NA lose 2 of 3 squads, CIS eliminated from TI8 entirely as Day 4 concludes at TI8.
As Day 4 of the Main Event dawned in Vancouver, things were beginning to heat up at TI8 as the remaining teams moved even closer to their shot at fighting for the Aegis of Champions and the title of TI Winner. At the outset of the day, there were 8 teams left in the field, but the matches on Day 4 whittled that number down to just 5 to compete over the final 2 days of the event. 4 Bo3 series were on the schedule on Day 4, with all of them taking place in the Lower Bracket and featuring elimination for those who could not come away with a victory. When the matches were concluded for the day, the trio of North American squads had been cut down to just 1, as both OpTic Gaming and VGJ.Storm were eliminated in their Lower Bracket Round 3 match ups. That left just Evil Geniuses to carry the torch for the North American region, and the squad managed to live up to those expectations by knocking VP out of the event and eliminating the last CIS team in the field. Meanwhile, Team Secret’s victory over VGJ.Storm set it up to face a regional rival, as the squad will face defending TI7 Champion Team Liquid in their Lower Bracket series on Day 5. All the while, PSG.LGD and OG loomed in the Upper Bracket, waiting to see which teams would fall by the wayside and which would continue to be potential threats to their chances at claiming the Aegis of Champions in Vancouver.
Final Position: 7th-8th
Eliminated by: Virtus.pro (2-1, Lower Bracket Round 3)
Total TI8 Record: 12 Wins, 12 Losses
Final Position: 7th-8th
Eliminated by: Team Secret (2-0, Lower Bracket Round 3)
Total TI8 Record: 14 Wins, 8 Losses
Final Position: 5th-6th
Eliminated by: Evil Geniuses (2-0, Lower Bracket Round 4)
Total TI8 Record: 14 Wins, 11 Losses
Day 4 Matches
No Upper Bracket Matches
Virtus.pro vs OpTic Gaming
Bo3 (2-1 Virtus.pro Win)
Day 4 of the Main Event began in the Lower Bracket with the match up between CIS squad Virtus.pro and North American team OpTic Gaming. Game 1 of the series saw VP employ an Io strategy alongside cores of Dragon Knight, Gyrocopter, and Enchantress. On the other side of the draft, OpTic Gaming opted for a trio of high damge cores in Huskar, Clinkz, and Necrophos along with heavy control with a support duo of Bane and Elder Titan. That lineup proved incredibly effective early in the match, as OpTic Gaming was dominating their lane match ups during the laning stage. While VP was able to avoid giving up too many kills and even held a net worth lead in the early stages, the CIS squad didn’t appear to be building up enough momentum to carry it into the mid and late-game stages. The second half of the match ended up being completely one-sided in favor of OpTic Gaming, as the North American squad dominated team fights and forced its opponent into a defensive position that it was unable to recover from. Facing a massive net worth deficit and with almost no viable paths back into the match, VP conceded defeat to fall behind 0-1 in the series.
In Game 2, it was VP’s turn to get off to a strong start in the early stage, as the CIS squad played an aggressive style lead by a core trio of Tiny, Broodmother, and Bloodseeker. OpTic Gaming’s draft was centered around cores of Drow Ranger, Alchemist, and Batrider, but that lineup found itself at a significant disadvantage as the game began. VP’s aggression was allowing it to exert control over the lanes and heavily punish the OpTic Gaming heroes with a multitude of early kills. Those kills lead to a small net worth lead, but OpTic Gaming was still working to buy time for its Alchemist to find farm and keep the North American squad in the game. As the match progressed into the mid and late-game stages, VP continued to expand upon its lead, building up an even bigger net worth advantage despite the opposing Alchemist ramping up in terms of net worth. While their Alchemist was able to find farm, the rest of the OpTic Gaming lineup could not, and the squad could not seem to consistently win fights in the late-game as VP broke the North American team’s base and took a commanding position in the match. Despite a valiant effort and a few won engagements from OpTic Gaming, the team could not hold back VP’s considerable power and momentum as the CIS squad claimed a convincing win to tie up the series 1-1.
After its lopsided victory in Game 2 of the series, VP came into Game 3 with a fair bit of momentum on its side as it drafted an aggressive fighting lineup. The CIS squad combined a core trio of Tiny, Wraith King, and Necrophos with supports of Dark Willow and Nature’s Prophet in the hopes of pushing the tempo of the match as early as possible. Against that lineup, OpTic Gaming looked to a high damage trio of Ursa, Clinkz, and Lina alongside supports of Bane and Undying. From the very beginning of the match, VP appeared to be the team coming out ahead, as it was able to gain a quick advantage in the laning stage. That advantage helped the squad transition into a dominant mid-game, finding multiple pick offs and team fight wins while establishing an alarming level of control over the map. By the time the match began to drift towards the late-game, the CIS squad was in full control. OpTic Gaming’s base had been broken and the North American squad simply hadn’t progressed enough in their item builds to counter the strength of VP’s heroes. Down 2 lanes of barracks and facing a massive net worth deficit, OpTic Gaming launched one final team fight attempt to try and stave off defeat. Unfortunately, that attempt failed, and the North American team bowed out with a “gg” call to suffer a 1-2 defeat in the series. The loss eliminates OpTic Gaming from TI8 with a finish in the 7th-8th place position overall, and makes it the first of the 3 North American squads in the field to be eliminated in Vancouver. On the other side of the match up, VP keeps its hopes alive on the TI stage, as it advanced to Round 4 of the Lower Bracket for a match up against Evil Geniuses in the final series of Day 4.
VGJ.Storm vs Team Secret
Bo3 (2-0 Team Secret Win)
The match up between VGJ.Storm and Team Secret began with an absolute stomp of a match, as Team Secret was able to quickly get the upper hand in the series. The European squad pulled out a Meepo pick in its draft, combining the hero with fellow cores of Clinkz and Necrophos along with Earthshaker and Silencer supports for team fight control. VGJ.Storm opted core a core trio of Mirana, Wraith King, and Templar Assassin, but that lineup struggled significantly from the very outset of the game. Team Secret was able to exert an alarming degree of control over the lanes in the early stages of the match, finding farm on all of its cores while severely limiting VGJ.Storm’s heroes. Team Secret increased its aggression soon after, making near constant rotations for kills and keeping VGJ.Storm on the defensive while establishing complete control over the map. The team’s control over both the map and team fights allowed it to build up a massive net worth lead in the mid-game stage, and VGJ.Storm could do almost nothing to fight back as it was corralled into its own base. By that point, Team Secret’s advantage was simply too much for the North American squad to overcome, and it was unable to hold its base against continuous attacks from its opponent as Team Secret claimed a relatively quick victory to go up 1-0 in the series.
Game 2 of the series was a much more closely contested affair, as VGJ.Storm was able to put together a far more competitive performance after its brutal loss in the opening match of the series. The North American squad picked up a core trio of Medusa, Tiny, and Mirana alongside a control emphasizing support duo of Dark Willow and Ogre Magi. Team Secret opted for a high volume farmer of its own in response to the Medusa, selecting a Terrorblade to go along with Clinkz and Vegneful Spirit with Elder Titan and Silencer supports. The 2 squad remained fairly close in terms of both net worth and kills throughout the early stages of the match, with both teams just looking to secure space for their carry to farm. The mid-game stage was where things began to change, as VGJ.Storm started to pull ahead of its opponent with team fight wins and pick offs. However, Team Secret managed to avoid taking any significant damage to its base despite falling further and further behind in net worth. All the while, the team’s lineup continued to farm and bide its time waiting for an opportunity to turn the tides of the match. After 50 minutes of play, the European squad finally found its opportunity as it began to gain the upper hand in team fights. The squad wiped out a net worth deficit of over 21k to take control of the match and put VGJ.Storm on the back foot. Despite a valiant final effort to hold off its opponent, VGJ.Storm’s momentum had been fully shattered and the North American squad could not recover as it suffered a 0-2 loss in the series. The loss eliminates VGJ.Storm from the Main Event with a 7th-8th place finish, and leaves Evil Geniuses as the final North American team in the bracket. Meanwhile, Team Secret advances to Round 4 of the Lower Bracket, and will face off against Team Liquid on Day 5 in an all-European grudge match.
Virtus.pro vs Evil Geniuses
Bo3 (2-0 Evil Geniuses Win)
Game 1 of the series began with a ranged strategy from Evil Geniuses, as the North American squad put together a core trio of Drow Ranger, Storm Spirit, and Pugna alongside team fight supports in Silencer and Chen. On the other side of the draft, VP opted for a high damage trio of Tiny, Necrophos, and Mirana along side controlling supports of their own in Elder Titan and Crystal Maiden. The 2 teams both appeared willing to fight things out early in the match, as the squads traded kills back and forth across the early stages of play. While the kill counts were remaining fairly close, it was Evil Geniuses that began to build up a small net worth lead heading into the mid-game stage. The mid and late-game stages saw VP’s problems exacerbated, as EG was able to pull further and further ahead in terms of farm and began establishing both a larger net worth advantage and a more solidified degree on map control. The CIS squad was pushed into a more and more defensive position, and while it was able to come close to achieving wins in team fights, it didn’t quite have enough to fully overcome the pwoer of EG’s lineup. With its options rapidly dwindling, VP attempted one final fight to bring down EG and reclaim momentum in the match, but the failure of that team fight attempt finally prompted the squad to throw in the towel to fall behind 0-1 in the series.
Heading into Game 2 and with its TI8 life on the line, Virtus.pro opted for a combination of control and heavy damage in its draft with cores of Ursa, Tiny, and Pugna combined with Bane and Winter Wyvern supports. For EG, the cores were Mirana, Alchemist, and Venomancer with Lich and Vengeful Spirit supports. Throughout the laning stage of the match, things appeared to be fairly even between the 2 squads, though VP’s more aggressive style of play did have it holding on to a small lead in terms of kills and net worth. However, that early advantage was not enough to slwo down EG’s core heroes, particularly its Alchemist pick. As the early game gave way to the mid-game stage, EG’s lineup hit a power spike that VP was unprepared to deal with. The North American squad began taking the lead in team fights and built up a massive net worth lead that VP was hard pressed to chip away at or counter. While VP was able to delay and extend the match in the hopes of finding a comeback opportunity late, that opportunity did not materialize for it. Evil Geniuses continued to dominate the map and chip away at VP’s defenses, eventually wearing down the CIS squad and forcing a “gg” call to complete the 2-0 sweep of the series. With that win, Evil Geniuses remains alive in the Main Event Bracket, and advances to Round 5 where it will play against the winner of the Team Liquid vs Team Secret match up on Day 5. As for VP, its shot at claiming the Aegis of Champions is now gone, as the final team from the CIS region has been eliminated from Championship contention in Vancouver with a 5th-6th place finish overall.
PSG.LGD vs OG
Day 5 will see the final match up of the Upper Bracket played out, as PSG.LGD will take on OG to see which squad will earn itself a place in the Grand Finals of TI8. The 2 squads could not have had more differing expectations coming into this event, as PSG.LGD was considered to be one of the favorites in Vancouver, while OG represented something of a long shot for success and a relatively unknown entity in the field. Both squads have put together absolutely fantastic performances on the TI stage to this point, with PSG.LGD running over both Virtus.pro and Team Liquid while OG has overcome a pair of North American threats in VGJ.Storm and Evil Geniuses. Based upon their performances at TI8 so far, the 2 teams would appear to be relatively even, though PSG.LGD will likely still come into the match up with a small advantage and a slight favorite over OG. Both PSG.LGD and OG will likely be feeling a fair bit of pressure as they prepare for this match up, though perhaps for different reasons. For PSG.LGD, the squad stands as the only remaining Chinese team in the field, and the region’s last chance to claim its 4th TI titles. Meanwhile, OG is sitting in unfamiliar territory, as the organization that is tied for the most Major Championships in Dota 2 history has actually never advanced as far as this current version of the roster on the TI stage. Both teams are now tantalizingly close to a shot at the Aegis of Champions now, and neither side will be willing to lose out on their shot of reaching their first TI Grand Finals in Vancouver.
Team Liquid vs Team Secret
Round 5 of the Lower Bracket will see a match up between 2 of the 3 remaining European squads on the TI stage, as defending Champion Team Liquid will take on Team Secret to see which squad stays alive in Vancouver. These 2 teams clashed several times on the Pro Circuit, and ended their seasons as Top 4 ranked squads in the Pro Circuit standings. However, the 2 European titans have yet to encounter each other at TI8 prior to this match up, as they were placed in separate groups in the Group Stage. Team Liquid posted a dominant 13-3 record in Group A, while Team Secret ended up with a 8-8 record in Group B and needed to win a tiebreaker match to advance to the Upper Bracket of the Main Event. Team Secret found itself dropping from the Upper Bracket early after a 0-2 loss to Evil Geniuses, but have fought their way to this point with impressive wins over both Vici Gaming and VGJ.Storm. Meanwhile, Team Liquid began its own Main Event campaign in style with a convincing 2-0 victory over OpTic Gaming before being defeated by PSG.LGD 0-2 in its most recent series. As the higher ranked Pro Circuit squad, the better Group Stage performer, the squad that remained in the Upper Bracket for longer, and the defending TI7 Champion, Team Liquid would appear to hold the advantage in this elimination series. However, Team Secret was able to prove that it was still a top squad in the Dota 2 world between its Pro Circuit campaign and its performance at TI8 so far. Team Liquid may enter this match up as the favored squad, but the chance to get 1 step closer to claiming the Aegis of Champions while denying a regional rival its shot at back to back titles will likely bring out the absolute best from Team Secret on the TI stage.
Evil Geniuses vs Team Liquid/ Team Secret
So we know for sure that Evil Geniuses will be playing in this match up in Round 5 of the Lower Bracket, but who they will go up against has yet to be determined. The series between Team Secret and Team Liquid that is set to begin the Day 5 schedule will give us that answer though, as the winner of that match up will play against the final North American squad left in the field at TI8. Depending upon which team wins, the narrative for this series will likely change, as Evil Geniuses has already defeated Team Secret on the TI stage and will likely be considered the favored squad should it face that opponent. On the other hand, the Group Stage series that Evil Geniuses played against Team Liquid resulted in a 0-2 loss for the North American squad, and the team will probably be considered as the weaker squad compared to the defending TI7 Champion. No matter which squad ends up playing Evil Geniuses though, this series will feature the highest stakes of any match up that the teams have faced so far. The winner of this series will go on to play the loser of the Upper Bracket Finals between PSG.LGD and OG, and will be just 1 more series victory away from claiming a place in the Grand Finals of TI8.