Day 1 of The International 2019 featured two Upper Bracket best-of-3 series and all four do-or-die matches in the first round of the Lower Bracket. The final match of the day finished a few minutes before midnight, so it’s completely understandable that you may have missed some of the action. But don’t fret, we’re always here with a recap:
The CIS squad arguably performed below expectations in the first series of the main event with star man RAMZEs unable to hit his stride in both games as Morphling and Terrorblade. LGD intelligently made space for their cores to farm time and time again, putting VP at the back foot and unable to claw their way back. Ame even had enough money saved up to snarkily buy a Divine Rapier for his Phantom Assassin late into the second game but that was simply icing on the cake for LGD as they take the series 2-0 and guarantee themselves a 6th place finish in Shanghai. It was a tough day at the office for RAMZEs and co; they’ll be continuing their TI run in the Lower Bracket when they face off against Royal Never Give Up later today.
Vici Gaming, backed by deafening home support, headed into the series as clear favorites. This home support, however, fell silent when TNC took the first game after a nail-biting 76 minutes that was filled to the brim with jaw-dropping teamfights and highlight-worthy plays from both teams. Tims once again came out to showcase why he’s in the All-Star match, and Vici are suddenly one loss away from falling into the Lower Bracket. Vici picked TNC’s signature Lifestealer in the second game, but it was an hour-long bloodbath all the same. TNC started the match aggressively, clearly benefiting from the confidence they got from winning the first game. But Vici’s late game lineup simply proved to be too much for TNC as the Chinese giants were able to even the scoreline 1-1. The third and deciding match was expected to be the greatest of late game duels, but a surprise Centaur mid from Vici messed up all of TNC’s lanes, and the tie was one-sided from there. Vici convincingly won the game after half an hour, taking the series 2-1. TNC drop to the lower bracket with a rematch against Team Liquid awaiting them.
The first day of the main event is always the most unforgiving. All four do-or-die first round matches in the Lower Bracket were played today, where we saw four teams move on and four teams go home. TI3 winners Alliance made a huge blunder during the drafting stage, accidentally picking Gyrocopter who they initially wanted to ban. They put up an incredible fight against Royal Never Give Up despite the disadvantage, but it just wasn’t enough as they become the first team to be eliminated from the main event. Meanwhile, a rejuvenated Team Liquid look to rise from the ashes of the Lower Bracket, sending SEA squad Fnatic home in the process. In the third Lower Bracket match of the day, South American team Infamous knock out Keen Gaming who become the first Chinese team to be eliminated from TI. Inaugural champions Na’Vi became the fourth team to book their flights home as they lose an extremely close series against Mineski. Alliance, Fnatic, Keen Gaming, and Na’Vi finish the tournament in 13th-16h place and will be taking home $500,000.