The International 2018 Main Event: 4 teams sent home as Virtus.Pro crashes to the Lower Bracket.
The first day of The International 2018 main event has concluded. Within the 6 games played, 2 were Upper Bracket quarter finals and 4 were Lower Bracket Round 1 matches. As a result 4 teams saw their journey end as they were sent home after their loss in the Lower Brackets. At the same time, the favorites fought it out in the upper bracket and moved one step closer to claiming the Aegis of Champions.
Let us have a closer look at what happened in the said games and what the future entails for the teams in question.
Upper Bracket Matches
We saw two Upper Bracket matches played yesterday. Team Liquid faced off against Optic Gaming and Virtus.Pro faced PSG.LGD Gaming. While Liquid finished first in their groups and chose to face Optic, VP and LGD were matched against each other in a rather unfortunate circumstance. These two upper bracket matches had the top 3 teams of the season with LGD and VP facing each other.
Game 1: Team Liquid beat Optic Gaming (2-0)
Liquid faced Optic in the first game of the International. Liquid was in the very same position in last year's TI and they lost to Invictus Gaming and found themselves in the lower bracket. But Liquid didn't choke this year and convincingly beat Optic in 2 games. Both games took just over an hour as Liquid steamrolled past the North American team sending them down to the lower brackets.
Game 2: PSG.LGD Gaming beat Virtus.Pro (2-0)
Two of the favorites to win TI8 had the misfortune to face each other in the first Upper Bracket round. A great game was expected and that is exactly what we got. Both games went back and forth but it was LGD who held their nerves better than VP. While VP fought strong, LGD fought smart and slowly ground their way to victory. It took 75 minutes of Dota over 2 games for LGD to keep the Chinese dream alive.
Liquid and LGD will go on to fight each other in the Upper Bracket semi finals and we can assume that the winner of this match will be the stern favorites to win the tournament. This should potentially be the game of the tournament thus far and we can't wait for it. They face each other on 23rd August.
Lower Bracket Matches
The Lower Brackets provide some of the most nerve racking moments in TI history. A single mistake from any player can result in direct elimination from the entire tournament. This year's lower brackets saw some great teams fight for survival. Few fan favorites were eliminated while Underdogs thrived. The best of 1 format makes everything possible in these games.
Game 1: Team Serenity beat Fnatic
Serenity was my pick to be the biggest underdogs this year. They have proved me right so far as they took down Fnatic, one of South East Asia's best teams. It took 44 minutes for Serenity to send Fnatic home but they did and booked a game against Optic Gaming in the Lower Bracket second round.
Game 2: Mineski beat TNC.Predator
The battle for SEA supremacy say Mineski overcome TNC to become the only surviving SEA team in The International. It took 39 minutes for Mineski to beat TNC. But it isn't all celebrations for Mineski as they will go on to face Virtus.Pro in the Lower Bracket second round.
Game 3: Winstrike Team beat Newbee
The biggest upset of this International came yesterday when Newbee, last year's runner up, crashed out. Winstrike beat Newbee in a 55 minute game. Newbee's slump in form was significant this year and it isn't much of a surprise that they got eliminated so early. Winstrike will face the loser of VGJ.Storm or OG in the next round.
Game 4: Vici Gaming beat VGJ.Thunder
The all Chinese match up saw Vici beat VGJ.Thunder in a 45 minute game. The game went back and forth but Vici's pushing was way too strong for Thunder. Vici is the 3rd Chinese team to remain in the tournament. They will face the loser of the Team Secret vs EG match.
Fnatic, TNC, Newbee and VGJ.Thunder were the unfortunate teams that are on their way home after yesterday's loss. All 4 will go home with a prize of ~$125,000. With TNC and Fnatic getting eliminated, only 1 SEA representative remain in Mineski. But with Newbee and VGJ gone, only 3 Chinese teams remain which is one of the worst performances from China in TI history. That too in the year of the Chinese.