TNC Predator’s glory days are finally back, albeit under a new name, The International Blacklist. The Philippine eSports organization is popular in the mobile eSports scene, notably Mobile Legends Bang Bang, PUBG and Call of Duty Mobile.
Thus, BLCK’s venture into the world’s largest esports title is exactly the hype that the SEA region needs to return to the international headlines.
The remains of TNC Predator
TNC is a familiar name to many Filipino fans during his prime years, 2016-2019. They are staples from SEA who have consistently qualified for the International Championship, albeit with unimpressive runs. However, the former TNC roster is often referred to as the dark horses at TI. For example, they were responsible for upsetting Team OG at TI6, a fan favorite during the period.
Big deal for TNC fans
Hence, when four TNC founding members decide to play under the same hood for the upcoming Dota Pro Circuit 2023 (DPC 2023), fans are excited to see BLCK deliver phenomenal Dota 2 action.
What changed since 2019 was that Carlo “Koko” Palad took an initial role as captain, showcasing his unique playstyle and drafting against the competition. Koko is notorious for his greedy hero selection, especially for his undead role, such as Batrider and Doom. Thus, it’s no wonder why T1 stood out so much At TI10 when Koko led the team.
And then, there’s Timothy”TIMS“Randrup, pos4’s support player and playmaker. His aggressive playstyle, which includes Earthshaker and Earth Spirit, makes him a natural fit with Koko’s drafts. While Tims wasn’t on the same team as Koko last season, we still see Tims playing his iconic heroes At BOOM Esports, though, it improved with team synergy.
On the other hand, the hard carrying player, Mark “crow“Well-established as a consistent carry, Fausto has previously been responsible for Fnatic’s well-deserved success at the DPC 2022 Majors. They gave BOOM Esports, last season’s top dog in SEA, a run for their money often, so Raven is certainly a seasoned player.
Welcome back, Carl!
Don’t forget Karl”KarlBaldovino, the only non-TNC player to join BLCK. Karl’s return to play with Koko after an intentional kick before the TI11 SEA Regional Qualifiers certainly makes things awkward. While there was no word on whether the decision to kick Karl (and Gabi) was the captain’s or the organization’s, it still hits hard knowing that retired TI Champions can replace you on the fly.
Regardless, I hope Carl and Coco improve and look forward to making BLCK the next fixture in Division 1. Then, there’s Niko.”are you“Barcelona, who recently played Polaris Esports. Definitely nothing to call home, especially after Polaris Esports lost their Division 1 slot due to a drop in performance.
BLCK against other SEA rivals
The SEA region is definitely not an easy region to compete in and survive. Just ask T1, who probably underestimated the TI11 SEA qualifiers, only to exit prematurely.
While T1 is no longer a threat after their disbandment, BOOM Esports remains a formidable opponent in SEA. Alongside BOOM are other veteran powerhouses, Fnatic and Talon Esports who boast strong reputations at TI.
However, BLCK’s debut pays homage to the classic Filipino talent that fans have high expectations for.