CIS team, Virtus Pro, got off to a great start in their series against fellow CIS squad Na’Vi, with eight kills to four in the first 10 minutes alone.
VP’s lead however, failed to grow, as Na’Vi’s support duo of Bakyt “Zayac“ Emilzhanov and Akbar “SoNNeikO“ Butaev on Earth Spirit and Ancient Apparition showed off crazy combos to keep getting pickoffs of VP’s cores.
It also helped that VP had drafted Arc Warden, who was a slow starter and couldn’t team fight until farmed. SoNNeikO landed perfectly timed Ice Blast ultimates to give Na’Vi a 6,000 gold lead at the 25-minute mark.
Thanks to the lead from Na’Vi’s support duo, the CIS squad managed to close out their regional rivals to take the first game easily, especially after Na’Vi’s carry Vladislav “Crystallize” Krystanek’s Sven had enough farm to easily take out his opponents.
Virtus Pro started out the second game stronger, although they did not ban out four of the five heroes Na’Vi picked in the last round.
Trying to prove that they had figured out Na’Vi, VP went for a stronger teamfight composition instead, and this paid off in the early game, although Zayac continued to impress on his Earth Spirit.
A fight in the jungles with both parties smoked saw VP pulling back immediately, but Na’Vi still managed to get kills.
Subsequent fights saw Na’Vi successfully fighting their way to building up a gold lead, and while VP’s more teamfight orientated lineup let them hold against the Na’Vi rush, in the end, it just wasn’t enough.
Surprisingly, VP managed to hold Na’Vi off until the 53-minute mark, even as they kept losing team fights and getting picked off by Na’Vi’s support duo and offlaner. However, they finally called it, giving Na’Vi a well-earned 2-0 series win.
Be sure to check out our coverage of The International 2019 Group Stage for more TI9 action.