OG made it a repeat of TI8 as they defeated Evil Geniuses 2-1 in the upper bracket semi-finals, just as they did a year ago, to set up a finals match against PSG.LGD, just as they did a year ago! Coming into TI9, no one expected OG to go the distance (again, just as last year) but The International does something to OG. They played the best Dota 2 they’ve played all year and now, find themseleves on the brink of history. Evil Geniuses, after a valiant effort, will drop down to the lower bracket where they will face the winner of Royal Never Give Up and Team Liquid.
Game 1 was a complete stomp in EG’s favor. Phantom Assassin has worked well with Magnus at TI9, but OG’s PA without the Magnus took too long to come online, by which time EG had taken control of the game. Topson’s Invoker was destroyed by Sumail’s Lina and Crit’s Earth Spirit rotations while Arteezy’s Terrorblade got free farm throughout the game. Evil Geniuses comfortably claimed the first game of the series without a lot of resistance from OG.
Game 2 was a lot more back and forth and didn’t have a clear winner early on. OG started off the game brightly with Topson’s Tiny getting kills all over the map. But EG played patiently to get some farm on their TB (who they had picked again) and turned the tides to get a 4000 net worth lead. The major deciding point of the game came when Arteezy went for an Arcane Rune leading to three EG members getting caught in a Chronosphere and getting killed. EG had no save for their cores caught inside the Chrono. They didn’t have buyback and OG, who were playing on the backfoot till then, went mid and got a lane of barracks. It was OG’s game to lose from there, which they didn’t.
EG mixed up things a bit in game 3, picking an early Mirana and sending her mid instead of the more popular position 4. Arteezy was put on an Amti-Mage, not the most popular hero in the meta and that pick was what decided the game. Lanes started decently for EG, but there was one gank where OG got multiple kills, Arteezy came in and died and EG lost their early advantage. Juggernaut had a Battlefury and Yasha in 18 minutes, while AM couldn’t get his Battlefury till 21 minutes. Juggernaut can fight with that invent, AM can’t. AM needs time and that’s what EG didn’t have. OG just went high ground and Anti-Mage wasn’t even in the base to defend. Just like that, the game was over, OG advanced and EG dropped to the lower bracket.
Absolutely no one could have predicted the same two teams facing off against each other in the upper bracket final in a year. Both teams, OG and PSG.LGD, didn’t do too well in the DPC season, but come TI9, they have unleashed their true potential. OG will look to create history by lifting the Aegis twice in as many years while PSG.LGD will be looking to get revenge for last year. Come Saturday, the 24th of August, it is going to an amazing series between these two behemoths! TI9 is turning out to be a hell of a tournament…