With Newbee unexpectedly doing well in the Group Stage and Keen Gaming fighting for their tournament lives, the series between the two teams featured plenty of action with frequent skirmishes that sometimes ended up with no deaths on both sides.
However, Newbee’s slightly better play allowed them to get key pick offs on Keen Gaming, and they slowly built up their lead, closing out the space that Keen Gaming could use.
Keen Gaming’s Ren “eLeVeN” Yangwei did his best to keep his team in it, and his Underlord was the perfect counter to Newbee’s gank heavy line up, being tanky enough to bring his teammates away after getting pick offs, pulling this trick off multiple times.
However, Newbee managed to farm up their cores and the fights slowly turned their way, with eLeVeN sometimes unable to pull off the Darkrift teleport in time. With the game dragging on past the hour, both teams had team fights that swung back and forth with no clear winners.
With the match firmly in the late-game territory, it was a massive team fight and multiple buybacks, a Throne race against Mega Creeps that ended the first game in Newbee’s favor.
Game two featured both teams picking strong team fight heroes, including Jakiro and Queen of Pain, but also pushing heroes like Nature’s Prophet and Naga Siren. Keen took to the fights readily, getting early kills on Newbee’s heroes.
The skirmishes between both teams continued to roll on, with about 1.5 kills every minute. Keen Gaming continued to get the upper hands in the fights, with their Alchemist’s networth continually growing.
Unlike the previous match, which was mostly even, Keen Gaming was ahead most of the game, with Newbee unsure how to counter their lineup. Eventually, it all came down to a high ground push, with Keen Gaming cleaning up Newbee for the victory to tie the series 1-1.
Be sure to check out our coverage of The International 2019 Group Stage for more TI9 action