EG, OG stand tall in Vancouver, VP knocks out SEA’s last hope, and OpTic bring down Serenity on Day 2 of Main Event.
The action at the Rogers Arena rolled on today as Day 2 of the Main Event of TI8 got underway. With 4 of the teams having been eliminated in Day 1’s Bo1 elimination matches, 14 of the teams remained to carry on their march towards an opportunity to claim the Aegis of Champions in Vancouver. On the schedule for Day 2 was a quartet of Bo3 series, with 2 Upper Bracket and 2 Lower Bracket match ups to be played. When all was said and done, 2 more squads retained their positions in the Upper Bracket, as OG and Evil Geniuses joined Team Liquid and PSG.LGD as the 4 remaining Upper Bracket squads and guaranteed themselves Top 6 finishes at TI8. Meanwhile, VGJ.Storm and Team Secret found their time in the Upper Bracket over by day’s end, as those 2 teams dropped into the Lower Bracket and are set to face elimination series on Day 3. Speaking of elimination, we said goodbye to 2 more squads on the TI stage today, as the 2 Lower Bracket match ups of Day 3 saw those squads fall out of the bracket altogether as their hopes at claiming the Aegis of Champions were dashed.
Final Position: 9th-12th
Eliminated by: OpTic Gaming (2-0, Lower Bracket Round 2)
Total TI8 Record: 8 Wins, 11 Losses
Final Position: 9th-12th
Eliminated by: Virtus.pro (2-0, Lower Bracket Round 2)
Total TI8 Record: 6 Wins, 13 Losses
Day 2 Matches
VGJ.Storm vs OG
Bo3 (2-0 OG Win)
The first series of the day began with both VGJ.Storm and OG both looking to pick up team fight lineups with hard farming carries. VGJ.Storm picked up a core trio of Weaver, Dragon Knight, and Enchantress with Earthshaker and Jakiro supports, while OG opted for cores of Phantom Lancer, Zeus, and Winter Wyvern with Chen and Lina supports. Resolut1on quickly helped put VGJ.Storm ahead in the early game, racking up kills on Weaver and building up a significant net worth lead for the North American squad. With that lead, VGJ.Storm was able to push out and establish map control, but OG continued to buy time for itself and for Ana’s Phantom Lancer. Eventually, that Phantom Lancer hit critical mass, becoming strong enough to spearhead an OG push that overpowered VGJ.Storm’s lineup and shattered its previously held advantage. With the momentum shofted decisively in its favor, OG was able to close out a comeback victory to go up 1-0 in the series.
With its Upper Bracket life on the line, VGJ.Storm opted for a core duo of Ursa and Storm Spirit in Game 2 of the series, while OG looked to a trio of Troll Warlord, Lina, and Venomancer in its attempt to close out the Bo3. The 2 squads were fighting early and often in this match, as the kill count was rising through the laning and early stages of the match. Although the teams were staying close in terms of kills, OG built up a net worth lead, and that lead only increased as the match progressed. VGJ.Storm was able to put together a solid effort and buy time for itself, but it could never quite seem to win a big enough fight to truly turn the momentum of the match in its favor. The North American squad managed to hold for a short time against Mega Creeps, but the constant pushing combined with OG’s incredible team fight power eventually proved too much for VGJ.Storm to hold back as it fell 0-2 in the series. With that loss, VGJ.Storm drops out of the Upper Bracket, and will now face Winstrike Team in a Lower Bracket Bo3 on Day 3 of the Main Event. Meanwhile, OG’s surprising 2-0 win keeps it alive and advances it to Round 2 of the Upper Bracket, where it will play Evil Geniuses in a Bo3 series that will also be played on Day 3.
Evil Geniuses vs Team Secret
Bo3 (2-0 Evil Geniuses Win)
The final Upper Bracket series of the day began with some high damage cores on both sides of the match up, as Evil Geniuses put together a trio of Alchemist, Ursa, and Weaver while Team Secret put its hopes in Phantom Lancer, Morphling, and Mirana. Early on, Suma1L’s Alchemist appeared to be having his way with the match, as EG was securing control of the map and significant levels of farm for their carry. The North American squad built up a sizable net worth lead early, and despite a solid performance from MidOne’s Morphling, Team Secret was unable to match its pace. Evil Geniuses dominated the mid and late-game stages, exposing few weaknesses and claiming victories in all but a couple of team fight scenarios as it slowly pushed Team Secret back further and further on the defensive. In the tend, the Team Secret lineup simply couldn’t contend with EG’s late-game power, and the European squad conceded defeat to fall behind 0-1 in the series.
Game 2 of the series proved to be a more tightly contested match, as Team Secret fought to keep itself alive in the Upper Bracket. The European squad picked a strategy focused around a core Tinker pick, while Evil Geniuses opted for a Drow Ranger strategy with Gyrocopter and Weaver. The game was a back and forth affair for the most part, as each team traded off periods with significant net worth advantages through the mid and late-game stages. However, Evil Geniuses eventually began to pull away more consistently, building up a net worth lead that Team Secret was hard pressed to match. Team Secret made one final attempt to turn a fight in its favor, but when that attempt fell flat the squad ran out of steam as it suffered a 0-2 loss in the series. That defeat dropped Team Secret down to the Lower Bracket, where it will face Vici Gaming in a Bo3 series on Day 3 of the Main Event. As for Evil Geniuses, the North American squad advances to Round 2 of the Upper Bracket, and it now guaranteed at least a Top 6 finish in Vancouver as it will play against OG on Day 3.
OpTic Gaming vs Team Serenity
Bo3 (2-0 OpTic Gaming Win)
Game 1 of this Lower Bracket series started off with a bit of a stomp, as OpTic Gaming came out early and established near full control over the match. The North American team were led by a core duo of Storm Spirit and Spectre, while Team Serenity’s efforts were spearheaded by Phantom Lancer and Ember Spirit. The Chinese squad was almost immediately on the back foot though, as OpTIc Gaming was able to out pace its opponent early. The team’s lead only increased from there, and Team Serenity was never able to build up any sense of momentum as it put together just 9 kills in the match. Down by nearly 25k net worth at the 38 minute mark, Team Serenity conceded defeat to fall behind 0-1 in the series.
Game 2 of the series appeared to be going in a different direction at first, as Team Serenity’s core trio of Phantom Lancer, Storm Spirit, and Bloodseeker were able to hold a modest net worth advantage through the early stages of the match. However, the combination of Alchemist and Ursa proved too much for Team Serenity to handle, as OpTic Gaming began to shift the momentum of the match into its favor in the mid and late-game stages. Without any way to reliable claim team fight wins, and facing a net worth deficit of over 33k, Team Serenity threw in the towel to end the series with a 0-2 defeat. The loss officially knocks the Chinese squad out of the Main Event bracket with a 9th-12th place finish overall, while OpTic Gaming remains alive in the Lower Bracket and advances to Round 3. The North American squad will play Virtus.pro in a Bo3 series on Day 4 of the Main Event.
Virtus.pro vs Mineski
Bo3 (2-0 Virtus.pro Win)
Game 1 of the series appeared to be fairly even early on, as Virtus.pro’s core trio of Clinkz, Invoker, and Weaver were keeping pace with Mineski’s cores of Dragon Knight, Necrophos, and Wraith King. However, the late-game stage saw the CIS squad pull ahead massively, as VP was able to dominate fights and establish a massive lead over its opponent. Despite facing an intimidating net worth deficit, Mineski continued to fight and draw out the match as long as it possibly could in search of a fight to turn the tides. While the team was able to stave off defeat for some time, Mineski could not truly mount a full comeback effort in the end. VP finally found its winning moment, taking back to back team fight victories that shattered Mienski’s final defense and secure the team a 1-0 lead in the series.
Game 2 of the series ended up being a lot more one-sided than its predecessor, as VP absolutely dominated the match up from the very beginning of the game. The CIS squad’s team fight lineup proved for too strong for Mineski’s core trio of Troll Warlord, Storm Spirit, and Wraith King to contend with in the early game, and the Southeast Asian squad quickly found itself playing from behind. Throughout the mid and late-game stages, VP contineud to dominate fights, and Mineski was forced further and further back inside of its own territory. Despite several attempts to turn fights in its favor, Mineski could do nothing to turn the tides, conceding defeat just past the 35 minute mark to fall 0-2 in the series. With that loss, Mineski are eliminated from TI8, and so too is the final shot for the Southeast Asian region to claim its first ever Aegis of Champions as there are no longer any SEA teams left in the bracket. As for VP, its time in Vancouver isn’t over yet, as the squad will advance to Round 3 of the Lower Bracket to face off against OpTic Gaming on Day 4.
Team Liquid vs PSG.LGD
The third series of the day will see a clash of titans, as Team Liquid and PSG.LGD will kick things off in the Upper Bracket on Day 3 of the Main Event in Vancouver. These 2 squads have faced each other 18 times within the last 6 months, and their meetings have become some of the most prominent and highly anticipated match ups in the Dota 2 world. Both squads had excellent Pro Circuit seasons, and their performances to this point on the TI stage have been incredible. Team Liquid comes into this series after posting a 13-3 record in Group A during the Group Stage, and tore through OpTic Gaming in Round 1 of the Upper Bracket to earn a quick 2-0 victory over the North American squad. Meanwhile, PSG.LGD’s record in Group A was 11-5, which the Chinese juggernaut followed up with a surprisingly thorough dismantling of Virtus.pro for a 2-0 win in their first Upper Bracket series. These 2 squads represent the very best in the Dota 2 world, and it seems appropriate that they should have to face each other on their path to the Upper Bracket Finals and a potential place in the Grand Finals of TI8. In terms of their head to head match ups, PSG.LGD holds a slight lead, having won 11 of the previously mentioned 18 meetings in 2018. However, neither side will enter this series as much of a favorite over the other, and both squads will have to prove that they are playing at their absolute best if they want to earn their place in the Upper Bracket Finals and a guarantied Top 3 finish in Vancouver.
OG vs Evil Geniuses
2 squads that finished in the top half of the standings in Group A will now have to face each other to determine which of them keeps their place in teh Upper Bracket and earns the right to play in the Upper Bracket Finals. When these squads faced off in the Group Stage of TI8, it was pointed out that it was the first meeting between the 2 teams since S4 and Fly left OG to join the EG roster. While that fact may be a little less interesting the second time around, it could still serve as a motivating factor to push these 2 teams to put together their best possible performances on the TI stage. Both squads come into this match up having taken down some big name teams in their first Upper Bracket series,as EG defeated Team Secret 2-0 and OG knocked VGJ.Storm into the Lower Bracket with a 2-0 series win as well. At first glance, Evil Geniuses seems like the squad that is likely to be considered the favorite in this match up, but things are never quite that simple. A similar story line defined OG’s last series against VGJ.Storm, another North American squad that appeared to be riding a high of confidence and momentum after an impressive Group Stage performance of its own. OG showed that squad that it was not to be underestimated, and Evil Geniuses would do well to use the experience of its regional rival VGJ.Storm to its advantage as it prepares for its own clash with the streaking European squad.
VGJ.Storm vs Winstrike Team
The action on Day 3 of the Main Event will kick off with a match up that few were likely expecting to see, as North American squad VGJ.Storm will face CIS challenger Winstrike Team in Round 2 of the Lower Bracket. The 2 teams could not have had more differing stories so far at TI8, as VGJ.Storm dominated its group during the Group Stage while Winstrike Team needed a tiebreaker victory to avoid being elimination altogether. Coming into this series, VGJ.Storm appears to be the favored team, but things may not be so easy for the North American squad once the matches begin on the TI stage. VGJ.Storm will be coming off of a shocking 0-2 loss at the hands of OG in the Upper Bracket, while Winstrike Team is riding the momentum from an upset victory over Newbee in its Bo1 series in Round 1 of the Lower Bracket. Winstrike Team has experienced and talented players on its roster, and it has proven itself capable of performing at a high level against top international competition. The question for this match up will be whether VGJ.Storm can bounce back from its rough defeat or if Winstrike Team’s unexpected victory will fuel a stronger and more confident run for the CIS squad.
Team Secret vs Vici Gaming
The action in the Lower Bracket will conclude on Day 3 with a match up between Europe and China as Team Secret will take on Vici Gaming in a Bo3 elimination series. The 2 teams both put together solid showings in the Group Stage of TI8, with Team Secret posting a 8-8 record (1-0 tiebreaker record) while Vici Gaming finished with a 7-9 record. The different of just 1 game put the teams on opposite sides of the bracket, as Team Secret began its Main Event run in the Upper Bracket while Vici Gaming has been fighting its way through the Lower Bracket so far in Vancouver. Team Secret will come into this series off the back of a tough 0-2 loss to Evil Geniuses in the Upper Bracket, while Vici Gaming comes off of a 1-0 victory against VGJ.Thunder in Round 1 of the Lower Bracket. Despite beginning at vastly different points in the Main Event bracket, the 2 squads must now fight each other to keep their hopes of claiming the Aegis of Champions alive at TI8. The Group Stage match up between these 2 squads ended in a 1-1 draw, and based upon their overall performance at TI8 so far, they appear to be relatively close in terms of their talent and skill. Based upon their stronger Pro Circuit performance as well as their slightly better Group Stage record, Team Secret would appear to have a minuscule advantage over Vici Gaming heading into the match up. However, both squads have proven that they are capable of bringing the other down, and it will likely come down to which team avoids that one minor mistake or misplay as the 2 squads fight with their TI8 lives on the line on Day 3.