Neslyn A. January 23, 2020
The DreamLeague Season 13 series between the two surviving southeast Asian teams was a total bloodbath. TNC Predator proved to be the kings of the region by eliminating Fnatic from the event and staying alive in the lower bracket.
As with most other playoff series at DreamLeague Season 13, TNC vs. Fnatic went the full three games and ended up being a nailbiter.
TNC simply outplayed Fnatic in the first game. The team made perfect rotations and held onto its net worth advantage. Fnatic couldn’t contest them in teamfights and had no answer to Kim "Gabbi" Villafuerte’s Slark. The global presence of Park "March" Tae-won’ Io and strong play from Timothy John "Tims" Randrup on Earthshaker was too much to handle, leading to a convincing game one victory for TNC.
Fnatic brought its A-game from there.
The team drafted Disruptor who’s one of the highest pick rate support heroes in the tournament. The audience was expecting a classic Disruptor and Naga Siren duo but TNC did not let that happen. The team locked in Naga Siren and Winter Wyvern, but that left them without a single reliable stun on the team.
Fnatic bounce back, but still fall in DreamLeague Season 13
Fnatic surprised fans and picked Clockwerk for Daryl Koh "iceiceice" Pei Xiang. The pick completely paid off as he bullied Gabbi in lane and made TNC feel unsafe everywhere on the map.
Though difficulties closing out games have been commonplace in DreamLeague Season 13, Fnatic’s Nuengnara "23savage" Teeramahanon boldly picked up a Divine Rapier for his Medusa. Though it was a high-risk pickup, it proved to be the correct choice as Fnatic evened up the series.
TNC did not let the loss hurt their morale. During the decider game, the team got out ahead early and maintained control throughout.
Armel Paul "Armel" Tabios’ Huskar was unkillable, except for a gaffe where he miscalculated an Armlet toggle and died to Roshan. There were a few laughs, but Fnatic couldn’t punish TNC for that mistake.
TNC claimed the Aegis and won several key team fights there, but Fnatic still had hopes of winning as 23savage topped the net worth chart as Anti Mage.
Fnatic tried to play the map but TNC was always two steps ahead, with Tims once again flexing his muscles as Earthshaker. Fnatic seemed to have the upper hand during an important fight, but Tims turned the tide with a huge Echo Slam.
Armel and Gabbi took over the game from there. Their strong play on Huskar and Outworld Devourer was too much for Fnatic, which saw them cede the series 2-1.
The win is huge for TNC, who continue forward in the tournament and creep their way toward defending their major championship. It’s also a huge loss for Fnatic. The team has now posted 9th-12th-place finishes in the first two majors of the season, which could prompt a shakeup from the organization.
TNC will return to face Team Liquid, who they are the betting favorite against.