Team Liquid’s lower bracket matchup match against TNC gave them the opportunity to avenge their worst loss during the Group Stage of TI9. Liquid’s ace player Amer “Miracle” Al-Barkawi had struggled during their previous encounter where TNC won 2-0.
For the first game, TNC decided to go with the Wraith King, one of TI9’s most popular carry heroes. In response, Liquid put Amer “Miracle” Al-Barkawi on the Troll Warlord.
TNC found success with their early game rotations and took down Liquid’s core heroes butLiquid remained composed and continued farming.
Knowing they had a clear advantage in team fights with their Black King Bars ready, Liquid decided to go for Roshan. TNC tried to contest, but this was when they lost the game. Aliwi “W33” Omar’s Templar Assassin landed multiple Meld Strikes on TNC’s heroes and they quickly melted.
Liquid swiftly sieged the Radiant’s middle lane after their clash at the Rosh Pit. TNC tried to defend their base the best they could, but with a Diffusal Blade on Miracle, Kim “Gabbi” Villafuerte’s Wraith King was a complete nonfactor.
With Liquid having complete control of game one, they charged back into the Radiant base and ended the game.
In the following game, TNC decided to go with Death Prophet and Bristleback, two heroes with strong mid-game power spikes. While Liquid went with a true hard carry hero with the Anti-Mage.
Similar to game one, TNC gained an early lead thanks to their successful hero rotations. Liquid’s heroes fell all over the map.
But after an uneventful mid-game phase, Miracle eventually out-farmed Gabbi’s Bristleback. And every time TNC tried to siege the Radiant base, Miracle and W33 forced them to teleport back to defend their own base.
TNC missed their power spike timing and was forced to play more defensive as Liquid started to gain more momentum.
With Miracle having Aegis and Cheese, TNC knew they wouldn’t be able to bring the Anti-Mage down. As a result, they were unsure of what to do and kept retreating up until they were taken down.
There was really nothing TNC could do against Team Liquid. Every time they tried to make a play, they failed to lock down their opponents. Even Maroun “GH” Merhej started styling on TNC by landing his own Ravages.
TNC eventually tapped out of the game, and out of TI9 a few minutes later, settling for the 9th-12th spot and settling for a US$675,000 share of the TI9 prize pool.
Team Liquid will play Royale Never Give Up next in Round 3 of the lower bracket.