ESL One Mumbai 2019 : TNC and Pango survive elimination matches

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The 19th of April gave Indian Dota 2 fans a taste of their first big International LAN event. The teams in attendance at the event included a few well-known players. However, due to the clash in schedules, we had already seen many popular teams pull out from the tournament.

After losing to Natus Vincere in the Group stage, TNC Predator moved to the Lower bracket of the event and had to face off against the local team Signify. The first match of the day saw TNC Predator take the stage against the local team. The crowd was already cheering for both teams and quality Dota 2.

TNC Predator takes down local favourites Signify 2-0

Throughout the series, Signify had a decent Laning stage. In fact, they were extremely aggressive in the early stages of the game and would take a slight lead. However, as the game entered into the mid and late stages of the game, Signify’s game fell flat. They were unable to make the right decisions, often allowing TNC Predator to gain a foothold into the game thanks to their mistakes.

TNC Predator might be playing against the local Indian team, but they had their fair share of supporters. There were many players supporting Kuku and co. with TNC chants being heard through the Mumbai crowd.

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The local team Signify had an unimpressive showing and were eliminated by TNC Predator

The second game saw Gabbi play the Morphling. He had a very good start and while his team was on the backfoot, he was able to get key items for himself. Replicating the Outworld Destroyer and gaining Mana pool for himself, it became nearly impossible for him to die. The game progressed further and Morphling got more items. The further the game progressed, the more difficult it became for Signify to deal with the hero. With Attribute shift allowing him a lot of HP, especially with the extra mana pool, Gabbi was able to destroy Signify Gaming.

In the post-match interview, TNC Players did praise Signify, but there were obvious problems in their late-game decision making. Regardless of their placement, this event was a good experience for the local team. Hopefully, in the future, we can see the rise of more Dota 2 teams in the country. There is a lot of talent in India and it is important for them to receive the right platform to showcase their skills.

The Pango stay alive after their win over Complexity Gaming

The Pango on the Main stage. They won their game against Complexity Gaming 2-1

Doom is one of the most picked heroes at the event. Complexity started their first game with a Doom Bringer pick and it paid dividends for them. Meracle on his Terrorblade was instrumental in getting key items up before time and had a huge impact on the game. Complexity winning Game 1 was a surprise for many, however, it was also a testimony to the amount of work they have put in of late.

The next two games saw Pango stay ahead with an excellent draft and playing to their strengths. The team is more experienced and has definitely more talent compared to Complexity. The draft saw Pango pick up Storm Spirit in Game 2 and Legion Commander in Game 3. It definitely caught Complexity by surprise as they were at a disadvantage going into the matches.

The Pango won the series 2-1 and will face off against tournament favourites Keen Gaming on Day 5 of the event.

TNC Predator sends Team Team Packing

Team Team is a North American mixture of players who have come together very recently. They were brought in as a stand-in team after multiple teams opted out of the event due to schedule clashes.

Despite having a decent start, the two teams had contrasting playstyles. Team Team preferred to play to their individual strengths while TNC Predator always had a plan. The first game was an easy victory for TNC Predator, they had a strong mid-game. Team Team never really stood a chance against TNC Predator in game one. Team Team picked up the Queen of Pain and despite being ahead in the early game, he was never really able to capitalise on their advantage. TNC Predator took the reins of the game from Team Team and the Drow Ranger + Outworld Destroyer combination worked well for the team.

The second game of the series saw Team Team pick up the Medusa. EternalEnvy went on to buy the Hand of Midas, further investing in the late game for the team. However, the team lacked the mobility that TNC Predator’s lineup afforded them. Medusa did pick up the Blink Dagger in an attempt to quickly reposition himself in the team fights. With the enemy fielding a Sniper, there was an urgent need for EternalEnvy to buy the Blink Dagger.

However, the game was not much about the cores as much as about the Rubick, Tidehunter and Tims’ Rubick. Enigma did not use the Blackhole throughout the game, until the very end. However, they left it too late and Enigma’s Blackhole was stolen by Tims. He managed to use the Ravage & the Blackhole in a single team fight. It turned the tide of the game single-handedly and allowed TNC to win the game with ease.

Final Thoughts

SirActionSlacks was a huge favourite at the event in Mumbai

The first day on the Main Stage of the event showed why TNC Predator is a strong force to reckon with at ESL One Mumbai. They have excellent coordination and they have proven themselves to be a team that does not give up hope despite being down and out in a game.

Day two will see the Upper Bracket matches featuring Mineski and Natus Vincere. However, with two very strong teams still lying in wait in the lower bracket, this tournament is wide open. Which team do you support to win at ESL’s first premier event in India? Let us know in comments below.


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  1. Valve starts accepting applications for DPC 2019-2020

    […] During the last DPC Season, one of the major esports tournament organisers, ESL was not a part of the Dota Pro Circuit. However, it did not result in their exit from Dota 2 as they still hosted multiple top tier tournaments all over the world. They also ventured into new regions via their ESL One set of Events. ESL hosted their first International event in India with the ESL One Mumbai 2019. […]

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