Day 1 started off with a cultural performance from the Chinese Max Crew which was truly mesmerizing, later on Valves showed us the recap, the mindset, the story and a glimpse of how it gonna go down at TI9 which truly hyped up the crowd. Last but not the least, teams were introduced at the mainstage but some minor blunders happened, like wrong team names announced and the Chinese crowd booing the TNC squad. The ceremony ended with the ritualistic presence of the lord himself Gaben Newell, with his signatory quote “Welcome to the International”. Here is the clip to the opening ceremony!
PSG.LGD vs Virtus Pro
This classic matchup that is happening for the third time in a row it seems like the Chinese squad is dominating VP with a score of 2-1 overall matchup. This ti9 upper bracket bo3 series, PSG.LGD clean sweep VP with a score line of 2-0. PSG.LGD showed dominant performance over VP, with sheer gameplay, co-ordination and synergy.
Game 1 – PSG.LGD had a better draft with a lot of team fight heroes and combos. Early game it looked like VP had the upper hand but it all started to crumble when Chalice (Tide) managed to pick up a blink dagger and with the ravage call down combo PSG.LGD just stomped VP. VP’s mid dazzle pick clearly didn’t work out for them.
Game 2 – PSG.LGD again with a good draft and synergy stomp VP. With the Kunkka Torrent, Mirana arrow, Disruption, Ravage there was just no chance anyone would’ve survived this combo. With perfect execution and draft LGD pretty comfortably knock down VP to the lower bracket. Oh! but wait, Ame decides to end this series in fashion with a Divine Rapier purchase. LGD secures themselves a top 6 finish with this win. Here is the replay of this exciting series!
TNC Predators vs Vici Gaming
This matchup was the most anticipated one and oh boy it was intense! It was particularly a matchup wherein TNC could answer back the booing or you may call them biased audience. However, TNC put up some good SEA dotes on the display against the Chinese giants Vici Gaming. The series ended in favour of Vici Gaming with a 2-1 finish over TNC Predators.
Game 1 – The most intense match of the play-offs so far. It was 70 minutes plus game with neither of the teams securing racks. The game was dead even until this point. Both the teams hesitated to go high ground and secure racks. The 300IQ euls play by Kuku was insane, he managed to dodge Ravage and turn around the team fight. With good individual gameplay, TNC managed to bag Game 1 of the series.
Game 2 – TNC with a lead over VG, decided to draft a early to mid-game lineup, which didn’t work out for them. With a better late game linup and TNC eventually running out of buybacks and committing some mistakes, VG bagged this game equalizing the series. 1-1
Game 3 – This game was purely a VG show. Vici Gaming just owned TNC Predators with comfortable picks and outplays. TNC Predators tried out drafting VG with a Broodmother pick but unfortunately Armel ended up losing the lane. It was a quick finish, giving the lead to Vici Gaming in this Best of three series. VG takes this series 2-1 and secures a top 6 finish run at The International 9. Here is the highlights video for intense series!
Well, the upper bracket was a total Chinese show, this guarantees a Chinese team in top 3 at The International 9. Now, PSG.LGD will face-off against Vici Gaming in a Best of three series, the winner will secure a top three finish. Right now, best of one lower bracket matches are going on, losers will get eliminated from The International 9.