Second day in the EPICENTER playoffs began with a lower bracket battle between Forward Gaming and PSG.LGD. The series’ outcome has not only decided the NA team’s road to TI9, but also secured both OG and Keen Gaming’s participation at the biggest tournament of the year.
Forward Gaming didn’t manage to overcome the Chinese team today, and will have to rush their return home in order to prepare for TI9 regional qualifiers. The tournament unfolding this week in Moscow, Russia is the very last Major of the 2018-2019 Dota Pro Circuit season and unfortunately for FWD, their elimination in the 9th-12th place brings with it only 150 DPC points, which places them outside the top 12 on the leaderboards. Forward had a marvelous start in the lower brackets yesterday, when they executed Fnatic to keep their TI9 hope alive. However, their next adversaries, PSG.LGD came to EPICENTER hungry and with the eyes on the prize as they are after all the EPICENTER XL 2018 defending Champions.
FWD’s defeat also means that OG are now secured for TI9, which is great news for The International defending Champions who arrived in Moscow with their captain Johan “N0tail” Sundstein ill and unable to join the team for the group stage matches nor for the playoffs. OG are playing with their coach, Titouan “Sockshka” Merloz, and finished last in their group. However,in the first lower bracket match held yesterday, June 24 against Evil Geniuses, OG pulled an incredible game to knock out of contention the NA juggernauts. Although qualified already for TI9, OG will continue today their lower bracket run fighting against the DPC ranking leaders, Team Secret.
Keen Gaming are the other team that directly benefits from Forward Gaming’s defeat. The Chinese are not in Moscow as they failed to qualify for this last Major of the season, but their run through the entire year secured them 1140 Dota Pro Circuit points which are enough to lock them for TI9. The only team whose faith is yet to be decided is EHOME, currently 12th in the DPC rankings with 629 points. Their place is in danger as they are also not participating at the EPICENTER Major while Alliance and Royal Never Give Up are present in Moscow to fight for a TI9 ticket.