TNC is arguably the most popular Pinoy Dota 2 team, and for good reason. The team is easily the most decorated Philippine-based organization, with championships in international Dota tournaments such as WESG. TNC is also a fixture in Major Dota tournaments, with the team qualifying for most of the big Valve-sponsored events, including The International (TI). While the team has a ton of achievements, one TNC milestone, still, stands above the rest, and that is TI 2016. Prior to that, no Pinoy team was able to qualify for the said biggest Dota tourney every year, aside from Mineski during the very first TI back in 2011. But in 2016, TNC not only qualified for the main event, but even defeated tournament favorites OG in an exciting three-game series that is considered as one of the biggest upsets in Dota 2 history. While the team went on to drop their next series against tournament runner-up Digital Chaos, the fairy-tale run cemented TNC’s status as one of the top teams of Southeast Asia (SEA)—and the world. Following that TI stint, TNC proved that their performance was no fluke. The team became a proud bearer of the Philippine flag in various tournaments across the world, including the next two Internationals. While the team saw major roster changes over the years, with only Carlo “Kuku” Palad remaining from the International 2016 roster, the team still plays the same entertaining and aggressive “Pinoy Dota” style that Filipino Dota fans have known and loved. Plus, they have also gained enough DPC points to qualify for this year’s TI.
Mineski is a household name in the Philippines for two reasons: (1) the ubiquitous internet/gaming cafe franchise, and (2) the Dota team. Mineski is one of the longest-standing Dota organizations in the game’s history, with the team’s start dating back to the early days of Dota 1. During the first Dota 2 International back in 2011, Mineski made a splash in the Playoffs after a rough group stage. During the main stage, Mineski defeated OK.Nirvana.CN, a Chinese team with experienced pros such as Wang “Banana” Jiao and “Yao” Zhengzheng. After the tournament though, Mineski wasn’t able to reach the same heights as their TI 2011 run; that was until the second half of 2017. In the period after The International 2017, the team had a major roster shuffle as they acquired veteran SEA players Chai “Mushi” Yee Fung and Daryl Koh “iceiceice” Pei Xiang. Alongside Pinoy player Michael “ninjaboogie” Ross Jr., the team had a massive tournament run, winning Major tourney such as PGL Open Bucharest and the Dota 2 Asia Championship 2018. Following their impressive 2018 run, the team had another shuffle, adding Damien “kpii” Chok of Newbee, as well as Pinoy fan-favorite Ryan “Bimbo” Jay Qui. With the team’s current roster which includes two Pinoy veterans, the team has placed itself as one of the teams to beat in SEA.
Fnatic isn’t exactly a Filipino team, after all, the organization is headquartered in London. But it is still a team that is close to the hearts of Pinoy Dota 2 fans, and that is because of the squad’s star player Djardel “DJ” Mampusti. In 2015, Fnatic’s Dota squad changed from a European roster to a Southeast Asian one; this team had four Malaysian pros and one Pinoy player in DJ. Following this shuffle, Fnatic quickly became the dominant team in Southeast Asia, thanks in large part to DJ’s skill as the team’s support player. Fnatic’s success wasn’t just limited to the region though. The team placed 5th-6th in the Shanghai and Manila Majors, culminating in a massive International 2016 run. During that, the team finished 4th overall, winning a whopping USD $1,453,932 in prizes. Fnatic and DJ’s 4th place at TI 2016 still stands as the highest placement ever achieved by a Pinoy Dota 2 player in the Internationals. Much like other teams though, Fnatic went through roster changes after; and while the next couple of iterations of Fnatic featured a wide range of players, DJ was the constant. This current season, DJ is joined by another Pinoy pro in Azel “Abed” Yusop, and poised to make another deep run in The Internationals 2019. After all, they are the first SEA team to qualify for the tournament.