Day 2 of The International 2019 Main Event closed out the first-round of Upper Bracket matchups and followed it up with two second-round series in the Lower Bracket. Think you missed something? Here are the headlines you may have missed:
Upper bracket matches resumed on the second day of the main event with OG squaring off against Newbee. The defending champions picked the off-meta Io carry for ana in the first game and relied on Topson’s surprise Bristleback pick to wreak havoc across the map while the wisp took all the time and space it needed to farm. The plan was executed perfectly, and once the Io got an Aghanim’s Scepter after 16 minutes, OG started their siege. With all sorts of sustain coming from the Omniknight and Io, Topson’s Bristleback seemed virtually unkillable as OG secured the win in dominating fashion.
Newbee didn’t favor their chances against Io in the second game and resorted to first-phase banning the unorthodox core. Topson countered CCnC’s Ember Spirit with a last pick Monkey King and dominated the middle lane while Yawar’s Sven took too long to come online and was no match against ana’s more farmed Juggernaut. The former Forward Gaming squad tried to turn things around by trying to get lone pickoffs, but the Monkey King was quick to swing across the map and immediately turn the fights into OG’s favor. The fight went slightly beyond the half-hour mark before Newbee raised the white flag in surrender, which will see them slide down into the Lower Bracket. OG, on the other hand, have booked themselves a top 6 finish.
Arguably the biggest match of The International so far saw tournament favorites Team Secret and Evil Geniuses face off in the last Upper Bracket series of the day. SumaiL impressed on his signature Leshrac, but Secret stood firm and rallied behind their Wraith King. EG successfully took top rax with Nisha dead after 47th minutes and threw themselves on top of the disadvantaged Secret who could do little to prevent the NA team from taking the first match. A Faceless Void masterclass by Nisha on the second game, however, provided Secret with a glimmer of hope. The frontline Void timed its Chronospheres to perfection, giving the rest of Secret the opportunity to dish out their own teamfight-winning spells (Echoslam AND Blackhole, anyone?) to force a third game.
Secret were definitely feeling themselves heading into the third game and it showed when they took the early advantage. But EG miraculously turned the tie around, clawing their way back into the match by taking intelligent fights and winning them. They later forced Secret out of their base and lured their cores into a treeline massacre masterminded by Arteezy’s Phantom Assassin. From then on nothing could get between EG and Secret’s throne as they take the series 2-1 and move on to face defending champions OG in the next round. Team Secret will have to continue their tournament in the Lower Bracket against Mineski later today.
Virtus.pro looked to bounce back from their disappointing loss to PSG.LGD when they went against Chinese team Royal Never Give Up in the first Lower Bracket series of the day. Despite choosing a more teamfight-oriented lineup in Tidehunter and Enigma as opposed RNG’s early push strategy, VP were the ones who took towers early. The Chinese underdogs found their way back into the match by winning a crucial teamfight in front of the Roshan pit and claimed the Aegis for themselves. VP’s No[o]ne made a crucial mistake in a Dire jungle clash at the 30-minute mark, throwing away a fight they could’ve won easily. RNG were up 12k gold by then and forced VP to tap out. This was not the start VP wanted on their the road to redemption.
The CIS giants had their backs against the wall heading into the second game but they looked prime to push the tie to a third game with No[o]ne on the Gyrocopter at the helm. Unfortunately for VP, a farmed Gyro was no match against an unkillable timelord as Monet’s Faceless Void wreaked havoc across their lines. RNG complete the 2-0 sweep and eliminate Virtus.pro in what is to be considered the first true upset of this year’s International.
TNC Predator may have swept Team Liquid in their last series of the Group Stages to secure themselves an Upper Bracket spot, but after losing a close series against Vici Gaming the Filipino squad found themselves in a Lower Bracket tie against the team they dominanted just a few days before.
Armel’s Kunkka may have been evenly matched with w33’s Templar Assassin in the midlane, but it was KuroKy on the Chen that proved to be the dagger on the side of TNC. A clash in front of the Roshan pit forced a number of buybacks from TNC, but in the end it was the TI7 champions who went away with the Aegis. The TA proved to be too much for Filipinos as w33 obliterated their supports meldstrike after meldstrike while the rest of Liquid marched on to take the first game.
TNC went for a position 1 Bristleback for the second game and things started off perfectly for the SEA side as Gabbi dominated Liquid’s offlane Underlord while the eyyou and Tims constantly pressured the bottom lane. Despite the sizeable advantage TNC had in both farm and territory, they were unable to close out the match. This would prove to be their undoing as Miracle’s Antimage was a ticking time bomb farming the entirety of map to his heart’s content. The unkillable Antimage coupled with the Grand Magus using TNC’s spells against them eventually drew the curtains on TNC’s spirited TI run. They will be returning home in 9th-12th place with $670,000.