From eighteen teams just a few days ago, we’re down to the final three as the final day of TI9 kicked off with the lower bracket finals between PSG.LGD and Team Liquid.
LGD faced a repeat of last year when they were relegated to the lower bracket by OG just yesterday but this time, instead of Evil Geniuses in the lower bracket final, it would be an almighty Team Liquid standing in their way of getting back to the grand finals. Both teams had played some amazing Dota 2 so far at The International but only one would get a chance to face off against the defending TI champions.
LGD were able to grab what is most possibly their most comfortable lineup with Wang ‘Ame’ Chunyu on Spectre, Xu ‘fy’ Linsen on Rubick and Lu ‘Somnus’ Yao with a Gyro – all behind Yang ‘Chalice’ Shenyi’s brick-wall Centuar. While it took 20 minutes to really show, LGD took a very strong game one victory, managing to give Liquid their first game loss of the main event.
With the Rubick pick from fy, he became the first player in pro Dota 2 history to have 100 appearances on a single hero in LAN events. The victory also sees him tied with Clement ‘Puppey’ Ivanov’s Chen for the most wins.
This was not the only record broken in this series as Kuro ‘KuroKy’ Salehi Takhasomi overtakes Puppey and reaches the 200 games played at TI milestone too.
Game two would see Liquid deny the Rubick pick by grabbing it themselves while also giving Aliwi ‘w33′ Omar the Templar Assassin. The early period of the game was very much even, although Somnus’ Huskar was definitely giving the TI8 runner’s up a major advantage. While LGD were the ones who had built up a huge lead, we were already privy to many comebacks at TI and this was another. It took some time, but the Liquid lineup managed to easily overpower their opponents and tie the series.
The final and decisive game of the series would see another Templar Assassin for w33 while Somnus would be on his famed Shadowfiend. It was only 14 minutes gone when Liquid grabbed the first Roshan kill of the game and only four minutes later when they removed the top lane tier 3 tower from LGD’s base. It seemed like there was absolutely no hope in sight for PSG.LGD to get a rematch with OG as Liquid turned up the heat.
Liquid were meticulous in their play, locking their opponents into their base and never allowing them a second to farm or find kills. It wasn’t long before the GG call came out and Liquid took a 2-1.
The victory sees PSG.LGD exit The International 2019, not getting a chance at a rematch of TI8’s grand finals. But for Team Liquid, they will march forward to face OG and for the first time in the history of Dota 2, we will see a two time TI winner.