When you witness a grand final between two teams that have achieved the impossible, you know that you are watching The International. The biggest confrontation yet between Team Liquid the TI7 champion and OG the TI8 champion was already the first of its kind in the history of Dota 2 before even starting, but one team among them emerged victorious showing the world it’s the best ever, to take the title again in a phenomenon that is the first in the tournament
First of all, we must talk about Team Liquid, the European team that has entertained millions of people around the world with its beloved Middle Eastern heroes, who challenged the impossible to enter the main event in the lower bracket of the tournament without getting any other chance if all fails. However, Liquid led by “KuroKy” and with the efforts of Amer “Miracle-” Al-Barqawi, Maroun “GH-” Merhej, Alewi “W33” Omar and “MinD_ContRoL” managed to reach all the way to the finals of the lower brackets without losing even one round, the last obstacle on their way was the Chinese force PSG.LGD, which received painful loss from the OG yesterday in the upper bracket final.
Despite losing one round to LGD for the first time in the main event, Team Liquid rose to show us its eligibility to reach the Grand Final and confirm its position as one of the best teams of the game ever, with two consecutive rounds to win and reach the grand final in hopes of repeating TI7’s dazzling victory against OG, last year’s title defender.
So OG against Team Liquid, two teams who had previously held the Aegis and experienced the feeling of victory. The winner will be the first team in history to achieve two titles, and in the case of OG, two consecutive titles with the same lineup. Much was at stake, and much effort has been made in these historic moments to reach the $ 15 million prize, biggest in the history of esports.
The start was in favor of Team Liquid which managed, thanks to interesting draft including Meepo for “w33” and Templar Assassin for “Miracle-”, to make great progress during the first 20 minutes with more than 6 thousand gold and a big Kills gap. However, OG could not give up without a fight, and indeed, managed to eliminate “Al Barqawi” and chase the rest of the team to win a team wipe and regain 17 thousand gold, with a Push right to the Liquid territory. Winning wouldn’t come that easy, of course, with Liquid rising again by focusing on Ana and paving the way towards the base of OG to win the first game.
That rudimentary game was a wake-up call for OG, who came back in the second game more aggressively with the choice of Grimstroke and Omniknight as well as Monkey King, while Liquid players were sticking with TA and Tidehunter again hoping to achieve a similar result with a similar strategy. However, they soon realized that this would not work with OG progressing non-stop throughout the entire game, finishing off Liquid players left and right thanks to their outstanding player “Topson”, who scored 16/3/18 KDA with a number of Team Kills.
The third game looked better for Liquid at first, but it was inevitably the worst later with total control of “MinD_ContRoL” and a persistent chase down by OG players being Liquid’s weakest link. The final breath came before the 23rd minute mark, with OG approaching their second successive title with just one win left.
So the score is 2-1, and Liquid is in an unenviable position. That result prompted players to abandon Tidehunter and TA, moving to Chen and Omniknight to support “Miracle-” Bristleback, with OG’s Invoker and Elder Titan ban with a draft including The Wisp, Gyrocopter for Topson and Timbersaw for Ceb.
The last game carried some interesting moments from Liquid with the strongest performance in the match, but the team was not able to keep things the way they wanted. Ana securing Aghanim’s Scepter and the sapping of Miracle- mana by Topson were enough to ignite the fight that later ended with Team wipe on Liquid overturning the entire game, as OG set off to take Barracks and force Liquid to fortify despite their strong start, It was only a matter of time until OG achieved its expected victory.
For the first time in Dota 2’s history, OG won its second consecutive win, making history as the best ever, with a successful defense of the TI8 win and a $15 million prize win, while Liquid is going home in second place and a $4 million prize that players will share.
The lineup of Anathan “ana” Pham, Topias “Topson” Taavitsainen, Sebastien “Ceb” Debs, Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka and Johan “N0tail” Sundstein has engraved their names as the legendary unbeatable lineup whether we like it or not, with the Aegis of Champions carrying those letters again.
As the International 9 event ended, the spotlight shifted immediately to see what was next, and indeed, Valve immediately revealed that The International 2020 will take place in Stockholm, Sweden, where OG will once again defend its title against the challengers for the third year, bringing us more wonderful unforgettable moments in the biggest tournament year after year. Congratulations OG and good luck next time Liquid!