise EHOME in game two with a safe lane Death Prophet and a mid lane Huskar, picked last in the draft, but which couldn’t make the difference. Game three featured a support Visage and a Shadow Fiend in the mid lane, both unable to stay alive against EHOME’s multiple control spells and overall fast pace imposed by a carry Bloodseker.
Despite their good performance against the NA squad, EHOME hit a wall in the winners’ series, where TNC out drafted and outplayed them pretty convincingly. Game one went on for a bit more than one hour, courtesy of EHOME’s Invoker-Drow Ranger combo that was able to delay the TNC high ground push. However, in game two they got ran over by one of the most annoying and powerful combo to play against, Morphling – Earthshaker.
With the 4-0 record on the first day of the group stage matches, TNC Predator have now secured an upper bracket playoff start, while EHOME will return to their computers tomorrow, November 17, for a shot at the second seed in Group A. Fighting PandaS and Team Unknown will also play tomorrow, but in the losers’ series of the group.