With the winner advancing into the Upper Bracket Finals and a guaranteed third or fourth spot at The International 2019, the first China vs China match-up in TI9’s Upper Bracket saw PSG.LGD take on against Vici Gaming.
At this stage of the tournament, only the strongest teams remain, and neither Chinese powerhouses would give way.
The first game saw PSG.LGD bust out Xu “fy” Linsen’s signature hero, Rubick, while also picking Terror Blade for a much later game. They also had plenty of control with Centaur, Lion, and Kunkka in case Vici Gaming decided to fight early.
Vici Gaming opted for more tower and base push with Leshrac and Shadow Shaman, as well as a Warlock and Abaddon for early team fights, and borrowing a page from Infamous, Wraith King to carry them all.
The game started out slightly slow, with both teams making testing each other out before Vici Gaming managed to take three kills all over the map. Having learned their lesson, PSG.LGD backed off to take a more cautious approach, only taking a kill of their own just before the 12-minute mark.
Instead of fights, both teams played objective Dota, juking around the map and taking out towers instead. When a fight didn’t look like it was in PSG.LGD’s favor, they would immediately disengage with Centaur. This made for a pretty slow game with only five total kills at the 20-minute mark.
With PSG.LGD finally getting their Black King Bars for magic immunity against the damage of Leshrac, the fights started to break out. While the first fight wasn’t quite so conclusive, the one after saw PSG.LGD handily win it after catching Vici Gaming’s Zhou “Yang” Haiyang’s Abaddon out of position.
Realizing they needed an advantage to take the fight against PSG.LGD, Vici Gaming decided to go for Roshan, and managed to win the subsequent fight. However, the Aegis was spent and PSG.LGD then took the next few fights, and also pushed down the barracks thanks to Terror Blade’s strong push potential.
With the game on the line, Vici Gaming tried for a fight outside of the base, which was moderately effective, even getting a kill on LGD”s Wang “Ame” Chunyu Terror Blade, who instantly bought back. Trying to get Roshan, Vici Gaming then lost the next fight, leading to a GG call shortly after.
The second game saw Vici Gaming going for a similarly aggressive draft, with plenty of stuns and lockdown in the form of Mirana, Sand King, Sven, and Lion to hopefully keep PSG.LGD in check, with a Necrophos for pick offs.
PSG.LGD went for a similar draft, but with a late-game Spectre to complement the lineup of Elder Titan, Ogre Magic, Jakiro and Dragon Knight.
Like the first game, both Chinese teams started out cautiously, trading kills evenly from the get go. The pace was relatively slow at the start, with LGD opting to go for three Hand of Midas on their cores for the late game. While Vici Gaming lost the first fight, they realized they needed to be more aggressive and started to win fights and punish LGD’s greed.
With PSG.LGD’s greed holding them back from fighting, VG took objectives all over the map, easily holding a 6,000 gold lead at the 23-minute mark. However, PSG.LGD managed to get a perfect team fight and cut VG’s lead down to just 2,000. It was the start of the end for Vici Gaming.
From then on, LGD played a flawless game, engaging and disengaging fights in perfect coordination, and after taking a big fight, and having a big experience and gold lead, they were able to take out two sets of barracks. The writing was on the wall and Vici Gaming had to tap out.
Vici Gaming has been knocked down to the lower bracket and will face the winner of Team Secret vs Infamous. Meanwhile PSG.LGD will face the winner of OG vs Evil Geniuses.