The International 2019 – We have our first Grand Finalist

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The International 2019

It was truly an amazing day of Dota 2, in which we’ve been lucky enough to see some of the most interesting games in the tournament so far. Following the games today, there are now only three teams left to fight for the TI championship. Let’s take a look at exactly what happened on the penultimate day of the competition.

Team Secret vs Vici Gaming

The opening series of the day was in the Lower Bracket. Despite the overall shaky performance, Team Secret looked completely transformed as they ripped through Vici Gaming with a quick 2-0. Needless to say, this was not an expected result considering the fact that Vici’s dominance so far.

In game one, Team Secret took a page out of OG’s playbook by picking IO core for the Polish prodigy Michal β€˜Nisha’ Jankowski. Even though the star was relatively slow, the DPC champions grabbed the lead when IO received his first items. Vici simply looked unprepared for Secret’s strategy and called GG in just under 25 minutes.

Just one game away from elimination, VG desperately tried to bounce back – but their efforts were futile. After taking control of the early game, Team Secret gave their opponents no chance to make a comeback, taking victory in just 22 minutes.

After the loss, Vici Gaming finishes in fifth place. Although this is a decent placement, a team of their caliber won’t be happy with anything less than a tournament win.

OG vs PSG.LGD

This was the series that many expected to see, a rematch between the two TI 8 finalists. These two teams met last year in the Grand Final of TI 8, and let’s just say it was one EPIC match. The game thankfully lived up to expectations with plenty of back-and-forth action.

Game one looked to be a throwback from last year, as OG picked two of their “hidden gems” – Nature’s Prophet and Zeus. Even though they performed well, the Chinese powerhouse looked prepared for the tactic and drafted a close-combat lineup.
Both teams played defensively, but after a very crucial mistake from Anathan β€˜Ana’ Pham, LGD were able to take matters in their own hands and rushed OG’s’ base to secure the lead in the series.

Despite the loss, the TI 8 Champions did not give up. In fact, they completely demolished their opponents in the second game of the series, taking advantage of an utterly-broken Alchemist-Chen combo. In the end, they needed just 22 minutes to push the series to a game three decider.

The third game of the series was probably the most interesting, with both teams trading kills back and forth. Of course, OG continued the tradition with their unorthodox picks, locking in a mid-lane Tidehunter.

In the end, after many close fights, OG was able to take control of the game and take the win. They are now only the second team to reach consecutive TI finals. Will they have what it takes to do what no team has done before and win TI back-to-back?

Team Liquid vs Team Secret

Definitely the most anticipated series of the day. Two of the best European powerhouses went head to head in a real clash of the titans.

Game one saw yet another outstanding performance out of Kuro “KuroKy” Salehi Takhasomi and his teammates. Liquid drafted a very team-based lineup around Aliwi “w33” Omar’s outstanding Meepo, who proved to be one of their strongest weapons this TI.

Just one game away from elimination, Team Secret tried to mix up their draft in order to have a better chance at victory. Although they had a strong laning stage, once Team Liquid secured their first big items they became the driving force behind the pace the game.

Nisha and his teammates tried to quell the pace but Liquid just looked unstoppable. Sadly, the journey for Team Secret at TI 9 ends here. That said, this is their best placement yet at The International and they’ll leave with their heads held high.

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