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High Grounds Cafe was as lively as it can get last weekend due to the TNC Cup. Teams from all over the country who competed in their respective TNC branches and were able to top it, battled it out over the two days in their stay in Manila. This year’s TNC Cup was the very first lan amateur tournament inside the country that catered to amateur players from different regions by providing teams their own hotel rooms and transportation.

The upper-bracket wherein the last team standing secures a place at the grand finals was what the teams were eyeing for that day. All games in the upper-bracket will start with a best of 1 and losers of each round are to be sent to the lower-bracket to play the following day. Round 2 onwards is best of three and the team who loses at the upper-bracket finals will be automatically seeded to the lower-bracket finals.

First day of TNC Cup

Loser’s bracket seeding

The first series of the day consisted of Sterling Global Dragons fighting NCGC with NCGC falling to the lower-bracket. Sterling Global Dragons was able to dominate the game with their supports playing perfectly in terms of rotation and timing. Sven and Io backed with an Oracle was too much for NCGC to handle at the bottom lane. They tried several attempts to take down the core at bottom but the clashes always ended up in favor of S.G. Dragons.  The lead by team S.G. Dragons in the early game was never lost nor equalized by the other team. A score of 31-14 in favor of S.G. Dragons was the result of the game.

The match of Neon Atomic and Voyager ended with Voyager being triumphant and sending their opponent to the lower-bracket. Steel Wolves and Viggo.net, both teams from Bacolod, also fell short in their first game. The teams that were left to compete at the best of three games were S.G Dragons, Voyager, The Game Engine and Miraculum. Our media press was able to interview Viggo.net after all the matches of round one and the team that the players believe would most likely rank first for that day was Voyagers as they had a better team composition compared to the rest. Voyagers were also accounted for as the fan favorite due to their reactions in-game.

Bon voyage

The following round kicked-off with S.G Dragons being swept by Voyagers. Game one was neck-to-neck with both teams having down a lane of barracks and cores having the items they needed. WomboxCombo Casters Jaz and Rain mentioned that the MVP for the first game are the supports from Voyagers. The second game had Voyagers snowballing and had the advantage they needed to secure the win.

Soon after S.G. Dragons and Voyagers, TGE and Miraculum took the stage and thrilled the crowed by showing off a deciding game 3. Miraculum forced a third game by playing a slow and steady game two. They managed to gain momentum at around the 40-minute mark and furthered until the end of the game. TGE drew first blood during game three but lost their composure as they lost clash after clash and eventually causing them to lose the game and series.

Down for the count

It comes down to the undefeated versus the undefeated as Miraculum and Voyagers face off at the upper-bracket finals to secure a spot at the championship round. In an unexpected turn of events, the fan favorites, Voyagers were sent down to the lower-bracket finals with Miraculum claiming two straight games for themselves and the spot at the championship match.

Second Day of TNC Cup

Survival of the fittest

As Miraculum waits at their throne, teams battled their way to redemption. The first match had the main stage occupied with Neon Atomic and NCGC while team Viggo.net and Steel Wolves Junior fight at the sidelines. During an interview before their elimination match, AngelFrost from Viggo.net mentioned that both teams were dismayed that they had to start the day by battling each other out. Additionally, he commented that this was the game that decides who was the better and more deserving team to progress. After both matches had ended, Neon Atomic and Steel Wolves Junior were the ones who proceeded to the next round.

Charging forward

The next round was another best of one series with all series done before the 40 minute mark of each game. TGE gave way to Neon Atomic while S.G. Dragons finishes the journey of Steel Wolves Junior and the hopes of having a team from Bacolod as champion. The following game, Neon Atomic versus S.G. Dragons, was quickly fired and resulted in S.G. Dragons destroying Neon Atomic. After the game, Neon Atomic’s members were interviewed and were asked what is to happen to the team. Sadly, all the members said that each will go their own way as they are not happy with their current line-up despite placing 5th at the cup.

Unstoppable momentum

With S.G. Dragons finishing their second game of the day, they immediately fought with Voyagers at the lower-bracket finals with only minimal time to take a break. The game was a do-or-die for both teams as the one unable to win will place 3rd be eliminated from the tournament. Before the match, members of Voyagers were seen entering the main stage with smiles on their faces and were surprisingly joking around while drafting.

At the end of the match, the way things went did not favor Voyagers. S.G. Dragons had a rough start against the Timbersaw at top but were rewarded by punishing the opposing team’s other lanes. During the 30-minute mark, things got heated between the two teams as S.G. Dragons tried to claim the bottom barracks only to fail with their attempt. The next attempt won them the game as they caught the cores of Voyagers, forced their buybacks and wiping them out near the fountain. Flysolo, captain of S.G. Dragon, was given the MVP status of the game for his remarkable plays throughout the game. Voyagers still had their smiles as they left the stage.

The break’s over, the takeover

After three games of non-stop action, S.G. Dragons find their way back and to the championship match against Miraculum. It was time to find out which of the teams will win the top prize of thirty-thousand pesos and claim the trophy for this year’s TNC Cup.

In game one, the lower-bracket warriors completely took over with their Windranger latching almost all of the shackle shots thrown during the crucial moments. They were able to take down the tier 2 tower at mid and bottom while having only their top tower destroyed, all before the 15-minute mark. The gold lead set by S.G. Dragon was too much to recover from and had Miraculum calling GG.

The second game ended with how Sterling Global Dragons debuted at High Grounds Cafe. They picked Sven again as their carry hero and Io as their position 5 support. Miraculum tried to face the duo head-on every time a chance was given but the sustain from the side of S.G. Dragon was a problem to deal with. The game ended with Sterling Global Dragon diving the base of Miraculum as they raised their white flags.

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