To kick-off Day 3 of TI9’s Group Stage, Group A’s top-ranked team, Team Secret, who are still undefeated with a stellar 8-0 record, faced off against TNC Predator, who sit in fourth place in Group A at 5-5.
Game one started with TNC trying for a double Assassinate play with a Sniper and Grimstroke combo, while Secret went with a surprising comp of Yazied “YapzOr” Jaradat on Invoker and Yeik “MidOne” Nai Zheng on Jakiro.
Secret’s unusual strat paid off though, and they were able to secure multiple picks in the first few minutes.
Secret’s lead continued to grow and it looked like this would be another quick stomp for the European squad.
However, TNC were able to keep themselves in the game and managed to hold out for another 30 minutes.
In the end though, with a 28,000 gold lead and a dominating 34-12 kill score, Secret finally managed to close out game one at the 48-minute mark.
Game two looked like it was going to be a repeat of game one with Secret getting off to a quick start.
TNC’s Nico “eyyou” Barcelon got a cheeky cliff onto Secret’s Clement “Puppey” Ivanov, but ended up paying for it with his life.
Secret quickly took full control of the bottom lane, taking out Kim “Gabbi” Villafuerte and eyyou yet again.
However, before things were able to get completely out of hand, TNC were able to take back control of the bottom lane by securing a huge team wipe.
TNC followed that up by stealing Roshan from Secret, and then rubbed some salt in the wound with another huge team wipe.
Despite trailing in kills, TNC held a 20,000 gold lead at the 30-minute mark that continued to grow.
But despite dominating the mid game, TNC couldn’t close out Secret.
A bloodbath at the 40-minute mark looked good for TNC at the start, but Secret’s Michał “Nisha” Jankowski’s Sniper went absolutely ham, picking up an Ultra kill and dispensing a ridiculous 12,789 damage in less than a minute.
However, mere minutes later, TNC finally won the team fight they needed, taking out Nisha’s Sniper, and then cleaning up the rest of Secret.
TNC pressed their advantage and, despite more heroics from Nisha, this time he couldn’t save his team, and TNC were able to close out the game, handing Secret their first loss of the tournament.
Be sure to check out our coverage of The International 2019 Group Stage for more TI9 action.