The International 2019 with OG being crowned champions but as the dust settles, we look back at five memorable moments that took place in the biggest Dota 2 tournament.
Before we get to the list, there’s one that just left a lasting impression and is our honorable mention. This was the Rampage from the Evil Geniuses carry Artour “Arteezy” Babaev against Vici Gaming on the second day of the Group Stage. In an epic 1v5, he just cemented their dominance despite a fight that looked bad for EG.
Honorable mention out of the way, here are five memorable moments from The International 2019 in no particular order. Well… except the last on the list, of course.
IO has been one of those heroes that we’ve seen time and time again as a hard support. Healing and keeping carries like Gyrocopter healthy enough to keep going in a fight.
The IO pick from OG wasn’t what made this moment memorable, it was the when OG core, Anathan “ana” Pham locked it in, that shocked the world and Ninjas in Pyjamas. It was the level 15 talent of +75 Spirit Hero Damage that ana used to deal massive damage to NiP.
The IO was picked four more times throughout the tournament and each one was a win. This included the last match of the tournament against Team Liquid in the Grand Finals.
Comebacks are always exciting, especially in Dota 2. One mistake in the late game can swing the momentum in favor of the team that has been just barely hanging on throughout the game. Team Secret did this twice in the Group Stage.
The first was against Alliance. Alliance took the lead from the get-go and used this to pressure Team Secret. The map was in favor of Alliance and tore through the base of Team Secret to secure mega creeps. But Team Secret refused to go down without a fight and with Arc Warden and Broodmother, it made things easier. In the end, they closed out the match in 44-minutes.
Team Secret found themselves in a similar position against Newbee in the Group Stage. Once again, it was the composure and experience of Team Secret that pulled them through.
TNC had their strongest performance so far and coming into the tournament was the ninth-seeded invited team. Despite the promise and strength that they had shown, TNC fell to Mineski, 2-0 early on. The Filipino squad quickly bounced back and was able to take their remaining matches 1-1 even against the stronger Team Secret and PSG.LGD.
In Day 4 of the Group Stage, TNC had one last match and it was The International 7 champions, Team Liquid. Just barely within the Top 4, securing the 2-0 would also mean securing Upper Bracket. Close to a 70-minute game but the late game strength of Kim “Gabbi” Villafuerte’s Lifestealer secured the first game while constant pressure helped TNC close out the series in 35 minutes.
This isn’t the first time the team qualified for the Upper Bracket nor is it the first time to ‘upset’ a supposed stronger team but this was their moment in The International 2019.
We can’t do this list without including the amazing Lower Bracket run from Team Liquid. Team Liquid, as we mentioned fell to the Lower Bracket after a shaky Group Stage performance which included the sweep against TNC in the closing moment of the Group Stage.
Team Liquid looked to have flipped a switch in the Main Event with a show of dominance against Fnatic as well as revenge over TNC Predator. After taking down the two Southeast Asian teams, Team Liquid tore through Royal Never Give Up and The International veteran teams Evil Geniuses and Team Secret. The TI 7 champions was pushed for the first time to the full three games against PSG.LGD but ultimately earned their spot in the Grand Finals. A feat that has been unheard of until now.
While they couldn’t hold on against the might of OG, Team Liquid went from an underperformer to a solid contender and fought until the very end.
Last, but definitely not the least, is the crowning of The International 2019 champions, OG. Throughout the history of the tournament, a new champion had been crowned each year… well… until now. OG became the first time to not only be two-time champions but also back-to-back champions.
Their performance foreshadowed this moment after dominating Group B and tearing the Upper Bracket with unconventional picks like IO carry as well as some fun along the way. They were drawn into a group with teams like Vici Gaming, Evil Geniuses, and Virtus.pro but only dropped two games in the entire Group Stage.
While in the Upper Bracket they tore through Newbee and dismantled Evil Geniuses and PSG.LGD. Even the momentum that Team Liquid was no match for the force of OG.
Their names will forever be in the history books of The International.
Featured photo courtesy of Dota2ti Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/dota2ti
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