The group stage matches at The International 2019 have already set this event as being the most entertaining TI ever.
Starting with the very first day, when Team Secret introduced the support Invoker to the TI9 meta, the tournament took a weird turn, with most of the teams bringing new proposals to the table. Ogre Magi core is also something that defines The International 2019, but seeing him as a hot pick for the offlane role wasn’t extremely unexpected. Players were already talking about it before the event and the hero was already showing in the high MMR pub games.
However, the most intriguing strategy showed in the group stage is OG’s Io carry. The TI8 champions drafted him for the first time on day two, in their first match against Ninjas in Pyjamas. They picked it last and when the draft was over they actually played another kind of mind game with their adversaries, waiting until the very last moment before Anathan “ana” Pham actually took the hero for himself.
Ever since, OG crushed everyone with the carry Io and have now secured first place in Group B. Yesterday, on the Russian stream, during the drafting stage of the second game between OG and Virtus.pro, Alexander “XBOCT” Dashkevich said that he got the chance to talk a bit with OG’s coach, Titouan “Sockshka” Merloz and was “shocked” to find from him that OG have actually never practiced the Io carry. According to Sockshka, the OG carry Io became a thing exactly in that first game versus NiP when Ana asked for the hero and the team went with it because they trust him.
TI9 group stage will come to a close today, August 18 and OG have only one series to play on this last day. Around 14:00 local time, they will fight against Vici Gaming. Courtesy of Ana, Io is so far the most successful hero of The International 2019, with 70% win rate in more than 10 games.