Blacklist International joins SEA Dota 2 scene with Filipino All-Stars
The glory days of TNC Predator are finally back, albeit under a new namesake, the Blacklist International. The Filipino esports org is popular in the mobile esports scene, notably Mobile Legends Bang Bang, PUBG, and Call of Duty Mobile.
Hence, BLCK’s venture into the biggest Esports title in the world is just the hype SEA region needs to get back into the International headlines.
The remnants of TNC Predator
TNC is a household name for many Filipino fans during its prime years, 2016-2019. They are staples from SEA that consistently qualified for the International Championship, albeit finishing at unimpressive runs. Nevertheless, the former TNC roster is often dubbed the dark horses at TI. For instance, they were responsible for upsetting team OG at TI6, a fan favorite during the time.
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 watch BLCK deliver some phenomenal Dota 2 action.
What has changed since year 2019 was that Carlo “Kuku” Palad took a primary role as captain, showcasing his unique playstyle and draft against the competition. Kuku is notorious for his greedy hero picks, particularly for his offlane role, such as Batrider and Doom. Hence, it’s no wonder why T1 was so prominent at TI10 when Kuku led the squad.
Then, there’s Timothy “TIMS” Randrup, the pos4 support player and playmaker. His aggressive playstyle, featuring Earthshaker and Earth Spirit, makes him a natural match with Kuku’s drafts. While Tims hasn’t been on the same team as Kuku for the past season, we still see Tims play his iconic heroes in BOOM Esports, albeit he has been getting better with team synergy.
On the other hand, the hard carry player, Marc “Raven” Fausto, is well-established as a consistent carry, previously responsible for Fnatic’s deserving success in DPC 2022 Majors. They gave BOOM Esports, last season’s top dog in SEA region, a run for their money frequently, so Raven is most certainly a seasoned player.
Welcome back, Karl!
Not to forget Karl “Karl” Baldovino, the only non-TNC player to join BLCK. Karl’s return to play with Kuku after deliberately getting kicked before TI11 SEA Regional Qualifier certainly makes things awkward. While there was no announcement on whether the decision to kick Karl (and Gabbi) was the captain’s decision or the org’s, it still hits hard knowing that the retired TI Champions could immediately replace you.
Regardless, hopefully Karl and Kuku have make amends and looks forward to making BLCK the next Division 1 staple. Then, there’s Nico “eyyou” Barcelon, who last played for Polaris Esports. Certainly nothing to call home about, especially after Polaris Esports lost their Division 1 slot due to diminishing performance.
BLCK against other SEA rivals
The SEA region is definitely not an easy region to compete and survive. Just ask T1, which presumably underestimated the TI11 SEA qualifiers, only to prematurely go out.
While T1 is no longer a threat after their disband, BOOM Esports remains a formidable rival in SEA. Alongside BOOM are other seasoned powerhouses, Fnatic and Talon Esports boasting strong reputations in TI.
Nevertheless, BLCK’s debut pays homage to the classic Filipino talent, which fans have high expectations on.