It’s another year for Virtus.pro with a poor run at the biggest Dota 2 tournament. TI9 ends for the CIS juggernaut with an embarrassing 9th-12th place after they lost two series in a row in the Mercedes Benz Arena from Shaghai, China.
Ironically, they only got to play against Chinese teams in the Main Event. PSG.LGD took VP down 2-0 in the opening series of day one and sent them to the lower bracket, where Royal Never Give up lived up to their name. VP started the series confident, picking in the first phase both Tidehunter and Enigma, thus preparing for a possible late game. RNG, on the other hand, picked Alchemist and Leshrac and rounded the draft with Shadow Shaman to play around VP’s big ultimates. Their plan worked perfectly, Alchemist was always a step ahead of VP’s Lifestealer and by the 25 minute mark, RNG had already taken two lane of barracks and were holding a 10k gold lead. A chain of misplays from VP, a wasted Tide ultimate, a die-back from Storm Spirit and very little impactful Black Holes allowed RNG to seal the deal around the 30 minute mark.
“ We had the better draft in game one, but somehow we still managed to lose. So, for game two we decided to lose the draft, maybe we can win the actual game,” said Virtus.pro’s coach Arsenij “ArsZeeqq” Usov during the stage interview after the draft of the second game. The frustration in his voice was exactly what VP showed in what was their last game at TI9. RNG countered VP’s game plan with a last pick Omniknight, who was the saving grace against VP’s Fatal Bounds tactic. Game two ended in just 32 minutes with RNG boosted by the incredibly loud chants of the Chinese crowd.