The International 8: Main Event day two to five recap
Jay 'NinjaBunny' Putzier
August 25, 2018 10:00 am
The International 8: Day two
Tuesday saw two upper bracket games and two lower bracket elimination games take place. In the upper bracket the first match of the day was that of VGJ.Storm versus OG. At first look this match seemed to somewhat of a David versus Goliath matchup. While VGJ dominated Group B with many of their matches finishing 2-0. OG fought hard on their way to the upper bracket with scrappy win after scrappy win. Through both games in their 2-0 win over VGJ, OG continued to show their strong mental attitude and patience to grind out wins.
The second upper bracket game of the day had high flying Evil Geniuses face off against Team Secret. In what was probably the most anticipated game of the day, EG sweep past Secret in a 2-0 victory. EG followed on their dominant group stage play style by bullying the early game laning phase in both games. Building a lead of gold and core items, that left Secret in their wake as the marched on the upper bracket semi-finals.
Optic Gaming sent Team Serenity packing in the first of the elimination games of the day with a 2-0 win. Both games were close affairs with the teams being patient and waiting for a mistake to made by the other. Optic, with their more experienced players, were able to be more controlled and know when to capitalize on Serenity’s mistakes. The final game of the day had us saying goodbye to Mineski and the last hope of the SEA region in TI8. Virtus Pro, the surprise under-performers of TI, fought hard in both games. Making the most of the mistakes that Mineski made, VP kept their cool and took the series 2-0.
The International 8: Day three
Wednesday was a bit of a role reversal per say, as we had the two elimination games up first followed up with the upper bracket semi-finals. Up and coming Winstrike Team’s fairy-tale run ended as they were outclassed by a strong VGJ.Storm side that had something to prove after dropping down to the lower bracket. VGJ never really looked like they were in trouble as the brushed Winstrike aside winning 2-0 and moved on to the next round.
For the first time on the main stage we had a series that went the full three games. Vici Gaming pushed Team Secret all the way but would ultimately wave goodbye to their fans and the arena as the fell 2-1 to Secret. Vici won game one with a gritty performance that saw them grind Secret down until they tapped out. Secret learnt from their mistakes and came back stronger in game two and three, dispatching Vici with relative ease. Setting themselves up a date with VGJ.Storm in the next round.
Onto the upper bracket we went and in what was billed as the final before the final PSG.LGD squared off against defending champions Team Liquid. As the last hope for the Chinese and the eastern teams, LGD walked into player booths with a lot of support behind them. This seemed to spill through the players and into the game as LDG confidently picked Liquid up and dropped them into the lower bracket with a comfortable 2-0 win.
The final match of the day was yet again the most anticipated and the one with the most hype. EG entered the arena as favourites after their strong performances in games prior. OG were not phased with the underdog tag and surprised EG in taking game one with Topson’s Storm Spirit the MVP. EG hit back in game two and took advantage of the few mistakes that OG made, punishing them hard and tying the series 1-1. The third and final game saw EG control and dictate the majority of the game. OG showed great resilience and maturity to keep themselves in the game, knowing that they had the superior late game draft. Eventually outlasting EG and taking the series 2-1.
The International 8: Day four
Thursday we saw the last of Optic Gaming as they fell to Virtus Pro 1-2 in their elimination match. Optic took it to VP in game one with Pajkatt and CCnC, on Clinks and Huskar respectively, causing havoc for VP and proving too much too handle. Game two saw a bit of cheese spread across the draft with Optic picking up Drow Ranger and Alchemist versus VP’s Broodmother and Bloodseeker. VP ultimately securing the win and tying the series 1-1. The final game of the series was VP all the way, dominating all phases of the game and taking the series 2-1.
VGJ.Storm walked out to the arena hoping to unlock Team Secret in their elimination match. Secret had other plans as they convincingly dispatched of VGJ in a 2-0 win over the North American team. The highlight of this match was in game one where we saw the first appearance of Meepo on the main stage, played by Secret’s Ace. While VGJ reflect on what was a positive run, Secret will start preparing for their game against Liquid in the next round.
The final match of the day saw Virtus Pro and Evil Geniuses square off in a fight against elimination. EG were looking to recover from their loss against OG the day before, while VP were hoping to find some form of consistency and push forward. EG took the series 2-0 in what some would say was the “SumaiL” show.
The International 8: Day five
Friday left us with just five teams remaining in the tournament, with only three places left for the final day the battle was on. Reigning champions Liquid were first up against Team Secret. The match was a hard fought one with Liquid having the edge on Secret and taking the series 2-0. With Liquid moving forward and SEcret being eliminated we were down to only four teams left.
To the winners bracket final we went where LDG and OG fought for the right to be the first team into the grand final. OG took game one after showing a more disciplined play style than LGD. Game two saw LGD hit back after an early game dominated by OG, tying the series 1-1. Game three was a tale of two halves, as LGD controlled the early to mid game with their lane dominance and constant rotations around the map. OG held on and with ana’s Spectre eventually becoming to hard for LDG to handle, OG closed out the game and moved into the grand final with a 2-1 series win.
LGD dropped to the losers bracket final where they waited for the winner of Team Liquid and Evil Geniuses. SumaiL’s Storm Spirit made it appearance in game one, and looked largely in charge wherever he went on the map. EG seemed to have liquid figured out and took all the right team fights and pick offs, eventually accepting Liquid’s GG call. Game two saw a few fairly unused heroes in the tournament, such as Timbersaw and Viper, being drafted. Cr1t of EG was a thorn in the side of Liquid, making space and wreaking havoc with his rotations. Liquid fought and fought but ultimately had to tap out and say goodbye to their chances of back to back titles.