The battle begins…….
After an extremely entertaining group stage we finally saw the main event kick off.
With a new record set for the largest prize pool in e-sports history set at $25,446,333 (yes you and all your battle pass purchases helped with that) it was time to start. The main stage kicked off with a bang having a spectacular opening ceremony. If you missed it you can watch it here. As always Gabe Newell made an appearance did the housekeeping chores of thanking everybody and also sending a big thanks to Canada for hosting the event. He even cracked a joke on how Admiral Bulldog could not make it through security. Yes this is the first year the event is held in Vancouver Canada at the Rogers Arena. As The opening Ceremony finished we jumped straight to our panel and I was super glad to see my favorite host Paul Redye Chaloner back.
With 16 teams entering the main stage with each and every team striving to lift the most sought after trophy. The Aegis of Champions. The level of play we saw has really been next level and it is a form of Dota you do not see in your average pub match. One by one we saw them being knocked out and having their dreams of lifting the Aegis shattered. We even saw Liquid falling out in the last round of the lower bracket, Leaving only EG remaining to be able to be the first team to ever lift the Aegis twice. Once again we will see a new Aegis winner as LGD annihilated EG in the lower bracket final, securing LGD a final spot against OG.
Just when we thought it we are not seeing anything new we were surprised with 2 new heroes. Grimstroke and Mars. Grimstroke being available right now and Mars releasing later this year
With probably one of the most exciting Ti’s yet it was time for the finals. As always the crowd was on fire and almost split 50/50 in the final match.
Let’s take a look at what happened in the Finals
We see OG fighting back from the back lines as they have done so many times before in this tournament. With spectacular teamwork and control they managed to steam roll and just crush LGD causing LGD to tap out at only 34 minutes. We once again see that spectre is a force to be reckoned with. Not that this game was all on Spectre there was absolute perfect playing from the supports. Ceb giving that extra healing with the Treant made a world of difference and not only to his team mates but also making it extremely difficult to push any towers. And then there was Jerax playing a flawless earth shaker landing echo after echo not to mention the perfect fissures. NoTail played the Winter Wyvern like a champ, we saw cold embrace save players in every team fight. The presence of Ana on his Monkey King was felt in every single fight
OG starts off on the back foot but this time they could not get back. OG was completely outclassed and outperformed having their Carry invoker almost out farmed by the supports of LGD. Somnus showed us how to a Kunka should be played being level 10 and Invoker only level 5 in the laning stage, owning the midlane really put Topson’s invoker on the back foot for the rest of the game. LGD went for a tri Lane top with xNova on bane, Ame on PL and FY on Earth shaker. OG responded to this leaving the bot lane to Ceb on Underlord and Chalice on Enchantress. Enchantress started to snowball and did not stop for a moment. Impetus is just such a powerful ability taking 1 third of Gyrocopters health with just one hit at 25 minutes. OG tried a surprise pick with disrupto but unfortunately it failed dismally. This match was one sided from 5 minutes onwards and LGD forced OG to the back foot the entire match
OG got off to a racing start in game 3 with an amazing performance from Topson on his morphling. With the game looking like OG might just take it everything started to turn. FY on his phoenix just destroyed everybody on the OG side. Every single teamfight phoenix went into supernova it was successful and not killed once, drunken haze from the brewmaster was a huge contribution to this due to all the missed hits. Somnus had a really bad start on the Alchemist but reverted to jungling and left all the fighting to his teammates. This gave him valuable farming time allowing him to grow into a real threat. After Alch gave weaver an Aghs they were scared of nothing and just started rushing mid. With OG not being able to control the LGD force they just could not stand up to the damage. The throne was destroyed before a GG could have been called
Wow such a see saw of a game with a good start from both teams the game was anybody’s to take. LGD so hungry to finish it off to grab that trophy. OG made a comeback in a spectacular way after having their carry topson having a bad start on his Invoker. LGD played their hearts out and made brilliant plays with the Tusk getting in some amazing snowball saves and almost turning the whole match early on. After being 2 racks down and staring down the barrel of defeat. With what is probably the best Phantom Lancer game from Ana, Axe making all the right blink calls and IO supporting his hearts out with Chen just spamming in more and more creeps with game saving hand of God calls, OG was able to push through. They got their mega creeps and finished off the match with massive smiles all across the board forcing a game 5.
With this being the last game of Ti8 both teams where in it to win it. with a rocky start from OG they pulled it back and started to snowball all the way. After back to back team fight wins in the mid game they where unstoppable. Once again we saw a fantastic display of perfection from Ana on his Ember Spirit. LGD thought they might have it with their lucky pickup of the Kunka, but OG had all the answers for it this round. The final ancient of Ti fell and OG took the victory
OG is your Ti 2018 Champions. They go home with a lekker $11,152,387. LGD put up a valiant effort but the even year of luck was not in their favour. They don’t go home empty handed they leave with a cool $4,055,413 they just dont have the title nor the trophy
That’s it for this years International is done for this year and it was eventful, stressful and just absolutely brilliant