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Filipino gamers pocket hefty rewards

We just played better than them, but I liked their draft.

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The prestigious Aegis of the Immortal remains elusive for Filipino DOTA 2 stars, but they still walked away with a pocket full of cash following a strong performance at The International 10 that came to a close early Monday (Manila time) at the Arena Nationala in Bucharest, Romania.

Marco Polo “Raven” Fausto and Djardel “DJ” Mampusti pocketed hefty rewards after powering Fnatic to the playoffs of the grandest, richest Esports competition in the world.

Fnatic fell short to eventual champion Team Spirit in the playoffs last Thursday to finish at the 9th to 12th spots, but it still banked $800,400 — or roughly P40 million.

Team Spirit coach Airat “Silent” Gaziev commended Fnatic for giving them a good fight.

“We just played better than them, but I liked their draft,” he said.

“Fnatic is such a good team. I think Fnatic did not play to the best they can because they were scared to lose and get eliminated. They could do better, I believe. Lucky for us.”

Team Spirit needed just 25 minutes to beat Fnatic in the opening game.

Eager to end their seemingly overmatched foes, the Russian squad drafted a physical damage-heavy lineup of Sven, Tidehunter, Kunkka, Shadow Demon, and Weaver. At the same time, Fnatic played Elder Titan, Luna, Void Spirit, Night Stalker, and Grimstroke.

Game 2 looked similar to the opening game, the main difference was that Fnatic would hold on to their hopes a little longer. Illya “Yatoro” Mulyarchuk was Beyond Godlike with his Sven, going on a skill spree throughout the match backed by the crowd control of Kunkka and Tidehunter.

Fnatic had no answer to Team Spirit’s aggressive lineup, as the latter was way ahead on kills 32-7 and gold by 46,000 before they decided to break the radiant base and send Fnatic packing at the 37:09 mark.

“We fell short to Team Spirit and bowed out of The International 10. While it’s not how we wanted things to go, we are still proud to make it in TI 10 despite the challenges we faced throughout this season,” the Southeast Asian squad, Fnatic, said after the match.

Another Filipino DOTA 2 star, Abed “Abed” Yusop of Evil Geniuses, also dropped out at the top 9 to 12.

His team met Vici Gaming in the lower bracket, won the opening game only to see his teammates choke in the second and third games.

Like Raven and DJ, Abed will not be coming home empty-handed as he will also receive his share of the $800,400 with the rest of his teammates.

South Korean squad T1, which is captained by another Filipino DOTA star in Carlo “Kuku” Palad and backed by Pinoy mid laner Karl “Karl” Baldovino, made it a little further in the tournament but lost to Chinese squad Vici Gaming via reverse sweep also in the lower bracket.

“Everybody played well, and we made them comfortable. At the end of the day, there is always a winner and a loser; right now, we were the one to lose the game,” Kuku said.

“I think we need to come back again next year. Now we are feeling good, our performance was not bad for this TI run. We just fell short. They are the better team for now.”

T1 had a good start in the tournament but fell short in its opening match in the upper bracket against PSG.LGD.

The loss relegated them to a do-or-die match against former TI champion Alliance, where they handily won via 2-0 sweep.

Still, Kuku and Karl made the most out of their The International trip among all Filipino players as their team won a staggering $1,000,500 for a top 7 to 8 finish.

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