TNC Predator’s Carlos “Kuku” Palad does surprisingly well in TI9 despite the controversy last year. Find out more right here!

In November 2018, Kuku stirred up controversy after making racial slurs in a Dota 2 pub match against Chinese players. He allegedly typed “ching chong”, a derogatory term often used to mock the Chinese language.

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There was a massive outrage within the Chinese community with many saying Kuku’s action was uncalled for. Even Vici Gaming and Team Aster, China-based Dota 2 teams, took the time to condemn racism in esports because of this issue. Mars Media, an esports hosting organization, announced that Chinese teams will no longer hold practice sessions with Filipino teams after the incident.

Meanwhile, TNC’s manager, Paulo Sy, tried to cover up the issue by justifying that Kuku used the term to call out the player with the “ching chong” in-game name when he killed him by posting on Kuku’s Weibo app. Fans found this to be untrue and the said player only changed his name after the issue sparked public discussion.

This prompted more negative reactions from audiences and as a result, Kuku was banned in the Chongqing Major, the second Major tournament of the 2018 Dota Pro Circuit.

Ryo “ryOyr” Hasegawa momentarily replaced Kuku as the team’s offlane. Nico “eyyou” Barcelon also replaced Michael Ross Jr. or “ninjaboogie” as the new captain. 

Lee Seung Gon or “Heen” showing up as TNC’s new coach was the most shocking change of all. He is famous for coaching Dota 2 powerhouse team, Liquid, for more than two years until November 2018.

‘Kuku’ to the rescue

TNC pummeled Team Secret, an undefeated team before TNC took one game from them in a BO2 match in the playoffs. TNC’s playing style is usually aggressive but Team Secret forced them to farm in their lanes and jungle during the early game, disrupting their game rhythm. 

Despite Team Secret experimenting their hero draft with a mid lane Jakiro and roaming support Invoker, they still remained victorious. They outplayed TNC’s simple and easy tactic and the only thing TNC can do was to defend and wait for the inevitable.

The Pinoy-pride team decided to push their way through in the second match. When Sniper was used for the second match, TNC was well-prepared this time around.

And it all went down to Kuku’s crazy last-minute play on Batrider which decided their win for the game. Kuku blinked in and lassoed the little gunman and managed to secure a kill. Finally, they were able to stop Nisha’s Sniper, who’s really been giving them problems from the back lines. This was the very moment that the game turned in favor of TNC.

TNC’s TI9 run

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Recently, they claimed an unexpected upper bracket slot during the playoffs when they took out Team Liquid in a 2-0 sweep. 

Team Liquid is a crowd-favorite team because of their championship run in TI7. However, TNC did not waver and gave Liquid no chance of securing a game against them, sending the crowd-favorites to the lower bracket. 

Kuku helped his teammates during clashes with his impeccable timing for his stuns and epicenters as Sand King despite going through a rough start for the first game against Liquid. The real MVP of the game was Tim’s Skywrath. He never missed a chance to silence Miracle’s Storm Spirit, giving him a late-farmed BKB, thus, losing the game.

The second game was merely an easy game for TNC because of Armel dominating the mid lane with his Death Prophet against w33’s beaten down Pangolier. Meanwhile, Kuku was unstoppable in aiding his teammates’ secure kills with Enchantress’ Impetus. Tim’s Earthshaker was also essential in securing kills in clashes.

All in all, TNC secured a spot in TI9 and proved they are better than ever despite the problems they’ve faced. We believe there is more to expect in their incoming games during the main stage of The International 2019.

What are you waiting for? Come and join us in our official TI9 watch party FOR 9 PESOS ONLY!

What do you think of Kuku’s performance in TI9? Do you think TNC would be the TiNineChampions? Share with us what you think about these in the comments down below! Or hit us up on our Facebook or Twitter @UDoUPh.