The Epicenter Major has become one hell of an intense battlefield for the last few remaining direct TI invite spots. When the tournament kicked off earlier this week, four slots were up for grabs.
Just the other day, TNC Predator secured the 9th invite spot after defeating RNG 2:1 in the upper brackets.
Yesterday, two more spots at TI9 were also grabbed up by Keen Gaming after their Chinese brethren PSG.LGD handed out a loss to Forward Gaming. That loss meant that Keen Gaming finally secured their spot at TI9 with 1140 points.
With only two spots remaining for The International 9, OG had to step it up to be able to defend their title at TI. But they had a tall ask ahead of them. OG had to beat Team Secret in a BO3 series to secure their place in The International. Team Secret is the best team in the world according to the DPC points table. But that didn’t faze OG.
In Game 1, OG went back to ana’s Slark which had worked wonders against Evil Geniuses earlier in the tournament, while Team Secret picked up quite an unorthodox lineup with a Gyrocopter in the Mid lane and a Zai Underlord.
Ana and Jerax ran rampant around Team Secret, picking up kills all over the map and forcing Team Secret to play defensively around Nisha’s Sven. But they simply couldn’t handle ana’s farmed Slark as he decimated Team Secret with a 10/1/8 scoreline to force the GG
Game 2 was a similar story with Ana getting a great start on his Juggernaut. OG won every major battle and gained a massive advantage in gold and experience that was hard to overtake for Secret.
They overwhelmed Team Secret with some immaculate teamfights knocking out the favourites and booking a place in The International 9 with a 2-0 victory.
With only one spot at TI9 left, Alliance and RNG went up against each other in one hell of a battle. A victory here was necessary, to keep their direct invite hopes alive. The Chinese team managed to take the first game after a back-and-forth battle that lasted over an hour. But the Europeans struck back with a fury, with clean execution securing the series with a 2-1 victory which pushed them into the 12th position in the DPC tables.
With Gambit Esports also securing a 2-0 victory over Ninjas in Pyjamas in the final match of the day, the stage has been set for an epic, winner-takes-all showdown in front of the roaring Russian crowd when the Epicenter Major resumes, on Friday.
Merely 50 points separate the two teams which means that a win here will push the victors into 12th place, guaranteeing a TI invite.