Lower bracket elimination series were the way in which the EPICENTER Major kicked off the day in front of the live audience. With two massive series; a TI8 grand final rematch and a battle for a spot at TI9, things were going to get extremely heated.
The International 2018 reborn
As we all ever so fondly remember, OG blasted their way into the history books at The International 2018 as they took down PSG.LGD in a fantastic grand final. While the teams had, once again, met in the group stages of this Major, this time it was to avoid elimination and everything would be different, or so we thought. With Johan ‘n0tail’ Sundstein still not being a part of the squad due to illness, OG would be a little weaker and it showed.
While not taking anything away from Titouan ‘Sockshka’ Merloz, OG seemed to be a little lost without their stalwart – even after destroying Team Secret in the previous round. PSG.LGD always had the upper hand, dominating them across the map and controlling the pace of both games in the series. Even with a Topias ‘Topson’ Taavitsainen Shadow Demon coming out, there was an absolutely amazing Legion Commander from Yang ‘Chalice’ Shenyi to rip through every hero in front of him which lead to another 2-0 from the Chinese squad over OG at EPICENTER.
While OG are eliminated from the Major, they are already locked in for The International 2019 and will be there in full force in August. For PSG.LGD, they have another tough opponent up next in the lower bracket in the form of TNC.Predator.
The International 2019’s final slot
The final lower bracket series of the day was a much bigger battle than the previous as it involved two teams fighting for the final DPC point spot at TI9; Alliance and Gambit Esports. Both teams have had a fairly lackluster DPC this season, never being able to really close out any events in the top spot. However, EPICENTER has seen them come to life and surprise everyone with some amazing performances on both sides.
Alliance were first to strike in the series as they easily carved through their opponent’s lineup. It took them little over half an hour to close things out but the squad had complete control from start to finish, only dropping a total of eight deaths through the game. With the CIS crowd behind them, Gambit came into the next game looking to take us to a decisive game three. For a long period, it was all Gambit, as they went from objective to objective and took control – but the game wasn’t over and Alliance rallied.
The game went into absolute chaos as both teams fought around the Roshan pit for an elongated period. Unfortunately for Gambit, not only does their Major run end here, but they fall short of reaching TI9 through the DPC system but will probably be fighting through the CIS qualifiers. Alliance, however, claim their spot at The International 2019!
EPICENTER is not yet over for the day with the upper bracket finals up next between Vici Gaming and Team Liquid.