The group stages of The International 9 are in the bag. We saw our second team eliminated from the tournament, and the seeding for our upper and lower brackets is now set.
Let's take a look at some of the highlights from our final day.
Group A Highlights
The last of our Group A matches still held some surprised for us today, as we saw our teams earn their final points towards an upper bracket placement.
Liquid vs TNC
Things have not been looking good for Team Liquid this TI. But TNC Predator have been making waves through the group stages.
Game one of our series had Liquid coming in strong. GH was on his Crystal Maiden Carry and was once again smashing out the right click damage for his team. He got four kills in the first six minutes.
They had the gold advantage through the lanes, and it was looking like a comfortable win was headed their way. There was just one problem.
TNC were hungry, and Miracle was feeding. All up Miracle died 14 times in this game. His KDA was 10/14/17 on his Storm Spirit.
But Miracle’s unusually sloppy performance wasn’t the only problem for Liquid this game. They also had to worry about Gabbi’s Lifestealer, who climbed to the top of the net worth at 20-minutes and didn’t come back down for the rest of the match. He ended with a KDA of 13/2/21.
Things looked like they were over at 44-minutes with TNC pushing Liquid’s high ground. But Liquid maintained an admirable holdout. Forcing the SEA team to really work for their win.
This was a 70-minute slog. It was 69:56 when TNC finally wore down Liquid and took the victory. The final kill-count was 45-39, with Liquid fighting to the bitter end.
TNC came into game two even harder than game one. They dominated Liquid through the laning phase, with all three of their core heroes sitting at the top of the net worth.
The SEA team had full control of the game by the mid game. Armel was on a mega kill streak by 26-minutes, and by the 30-minute mark, TNC were completely overrunning Liquid. Pushing into their mid high ground.
Liquid did their best to hold out, but they just didn’t have it in them to play another gruelling long game.
GG was called at 35-minutes and TNC took the series 2-0.
LGD vs Alliance
PSG.LGD have been playing some beautiful Dota so far at this tournament. But EU team Alliance have also put up a hard fight through the group stages.
Game one saw the Chinese team underestimate their European opponents slightly. They picked a greedy draft which saw Fy on Invoker in the position 5 role. It was a draft that would prove too greedy, and Alliance took the gold advantage early on with ease. They controlled the net worth for the entire game and racked up an impressive 19-kill lead over LGD. The final score was 13-32 at 37-minutes when Alliance took game one.
This was a fantastic game for Boxi on his Bristleback pick. He went 10/1/14 and was instrumental in pushing the advantage for his team. Taiga’s Enigma pick also played a huge role in securing the victory. He involved himself in 15 of his teams kills and secured five of his own. His KDA at game end was 5/1/15.
Unfortunately, when iNsania picked up the Bristleback in game two, things didn’t go as well for Alliance.
This time LGD picked themselves a better draft, with Fy on Lion providing his team with plenty of opportunities to initiate and securing 19 assists before 25-minutes in. LGD played a flawless second game, securing their lanes and guaranteeing plenty of farm for Ame and Somnus to take the game and run with it. Ame was 12/1/6 on Faceless Void at the final minute, and Somnus went 11/1/14 on Dragon Knight.
This was a quick, clean 27-minute stomp for LGD, who played like a grandfather clock, with perfect positioning and rotations.
They earned themselves a 30-kill lead this game; 40-10 at final score. An exciting 1-1 series to wrap up with in group A.
Group B Highlights
The Group B standings have seen a few more shuffles than group A. The ending of our group stage has solidified everything now, and all hope for tie breaker matches flew out the window with the results from the final day.
RNG vs Infamous
It’s probably safe to say we’ve seen the fastest game of TI9 already.
Game one between China’s Royal Never Give Up and South America’s Infamous was a breakneck 15-minutes. RNG obliterated their opponents. Setting a relentless pace that was impossible for Infamous to match. This game was just four minutes slower than the fastest ever game. The 11-minute stomp by DK against Cloud9 back at TI4.
RNG’s murderous draft for this blink-any-you-miss-it game was Setsu on Shadow Fiend, An Ember Spirit for Monet, Ah-Fu on the Elder Titan, Flyby with an Ogre Magi pick and Lanm on Visage. Visage was only picked three times in the group stages at TI9.
To their credit, Infamous did not let the quick slaughter by RNG demoralize them. They came into game two aggressive, taking first blood before the 1-minute mark and averaging a kill a minute during the early game.
Chris Luck's Broodmother pick gave them plenty of map control. RNG only managed to bring his Brood down once the entire game. But it was K1 who was really doing the work on Phantom Lancer. He went 10/3/5 this game, and really brought the aggression early in the laning phase to help Infamous build their advantage.
They took game two at 30-minutes with a 23k lead in the net worth and 31-kills on the board for a 1-1 series.
OG vs Vici
In one of our final series of the day we saw our two top seeds of Group B face-off. OG and Vici Gaming.
Game one was our second Techies pick of the day. The first was the match-up in Group A between Team Secret and Chaos.
Like the previous game the hero appeared in, it didn’t fare as well as might have been hoped.
OG took Techies in their draft, and JerAx playing the pick. But it would not be his game. He went 11/10/7 by the games end. Ori, on the other hand, went 24/2/13 on his Mirana. An outstanding performance.
But Vici had this game in the bag from the opening moments. Their success in the laning phase helped them maintain their advantage in the net worth throughout the entire game. GG was called in their favour at 39-minutes, with 52-kills on Vici’s side of the scoreboard.
Vici had OG on the ropes in game one, but they weren’t about to let them take game two.
Although the Chinese team took first blood, N0tail had taken a double kill in the first four minutes.
Vici maintained their kill lead through the lanes, OG were leading the creep score. The early game was close, however, with neither team holding their gold advantage over the other for very long.
At 31-minutes, OG mounted an offense on Vici’s mid high ground. It ended in a total team wipe for OG and things were looking shaky for the EU team.
Vici secured the Roshan and went for their own push at 34-minutes. Kills were 24-27 and OG was holding out. They repelled the offense and flipped the advantage back in their favour once more. They barrelled down top lane to face Vici on their high ground, securing a lead in the kills and the top set of rax, before wrapping around to finish what they started in mid.
After a back and forth 38-minutes, OG dealt the final blow to Vici. Ending the series 1-1.
That’s it for the excitement from the group stages of the tournament. After four days of fantastic Dota 2, two of our teams, Chaos Esports Club and Ninjas in Pyjamas head home.
Here’s a look at how our brackets turned out.
Upper Bracket: PSG.LGD, Virtus.pro, Vici Gaming, TNC Predator, OG, Newbee, Team Secret, Evil Geniuses
Lower Bracket: Alliance, Royal Never Give Up, Fnatic, Infamous, Team Liquid, Keen Gaming, Natus Vincere, Mineski