Steven R. August 20, 2019
The first big eliminations of The International 2019 have occurred.
Alliance, Fnatic, Keen Gaming, and Natus Vincere lost their best-of-one series in the opening games of the lower bracket. The four teams are going home as a result.
Alliance was handed a disheartening loss from Royal Never Give Up. Their game was a close one, with the net worth and experience leads bouncing back and forth throughout. With both teams sporting formidable late game core heroes, victory was one team fight away after the 40-minute mark. That came when an awkward fight broke out around the Roshan pit and went in RNG’s favor, allowing them to chase down Alliance and take their Ancient not long after.
Fnatic looked ready for an upset of Team Liquid in the early goings of their game. Daryl Koh "iceiceice" Pei Xiang got off to a hot start as Timbersaw, but Fnatic never really found the chance to fight around him properly. Liquid had the better late-game composition, which had Fnatic fighting desperate to close early. When that didn’t pay off, Liquid eventually found the kills to take their base.
Keen Gaming vs. Infamous started incredibly close. The two teams were neck-and-neck in farm for much of the game but Infamous’s lineup was tankier and had better wave clear. That gave them an edge that Keen had to react to, but without serious burst damage, they didn’t have a way to break through the front line of Hector Antonio "K1" Rodriguez and Jean Pierre "Chris Luck" Gonzales. That allowed Infamous to push with impunity all the way to the win.
Na'Vi drops out at TI9
Na’Vi is not back.
The popular organization closed the day by losing a marathon of a game to Mineski. Though the two teams went back and forth for 30 minutes, Mineski gained the upper hand thanks to stronger pushing options in Wraith King and Enigma. Idan "MagicaL" Vardanian was able to drag things out with Sniper, but with Mineski also having the better late-game lineup, Na'Vi never really had another chance to take the game back.
It’s a disappointing outcome for all four losing teams, but they do each receive checks worth over $500,000 for their efforts.
The teams that survived will move on to best-of-three series for the remainder of the lower bracket. Royal Never Give Up will meet Virtus.pro in round two, while Team Liquid will look to stay alive against TNC Predator. Infamous and Mineski are still waiting on opponents to fall out of the upper bracket.