Despite forcing a draw in a crucial match against the top-seed PSG.LGD, Alliance failed to secure an Upper Bracket slot at the Main Event.
Alliance showed they wanted to play aggressively in game one, picking a tri-core of Ember Spirit for Micke “miCKe” Vu, Storm Spirit for Max “qojqva“ Bröcker, and Bristleback for Samuel “Boxi” Svahn. Meanwhile, PSG.LGD looked to weather that storm with a plan to win it late with Slark for Wang “Ame” Chunyu and Outworld Devourer for Lu “Somnus丶M” Yao.
Alliance predictably put a lot of pressure on their opponents early on with Bristleback and Tommy “Taiga” Leon Enigma, while PSG.LGD could do little to push them back. When PSG.LGD assaulted Alliance’s mid tier-one tower to relieve the pressure on them, a massive turnaround by Boxi let his team seize a significant advantage.
While PSG.LGD were able to buy enough time for their cores to give them a fighting chance, they were wiped in a decisive fight around the Rosh pit. While they were able to snatch the Aegis away from Alliance’s hands, no one was left alive afterwards to defend their base and they were forced to call GG.
Alliance picked up Storm Spirit and Bristleback again, giving qoqjva the former and surprisingly shifting the latter to a support role for insania, while miCKe was given his signature Morphling.
Bristleback did not have the same impact as he did in game one, as PSG.LGD’s core duo of Faceless Void for Ame and Dragon Knight for Somnus ran roughshod over Alliance.
While Alliance tried to claw back into the game by contesting a Roshan attempt by PSG.LGD, that only served to give the Chinese team the opportunity they needed to wipe them out and eventually take the game.
While Alliance’s game one win gave them a chance at the Upper Bracket of the Main Event, TNC Predator denied them by sweeping Team Liquid 2-0. The Swedes will start from the Lower Bracket despite exceeding expectations throughout the Group Stage.
Be sure to check out our coverage of The International 2019 Group Stage for more TI9 action.