With a best-of-one deciding the fates of their TI9 run, Chinese squad Royal Never Give Up and Swedish team Alliance both opted for a careful approach in hopes of catching out their opponents in a mistake. It was a big fight at the 42-minute mark that finally saw RNG take the decisive advantage to force Alliance to tap out.
With Michael “miCKe” Vu’s Morphling banned, Alliance chose to give him Gyrocopter instead — which turned out to be an accidental pick, according to team captain Aydin “iNSaNiA” Sarkohi in the post-match interview– while putting Faceless Void, played by Samuel “Boxi” Svahn on the offlane. To control the tempo of the game, Alliance picked Storm Spirit for mid-laner Max “qojqva” Bröcker.
In response, RNG drafted Anti-Mage for Du “Monet” Peng as their hard carry and counter to Storm Spirit, with Gao “Setsu” Zhenxiong on Ember Spirit in mid.
Alliance got off to a great early start, with miCKe’s Gyrocopter getting first blood on Su “Flyby” Lei’s offlane Abaddon a mere 10 seconds into the game. They followed that up with early kills on RNG’s support Shadow Demon, played by Tue “ah fu” Soon Chuan.
Alliance played better, getting pickoffs with their Storm Spirit and Dark Willow for plenty of lockdown. A rotation to the top lane saw a fight break out, with both teams trading their Position 5 supports, however, that then led to another fight, this time with RNG losing four.
Royal Never Give Up, well, wasn’t giving up, and despite what looked like a sure kill on Setsu’s Ember Spirit, he managed to turn it around and kill off Boxi’s Faceless Void and qojqva’s Storm Spirit thanks to a timely stun cast on both of them by Zhang “LaNm” Zhicheng’s Leshrac.
With Alliance finding their footing, they tried to play more aggressively, however they got punished when they lost their Gyrocopter and Storm Spirit. The loss did not deter them though, as they managed to get a pick off on Ember Spirit shortly after.
Farming out of his mind, Monet’s Anti-Mage managed to keep up with miCKe’s farm, and a brilliant counterplay using Counterspell after an attempted gank on the Anti-Mage saw Alliance giving up multiple kills and evening up the game.
After plenty of back and forth fights, the game looked like it could go either way even after 32 minutes, but a big fight by RNG saw Alliance falling to Monet’s farmed Anti-Mage after RNG got off a quick kill on Faceless Void, as well as losing a set of barracks.
Alliance caught RNG in a big fight around the Roshan pit, with the Swedish team taking out Monet’s Anti-Mage, but lacking buybacks to take the fight after Monet bought back, it was all but over once RNG chopped down all of Alliance cores.