One of the most beloved teams lost its way on the second day of the main stage of The International 9, as Virtus.Pro was overthrown out of the event by Royal Never Give Up, while a deserved win for Team Liquid later came to save the second day from being the worst for the favorite teams in the tournament
The focus of the Chinese team in their game against Virtus.Pro, which lost in the top bracket against PSG yesterday, was on the tempo push strategy in mid-game with Alchemist, Leshrac and Shadow Shaman with additional save in Abbadon and Shadow Demon, while VP players focused on End-game strategies with Tidehunter and Engima in addition to “RAMZES666” Lifestealer.
Although the Russian powerhouse was initially on top with the Safe lane towers gone and financial advances on Alchemist as well as countered attempts to push the top lane, the unexpected Chinese performance in their rush to Roshan pit, taking advantage of their opponents ult cooldowns, turned the scales thanks to Alchemist and his Black King Bar, to acquire the Aegis as a reward for their efforts.
Although it was briefly restored by VP, luring Storm Spirit and making him lose his mana to no avail made Russian professionals lose the fight and the first game. The second game had different details with RNG’s choice of support champions Shadow Demon and Elder Titan with Omniknight and Faceless Void, but the result was similar in the end leading to the elimination of the favorite Russian team from the tournament to cause the biggest Chinese upset so far leading to the quarter-finals.
Moving on to the second game of the day, Team Liquid was able to make up for their fans after disappointing performance in the group stage, which made them drop to the lower bracket, after tearing apart Southeast Asia’s TNC Predator 2-0 to secure a place in the lower bracket quarter-finals thanks to the efforts of their outstanding players.
The first game saw Liquid take the lead, thanks to strong performances from Kuro “KuroKy” Takhasomi and Aliwi “w33” Omar, who chose Chen and Templar Assassin respectively. Despite the initial control of TNC, the team was the weakest side when it came to team fights, and Liquid’s second attack towards Roshan Pit ended with their acquisition of Aegis, getting some kills and forcing several buybacks. From that point on it was virtually finished with liquid knocking on TNC doors and destroying all their possessions down up to Level 4 towers before retreating and preparing for the final attack, which completely erased TNC.
The second game extended longer than the first, but it also had a similar fate with a landslide victory for liquid thanks to the efforts of Jordanian player Amer “Miracle-” Barqawi, who spent most of his time wandering the map to farm Anti-Mage, helping his team deplete the opponent Mana towards a successful Roshan rush, with the win being a matter of time.
With this new win, Liquid proved that the Arab trio W33, Miracle and GH represent a significant force in the tournament, as their team moved to the next stage in the hope of winning and replicating the glory of the previous TI7 championship. We don’t know what the rest of the games have in store for us, but the journey is still a long one ahead of the rivals at The International 9, and Virtus.Pro’s exit makes everything possible.
Other important matches from the second day included OG against Newbee with a deserved 2-0 win for OG, and a strong game between Team Secret and Evil Geniuses that ended with an EG 2-1 victory in the top bracket.