In another classic matchup between two of the Philippines’ biggest esports organization that ran across multiple esports titles, a new chapter was relived at the third season of the Philippine Pro Gaming League
TNC and Mineski once again found their horns locked against each other this time with their League of Legends teams at the Philippine Pro Gaming League grand finals.
Mineski asserted dominance at the earlier part of the league as proved by their upper bracket run. The long –time top squad bannered by Lance “Kaigu” Hernandez took the outright grand final seat by taking down Caution, Imperium Pro Team and TNC respectively all in convincing 2-0 wins.
TNC meanwhile had a decent showing at the online playoffs where they stormed past Cor Venatus and ISC before losing to Mineski.
Summoners in a mall
The LAN finals at Glorietta 2 in Manila began with the losers’ bracket semifinals featuring IPT and ISC. ISC, the sole representative from Visayas tried to make the most of their stay in Manila but they eventually lost to IPT who set the LB finals date with TNC.
IPT continued with their momentum come their LB match with TNC by taking game 1. However, TNC eventually found their groove as the boys in orange pulled through a reverse sweep to set another grand finals date with Mineski.
The now dubbed ‘el clasico’ match between the two orgs lived up to its name as both teams went all out in the 5 map series. Mineski initially had a 2-1 lead after a game 3 stomp and are poised to win it all in game 4. However, tides shifted to TNC when Jaymar “Burst” Garay flashed in with his Nocturne to steal a dying Baron from Mineski’s whole lineup. His sacrifice eventually paid off as they forced game 5 which became a thriller in its own right.
Game 5 was highlighted by the returning Beaver-Ed “Orthros” Villanueva’s Malphite. In a crucial point of the game, he pinned three Mineski champions who are taking over TNC’s last turret in the bottom lane. His ultimate Unstoppable Force brought all three Mineski champions down and once again swung the favor to the TNC side to eventually win the series 3-2.
“I was confident at that point because I thought they won’t expect my ult and Malphite is not a part of the meta. I also had a Zeke's Convergence so I was really confident that they won’t manage to escape.” - Orthros
Team coach Kevin “Kast” Austria was happy about finally toppling Mineski. So far, Mineski had edged them in majority of their meetings including the TNC Esports Cup and the Nexus Cup 2018.
“I’m very happy for the team. All efforts and hard work finally paid off. We always prepare for them in every tournaments – it’s like they are the ‘final boss’ for us. But this PPGL finals is quite different since we have our full roster in action which made us flexible and full force.” - Kast
PPGL also featured titles Tekken 7 and Arena of Valor which were won by PBE|Doujin and MaxBox Gaming respectively.