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The best of one games in any competition are brutal and when it is a tournament like TI9, it just adds to the misery of the losing team. Na’Vi must be feeling this misery as they got knocked out by Mineski on the first day of the main event of TI9 in an hour long game. But it’s not just losing that will haunt Na’Vi and their fans, it’s the way in which they lost.

Na’Vi versus Mineski was the last game of the first day of The International 2019. For the first 25 minutes or so, the give and take seemed to be balanced until Na’Vi won a team fight in the bottom lane very close to Mineski’s tier 3 tower – and Mineski had no buybacks! It was a comfortable set of barracks for Na’Vi, but insead of taking shrines and pushing another lane, the CIS outfit decided to go for the throne when the realized their opponents didn’t have buybacks. Bear in mind, Na’Vi had an Aegis on their Sniper at this time. They got the tier 4 towers and got the Anceint to half HP, but by then, Mineski had respawned (Wraith King was the only one that bought back). In the fight that ensued, Mineski drove Na’Vi out of their base while getting two kills in the process including the Sniper with the Aegis. With him gone for a long time, the SEA team just pushed down middle to get their own set of barracks! Sniper did have buyback, but opted not to use it. After that turnaround, Mineski kept getting stronger and racking up the net worth advantage. Eventually, they took the game while Na’Vi made a weak attempt to make it into a base race.

There were two things there that Na’Vi could have done better. The first one was to not go for the throne, go back, take the shrines and push another lane with the Aegis. Sonneiko agreed in hindsight that it was a bad call and the fact that it was his call.

But it felt like they didn’t fully commit to hitting the throne once Mineski were back. Instead of going for the throne and not really caring about oppoents, Na’Vi got split in two minds between fighting and running away. Hard to say if it would have made a difference, but Na’Vi must just be regretting staying there for so long.

Mineski advance to the next round where they take on the loser of the upper bracket series between Team Secret and Newbee. It will be interesting to see if they can move on through the lower bracket and keep flying the SEA flag high or if this will be as far as they go.

Four teams were eliminated on the first day of TI9. The second day will see two more eliminations. The competition is heating up at The International 2019!

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