European team OG became the first back-to-back and two-time champion of the prestigious The International Dota 2 tournament, after beating Team Liquid 3-1 on Sunday in Shanghai.
The esports squad, which consists of Anathan “ana” Pham, Topias “Topson” Taavitsainen, Sébastien “Ceb” Debs, Jesse “jerAx” Vainikka, and Johan “Notail” Sundstein, pocketed US$15,603,132 (around PHP 818,600,000) for the victory.
The finals of The International 2019 was a showcase between the last two TI champs and a fight for the chance to be named Dota 2's first two-time holder of the Aegis of Champions.
Despite not being favorite prior to the tournament, OG showed why they were defending champs and finished first in Group B of the Group Stage. It continued its fine run through the Upper Bracket of TI9, disposing the likes of teams Newbee, EG, and PSG.LDG to secure their place in the Grand Finals.
Liquid, on the other hand, had to take the long road to the finals after placing seventh in Group A to start the Main Stage of the tournament. Despite their poor placing, team captain KuroKy, GH, MinD_ContRoL, w33, and Miracle- went on a tear and didn't drop a single game in the Lower Bracket.
They looked to sustain their unbeaten run, shocking OG in the first game thanks to their Meepo last pick. The defending champs bounced back in the second match and ran over Liquid with their extremely mobile picks of Monkey King and Ember Spirit. The third game was pretty much a repeat of the last round, with the way OG’s midlane Pugna and carry Faceless Void toyed with opposing heroes.
With momentum on their side, OG looked to close out the series using their signature carry IO and midlane Gyrocopter. It was a tough back and forth affair, but a failed high-ground push from Liquid turned the tides in favor of OG and the former called GG after just 24 minutes.