For the second year in a row, OG stand at the pinnacle of the Dota 2 world as the squad makes history in Shanghai
The International 2019 is now officially in the books, as the final day of the event in Shanghai brought with it an incredible level of excitement and a bit of history, as the Dota 2 world witnessed the crowning of another TI Champion on the game’s biggest stage. As it turned out, there was no need to introduce the Dota 2 world to a new Champion in Shanghai, as the victorious squad at TI9 just so happened to be the exact same team that laid claim to the Aegis of Champion in 2018, as OG became the first team in the history of the game to win consecutive TIs, and the first team to ever win multiple TIs at all. With their victory, the quintet of ana, Topson, Ceb, JerAx, and N0tail cemented an even greater place in the history books of Dota 2, laying claim to a record that looks to stand for quite some time moving forward.
While OG ended up being the team in the spotlight by the end of the day, the final day of matches at TI9 began with 2 other squads, as Team Liquid and PSG.LGD faced off in the Lower Bracket Finals to determine which squad would face OG in the Grand Finals. Though the European squad dropped the first match of the series to break its 9 game winning streak, Team Liquid immediately bounced back with victories in Games 2 and 3 to close out a 2-1 victory.
That victory set up an all-European clash between Team Liquid and OG, with the Aegis of Champions and the title of first 2-Time TI Champion on the line. While Team Liquid came out strong in Game 1 with an initial victory, the rest of the series was dominated by the defending Champion. After that initial defeat, OG turned in 3 straight stomps against Team Liquid, absolutely running over its opponent to claim a trio of wins to win the series 3-1 and become back to back TI Champions.
Lower Bracket Finals
Team Liquid vs. PSG.LGD
Bo3 (2-1 Team Liquid Win)
Game 1 saw both squads opts to pick up some heavily farm-oriented heroes, as Team Liquid went with a Faceless Void/Tinker duo while PSG.LGD picked up Spectre and Gyrocopter. The 2 squads traded pick offs and skirmishes throughout the early stages of the match, but neither side could get the edge over their opponent as they remained dead even in terms of net worth. As the mid-game stage rolled around, the team fight began to pick up in terms of both frequency and intensity, as both squads looked to take advantage of their respective power spikes to claim a lead in the match. PSG.LGD proved to be the squad that took the better of those mid-game fights, with the Chinese squad pulling away from its opponent and creating a fair bit of momentum for itself. By the time the match moved into the late-game stage, PSG.LGD had opened up an even larger advantage, pushing its net worth lead past the 10k mark and forcing Team Liquid in to a slightly more defensive position. Despite Team Liquid’s best efforts, the squad couldn’t hold back the repeated assaults from its opponent, as the Chinese squad pushed past its defenses. Behind a combined stat line of 30-9-53 from its core trio of Spectre, Gyrocopter, and Centaur Warrunner, as well as a truly inspired showing from fy’s Rubick (5-3-21), PSG.LGD closed out Game 1 in dominant fashion to claim a 1-0 lead in the series.
Game 2 saw PSG.LGD go with a somewhat unconventional pick, as the Chinese squad selected a Huskar that caught Team Liquid a bit off guard. The Huskar pick afforded PSG.LGD an advantage in the early stages of the match, applying a heavy amount of pressure to the Team Liquid lineup while helping the Chinese squad open up a solid net worth lead before the end of the laning phase. That lead only continued to grow in the mid-game stage, as PSG.LGD was able to consistently find pick offs and team fight wins to build upon their early momentum. As the match carried on into the late-game stage though, the tides began to turn, as PSG.LGD pushed into Team Liquid’s base and managed to inflict significant damage, but did so while incurring numerous casualties. With the gold from that bevy of kills, Team Liquid was able to fight its way back into the match, turning a 16k net worth deficit into a net worth lead of over 10k as the European squad now had PSG.LGD in a defensive posture. As the game approached the hour mark, Team Liquid ramped up its level of control, turning a crucial fight in and around the Northwest side of the river that took out key PSG.LGD heroes without buybacks. With its opponent’s lineup crippled, Team Liquid rushed straight into PSG.LGD’s base, finishing off the Ancient before the Chinese squad could mount any sort of defense to close out the game and even up the series at 1-1.
After falling behind early in the previous match, Team Liquid was the squad to jump ahead to start Game 3, with the European squad picking up the pace early to put heavy pressure on PSG.LGD. The Chinese squad desperately looked to fight back in the early stages of the match, but its efforts proved largely ineffective as Team Liquid continued to push its lead to further heights. By the mid-game stage, Team Liquid was in near complete control of the match, but a successful base defense from PSG.LGD managed to help extend the game and buy the Chinese squad a bit more time as it attempted to work its way towards a potential comeback effort. However, the respite for PSG.LGD proved to be brief, as Team Liquid pushed in once again to finish the match and claim a 2-1 victory in the series to advance to the Grand Finals to take on OG.
OG vs. Team Liquid
Bo5 (3-1 OG Win)
The TI9 Grand Finals began with each team pulling out a signature hero for 1 of their players, as OG opted to put ana on Spectre while Team Liquid picked up Meepo for w33. Early on in the match, it was Team Liquid that held an early advantage, with the squad committing to a multitude of early fights in order to create more space for its Meepo to farm. As the match shifted in the mid-game stage, Team Liquid continued to press its advantage, finding pick offs and establishing control of the map in an attempt to slow down the development of OG’s cores. While OG’s Spectre could not be fully contained, the rest of the team’s roster began to lag behind their counterparts on Team Liquid, as the the TI7 Champion pushed its net worth lead past the 15k mark in the late-game stage. However, OG finally found its moment to strike, as the squad caught Team Liquid off the back of a high ground push and wiped out all 5 of its heroes. After another win in a skirmish around the Roshan Pit a few moments later, OG completely erased Team Liquid’s lead, shifting the momentum of the match in its own favor. Unfortuntaely for the defending Champions, they fell in to the same trap that they had just pulled against their opponent, as Team Liquid caught OG retreating from a high ground push and put together a punishing team fight. After taking Roshan in the aftermath of that team fight win, Team Liquid rushed straight down the middle lane, taking down the Tier 4 Towers and the Ancient before OG could mount an effective defense to claim the opening match of the series.
Much like the previous match, Game 2 of the Grand Finals saw the 2 teams committing to a multitude of early engagements, as the pace of play started out fairly high with 23 total kills in the first 15 minutes. This time around though, it was OG that pushed out to the early lead, with the squad taking advantage of some big cooldowns on Team Liquid’s lineup and severely limiting the early farm of Team Liquid’s cores. As the match hit the mid-game stage, OG tightened its grip, pushing its net worth lead out past the 10k mark and establishing as much map control as possible as Team Liquid was pushed into a smaller and smaller area in and around its own base. With near complete control of the game at this point, OG pressed its advantage, launching multiple assaults on Team Liquid’s base to break through their defenses and lock down a dominant victory that tied the teams up at 1-1 and effectively turned the Bo5 series into a Bo3.
Game 3 saw OG once again look to play aggressively early in the match, as the team put together a number of rotations and engagements in the laning phase that Team Liquid was largely unprepared for. Between the team’s ganking power and pushing abilities, OG was able to open up a rather sizable net worth lead early in the match, claiming momentum and control of the map as Team Liquid struggled to protect themselves from OG’s aggressive maneuvers. By the 20 minute mark, OG had extended its net worth lead past the 16k mark, and had claimed a full lane of barracks from Team Liquid to establish complete control of the game. Just over 3 minutes OG once again pushed into Team Liquid’s base, this time completely wiping out the squad’s lineup to secure itself a ridiculously one-sided victory and a 2-1 lead in the series.
After less than ideal starts in the 2 previous matches in the series, Team Liquid opted to shake things up in Game 4 with a more aggressive lineup and a faster tempo to begin the match. The squad was going up against OG’s infamous Core Io strategy, and the team’s early aggression did help Team Liquid build up a small lead in the laning phase. As the mid-game stage came around though, OG’s Io came online, giving the team a power spike that allowed it to fight back against Team Liquid and swing momentum in its favor with some strong team fight performances. With the tides turned, Team Liquid simply could not recover, as OG dominated the final fights and pushed its way through all of its opponent’s defenses to close out the series 3-1 to become the first ever 2-time TI Champion.