TNC Predator is going to look quite different next season.
The organization has announced the departures of Nico “eyyou” Barcelon and offlaner Carlo “Kuku” Palad. The departures were announced on social media, with TNC CEO Eric Redulfin bidding the team farewell in a video on YouTube.
Kuku has been a steady presence for TNC over recent years. Joining the organization in 2016, he helped TNC with its breakout performance at The International 2016 and has performed well as a mid, support, and offlaner for the team. He had a tumultuous 2019 due to his use of racist language against Chinese players during a pub game, but still presided over arguably TNC’s best year in the game to date.
Eyyou’s departure isn’t nearly as surprising, but is still a hard hit. The support player joined the team in February as a substitute following the departure of Michael “ninjaboogie” Ross. He became team captain from there and helped the team take first place at World Electronic Sports Games 2018 and fourth at the Epicenter Major.
TNC’s 2018-2019 season concluded with a relatively disappointing ninth-place finish at The International 2019.
New TNC looks for international players outside the Philippines
Surprisingly, the team is adding Park “March” Tae-won and Damien “kpii” Chok as replacements for Kuku and Eyyou.
March joins following an up-and-down year that included founding the inaugural lineup of J.Storm and then being kicked from that team ahead of the Epicenter Major qualifiers. He nearly qualified for The International 2019 with Team Jinesbrus, but fell just short of winning the Southeast Asia qualifier.
Kpii joins following an underwhelming year with Mineski. While he was one of the top players at Newbee from 2016 to 2018, most notably playing on the roster during its second-place performance at The International 2017, he joined the Southeast Asian organization and enjoyed generally unremarkable results. The team managed a few big moments during the season, but sat as the region’s third-best team solidly behind TNC and Fnatic.
While both players are proven commodities, this marks a serious departure from TNC’s usual focus on fielding players from the Philippines. The organization has only occasionally brought in players from outside the country and will be fielding two on its starting roster for the first time since its inception.
Unfortunately, it remains unclear when fans will get to see the new TNC Predator in action. The pro Dota 2 community remains paused for the moment as it awaits details on the first events of the 2019-2020 Dota Pro Circuit season.