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Dota2 • Aug 21, 2019

Dota 2 TI9: Must-read stories from day two of the knockout stage

Dota 2 TI9: Must-read stories from day two of the knockout stage
Valve

Virtus.pro has crashed and burned on the International stage yet again, OG fountain-farmed Newbee at the end of their first game, and Evil Geniuses and Team Secret put on an all-TI classic to round out day two of The International 2019.

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After another long day of Dota 2 action in Shanghai, we have four teams locked into the second round of the upper bracket, and two more teams went home after their second series lost. One of those teams was Virtus.pro, yet another early exit for the CIS team on the International stage. And this time might be the worst one yet.

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VP came into TI9 as favorites yet again, with four different top three finishes at majors over this year’s Dota Pro Circuit, including a first place win in Kuala Lumpur. 

But after stumbling through the group stage while still maintaining an upper bracket stop, they lost back-to-back 2-0 series to PSG.LGD and Royal Never Give Up to exit with a 9-12th place finish, their worst at an International since 2014, and their worst ever as favorites. 

The masters of the early game simply got out-drafted and out-played by RNG in their lower bracket series. As one caster put before the final GG call came in: “they just can’t kill anyone.”

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It’s one thing to call GG when you realize you can’t win, it’s another to call GG when your opponent is mercilessly beating you so bad that it’s almost laughable. That’s what happened in the upper bracket series when defending champions OG put a real whooping on Newbee in a quick and easy 2-0 series.

But that series was decided in game one, when OG was destroying Newbee to close out the game in “soulbreaking” manner was caster TobiWan put it. OG were so powerful at the time that they were just sitting in Newbee’s fountain and farming the enemy players as they respawned. 

It got to a point that Johan 'pieliedie' Åström typed “ok gg” almost as a sign of acknowledgement of the vicious beating they had just received. At 27 minutes and 33 seconds, it currently sits as the shortest game of the main event.

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OG were all smiles after that first game, and that confidence carried over to game two, where again they made quick work of Newbee. 

Now stomps are fun and all, at least for the team doing the stomping and their fans, but the highlight of the International tournament are the close back-and-forth series, and we got one hell of a series between Evil Geniuses and Team Secret.

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EG handedly won game one and were on the precipice of winning game two, when Secret won a stunning teamfight out of nowhere to swing the balance and tie the series.

With momentum on their side, Secret built a steady lead in game three (up 15k in gold at one point), before EG followed suit with a massive comeback of their own on the shoulders of their stars Artour 'Arteezy' Babaev and Syed Sumail 'SumaiL' Hassan.

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