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OG crowned first two-time champions of The International 2019!
Posted by Ram Ronquillo on August 25, 2019

The International (TI) finally has its first two-time champions – OG! The team adds to this by being the very first back-to-back champions in the history of the prestigious Dota 2 tournament.

After Team Liquid dismantled PSG.LGD in the Lower Bracket Finals in three games, it was certain that a two-time champion would be crowned. Team Liquid was TI 7 champions while, of course, OG were champions of TI 8. Nine of the 10 players that played on the stage were already TI winners. It was either the four players of Team Liquid or the full five of OG that would be the first players to be called two-time winners.

Team Liquid had an impressive run in the tournament after a rough Group Stage, they were forced to hang on for dear life in the Lower Bracket of the Main Event. It was here that they dismantled the Southeast Asian teams Fnatic and TNC Predator, Chinese team Royal Never Give Up, and TI veterans, Evil Geniuses and Team Secret. One team stood between them and the Grand Finals and it was the Chinese favorites, PSG.LGD. But in the end, the hometown favorite fell to the might of Team Liquid.

The Grand Finals between the two former champions was a thrilling match and a fitting end for the tournament. Team Liquid took a lead in Game 1 but OG found an opening and took control back. One mistake from OG in the top lane allowed Team Liquid to take Roshan and push straight through. The Phantom Assassin – Meepo cores of Team Liquid shredded through the health bars and the Throne of OG.

Despite the close loss in Game 1, OG turned on the heat in Games 2 and 3 with kill after kill, after kill across the map. Team Liquid tapped out in 32 minutes of Game 2 with a kill score of 11-40 in favor of OG. At 23 minutes in Game 3, Team Liquid was forced to call “GG” this time with an 11-36 kill score.

Team Liquid pulled out all the stops in Game 3, putting together a high sustain tanky composition against the IO – Gyro composition from OG. IO, of course, was in the hands of the OG carry, AnathananaPham. The TI 7 champions took an early lead and pressured the defending champions. OG turned the game around with a Diffusal Blade purchase from their mid-laner TopiasTopsonTaavitsainen. The mana burn was just what the doctor ordered to counter the sustain of Chen and Omniknight as well as lessen the damage from Bristleback.

Team Liquid was forced to call “GG” one last time in the tournament in 24 minutes and fell to the dominant OG.

The impressive run from OG began in the Group Stage and as the tournament played on it seemed more and more like the Dota 2 that the team was playing wasn’t Defense of the Ancients, instead Defense of the Aegis [of Champions].

Anathan “ana” Pham, Topias “Topson” Taavitsainen, Sébastien “Ceb” Debs, Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka, and Johan “N0tail” Sundstein cement their place in the history books of The International as the first two-time and first back-to-back champions. Along with the prestige and the Aegis of Champions, OG takes home a whopping around USD 15,600,000 (around PHP 818,532,000) along with the USD 11,234,200 from last year.

Featured photo courtesy of Dota2ti Flickr

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