Two-time TI champion Anathan “ana” Pham stood in for TNC Predator in WeSave! Charity Play’s southeast Asian tournament.
TNC Predator tapped ana to replace Kim “Gabbi” Villafuerte as its carry player. Gabbi experienced connectivity issues just before the match. The player even took to social media and asked fans if they knew anyone from the internet company who can resolve the issue.
The issue was not resolved in time and TNC Predator had to look for a substitute player at the last minute. Fortunately, ana was ready to return to action.
Dota 2 fans were excited about his return to the game, which resulted in a ratings boost for WePlay!. The OG carry player went on an indefinite hiatus earlier this year following his team’s victory at The International 2019. Team Aster recently contacted Ana for ESL One Los Angeles due to visa issues encountered by its players. However, Ana declined and told Aster that he has other plans during the tournament date.
TNC Predator had to create team chemistry with ana instantly. The team needed to adjust its playstyle with its new playmaker in a short period of time and couldn’t quite pull it off.
Park “March” Tae-won kicked off the tournament with a Slark carry for Ana against Team Adroit. The hero perfectly fit the lineup of TNC Predator.
Damien “kpii” Chok and Armel Paul “Armel” Tabios performed exceptionally well in their lanes. Jun “Bok” Kanehara and Marvin “Boombacs” Rushton managed to contest the lane against Ana but Armel and kpii took objectives.
TNC Predator bought time for ana and it translated into successful engagements. The team styled all over Team Adroit and sealed the deal in 29 minutes.
Team Adroit was out-drafted in the first game, but the team learned its lesson. TNC Predator opted to draft the game one lineup again, with a small tweak. The team picked ana’s legendary Spectre against Bok’s Necrophos.
Team Adroit took an early lead and claimed objectives. With Necrophos sustaining his team’s health, Team Adroit played aggressively.
TNC Predator seemed to underestimate the strength of Team Adroit. Team fights heavily favored Team Adroit and the team closed the game with a solid net worth advantage.
In the deciding game, fans saw another classic Phantom Lancer pick for ana. Team Adroit stomped TNC Predator in the early game but TNC Predator bought enough time for ana to bring his hero online and regained a net worth advantage.
The third game was by far the best of the series, with the momentum swinging back and forth.
The team fights were longer than usual and both teams engaged and disengaged multiple times. TNC Predator racked up a 20,000 net worth advantage, but it was not enough.
John Anthony “Natsumi-” Vargas’ Troll Warlord bought Divine Rapier and it was a game-changer. He carried his team to victory while tanking massive damage from the enemies. Team Adroit soon delivered the final blow with a successful team fight at TNC Predator’s base.
Team Adroit will advance in the grand finals of the southeast Asia region. Fans were surprised with the huge upset but the last-minute roster change for TNC Predator took a toll on the team.
It is unclear what the future holds for ana, but fans of the player have reason to be excited about a possible return.