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

Published: 21/Aug/2019 17:43 Updated: 21/Aug/2019 19:06

by Scott Robertson

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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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

Business

Exclusive: Dota 2 legends OG bring Asian bookmakers Fun88 into esports

Published: 17/Nov/2020 7:59 Updated: 20/Nov/2020 14:15

by Adam Fitch

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Fun88, the Asian bookmakers who sponsor football club Newcastle United, have entered esports through a deal with OG.

The two-time champions of The International, the best-paying tournament series in esports, have signed a multi-year partnership with the betting company.

The partnership will see Fun88 work with the organization to “bring fans closer to the Dota 2 action” through community interactions and “pre-play, real-time, and post-match insights.”

The bookmakers will also have their logo shown on the shoulder of jerseys worn by the legendary Dota 2 players.

OG N0tail The International 2019
Valve
OG are the defending The International champions.

OG’s well-known roster includes Johan ‘N0tail’ Sundsteni, Martin ‘Saksa’ Sazdov, Sébastien ‘Ceb’ Debs, Topias ‘Topson’ Taavitsainen, and Yeik ‘MidOne’ Nai Zheng.

They are the current defending world champions having won The International in both 2018 and 2019, with this year’s iteration of the tournament being delayed due to the global health situation.

“OG Esports’ legacy and story in Dota is one of the most legendary stories in esports and, because of this, we have been able to break into the mainstream and our story has been documented in many mediums — articles, magazines, and several documentaries,” JMR Luna, CEO of OG, told Dexerto. “Following this trajectory, OG has become the breach for new non-endemic companies that want to break into this space.”

“Fun88 have a great track record and have really invested in traditional sports, this is the next step for them as they recognize that some of the biggest competitions in the world right now are happening behind screens,” he continued. “This is a great moment for esports because we’re welcoming a new massive brand into our ecosystem which ultimately benefits everyone. We’ve worked really hard to make this happen and we’re happy we can finally announce it.”

Outside of esports, Fun88 have worked with late basketball icon Kobe Bryant and football club Tottenham Hotspur. In July 2020, they extended their sponsorship deal with Newcastle United for an undisclosed period of time.

Betting sponsors may not be new in esports, but this is the first rodeo for Fun88.