August 23, 2019
Two teams advanced to the semi-finals of TI9, securing top 3 positions and at least $3 million prize reward.
The third day of the TI9 main event was nothing less than thrilling. In some of the most exciting and breathtaking series, the lower brackets gave fans spectacular games. It was hard to believe that there would still be more Dota 2 to follow and the day was only half over, but after the Ogre Magi won the Arcana, the upper bracket stage was set to play with more top-notch competition.
PSG.LGD 2:0 ViCi Gaming
The first upper bracket series of the day took place between two Chinese juggernauts in a regional battle to claim a top 3 position at TI9 and the first spot in the upper bracket finals.
ViCi Gaming might have been ahead of PSG.LGD in the DPC 2018-2019 leaderboards with a third-place position with 11250 points vs LGD in sixth place with 5040 points but LGD were pegged as the favorites due to experience and LGD’s slight edge in the group stage.
The first game both teams were trading blows and leads with ViCi Gaming taking a slight advantage. It was about 40 minutes in when a big fight between the two forced five buy-backs across the board and suddenly VG looked to be sitting in a prime position. The story would have had a happy ending if things ended there or at least continued as planned for VG, but they went into Roshan almost immediately after losing a huge fight that then led to them calling the ‘GG’ almost instantaneously. It might have seemed like an eternity, but only two minutes had passed between the first fight in VG’s favor and them calling it quits.
The second game VG looked for action and fights early and seized an early advantage. LGD took too much away from them, knocking down VG’s slight lead 25 minutes in and eventually took the game and series.
Although the two teams had a similar playstyle, it all came down to LGD making no mistakes and never over-extending. They had incredible precision and execution taking a very solid and clean 2:0 sweep to become the first team to land a place in the upper bracket finals.
The win secures a top 3 position for LGD, giving Xu “fy” Linsen a better chance at claiming the Aegis. Twice before the Chinese support player had competed in the grand finals and the Aegis has always eluded him.
OG 2:1 Evil Geniuses
In what was a very hyped game where OG and Evil Geniuses once again faced each other in TI semi-finals. Both teams with the same full rosters intact went head to head to potentially rewrite history. In 2018 it was OG who overpowered EG 2:1 and then went on to take the championship title.
This year, it was EG who started out taking the first game of the series. Through the entire match, EG played better and were more consistent that OG. Taking advantage of a weaker early game lineup from OG, EG played their cards right with a smooth first game victory.
The second game Topias “Topson” Taavitsainen was dominating early on - had three kills in what seemed like the first minute and ended up taking 50% of OG’s kill score just for himself. As they trampled over EG in the early game, it was Syed Sumail “SumaiL” Hassan that finally took down the wicked sick Tiny and ended his 7x kill streak, claiming a hefty bounty reward for doing so. EG was then able to start to establish some control and slowly recovered, giving space to the EG cores to build up. OG continued to apply pressure and play a quick tempo to get to the mid-game stage, hitting hard when they reached it and stomped on EG until the end to tie up the series.
The third game saw OG setting another quick tempo and not giving EG the room to breathe. EG needed something to grasp on to if they wanted any chance and about 20 minutes they got that with a good team fight to keep them breathing but it wasn’t enough. OG was just completely dominant and kept on pushing. EG didn’t have the damage to do anything about it and gave up the last game and series, allowing history to repeat itself.
OG and LGD will now face each other in the upper bracket finals once again, just as they did at The International 2018. Last year OG overpowered LGD 2:1 and then went on to take them down in a full five-game grand finals.
Evil Geniuses and ViCi Gaming head to the lower brackets where they will attempt to prevent history from repeating itself and instead claim the Aegis for themselves.
Current TI9 bracket: