By Radu Muresan
August 22, 2019
It’s official: N0tail got yet another revenge over his former teammate Fly, by defeating Evil Geniuses in the Upper Bracket Semifinals of The International 2019, just like last year. At the same time, PSG.LGD triumphed over Vici Gaming in the other Semifinals match. This has resulted in a situation that’s identical to that of last year: PSG.LGD vs. OG in the Upper Bracket Finals. This is an unprecedented situation at The International and we are practically witnessing a déjà vu of epic proportions in the TI9 top three.
In this article, I’ll take a close look at what happened on the third day of The International 2019 Main Event.
The Upper Bracket went pretty much as people had expected: PSG.LGD crushed Vici Gaming while OG managed to beat Evil Geniuses after being down one game. The Finals should be the best match of the tournament except for the Grand Final, as the two sides are arguably the best teams of The International 2019. Both PSG.LGD and OG have miraculously risen to the occasion after struggling throughout most of the season.
The Chinese squad finished 6th, with their best result being a 4th place. They got this result at two of the five Majors, but never managed to climb higher. OG on the other hand, did even worse. Much worse in fact, as they only managed to finish 5th – 6th at one Major and that’s it. That was their ticket to The International 2019.
But as soon as TI9 started, both competitors regained their TI8 spirit and just forgot about everything else. It’s as if they assumed their true form, one they only seem to have at The International, and turned the power level to over 9000. Just because why not!
Another team that did something similar was Evil Geniuses, even though they had a slower start and have now fallen into the Lower Bracket. Last year they finished 3rd for the 3rd time and now they seem determined to get a podium finish once more. During the regular season EG had three 3rd place results at the five Majors and finished 4th overall. A top four result at The International 2019 would be reasonable for them under these conditions.
The situation in the Lower Bracket is the following: Infamous defeated Newbee (2 – 1) while Team Secret beat Mineski (2 – 1). And with these two results, the second round of Lower Bracket matches has finished. In the third round, we will have the following two matches:
The winner of this match should be Team Liquid. Their previous opponent was TNC Predator and they won that match with ease. RNG is considerably weaker than TNC, so I don’t see them winning against the finalists of the last two Majors and the TI7 champions.
Keep in mind that Liquid still has most of its TI7 roster and has only changed one player since then. So, there’s no reason to assume that they are no longer a very strong team. They did indeed have a very slow start at this TI and were required to compete in the Lower Bracket of the Main Event instead of their usual Upper Bracket, but now that they’ve gotten used to the meta, they should be perfectly fine against RNG.
Whoever wins this match will meet Evil Geniuses next.
The skill difference here is astronomical, but Infamous still has a chance of winning. So far, they managed to beat Keen Gaming and Newbee in the Lower Bracket, and their Group Stage was decent: 1 W – 5 D – 2 L. Only OG and Virtus.pro managed to beat them. Still, Secret is the winner of the regular season and in principle, they should do better in this match than they did against Mineski.
Whoever wins this match will meet Vici Gaming next. Regardless of the results, we’re in for an amazing TI9 top three. Stay tuned for more news as The International continues.