TNC Predator’s run at TI9 was ended by Team Liquid when the TI7 champions took on the SEA team in the lower bracket of TI9. Liquid came out with a clean 2-0 victory to send TNC packing. This will come as a big disappointment to the SEA region as TNC were expected to go much farther this year, especially under the guidance of the TI winning coach Heen.
This was a rematch from the group stages, where TNC managed to defeat Team Liquid 2-0 to secure a place in the upper bracket. But after a loss to Vici Gaming, they found themselves in the lower bracket against Liquid. Now Liquid may have lost to TNC in the group stages, but when it comes to lower bracket games, experience matters a lot and this Team Liquid roster is one of the most experienced ones out there. It seems the nerves got to TNC and they will have to settle for 9th-12th place, taking home 2% of the prize pool, which is just over $674,000.
Game 1 started off quite well for TNC with the Filipino team gaining an early advantage. But a few good decisions and fights on the side of Liquid flipped the advantage and lead to Liquid taking an early barracks. There was no turning back from there as they closed out the first game in 33 minutes.
Game 2 lasted 46 minutes, but it was a free Anti-Mage game for Miracle who didn’t die throughout the game. Tanky heroes supported by an Oracle, TNC didn’t die too many times but they couldn’t get anything done either. The kill score at the end was just 22-19 in favor of Liquid, but objectives wise, they were always a couple of steps ahead of TNC. Liquid’s GH played an amazing Rubick, stealing spells like Ravage, False Promise and Exorcism time and again to make sure the European side came out on top in team fights.
With this win against TNC, Liquid are confirmed top 8 at TI9. Their next oppoents will be RNG, who are on a roll after they took out Virtus Pro 2-0 in dominating fashion. With the home crowd favouring the dark horse RNG, the next test for Team Liquid will be a daunting one.
While it is back to the drawing board for TNC, The International 2019 is just heating up. On day 3 of TI9, the two Chinese powerhouses, PSG.LGD and Vici Gaming will take on each other for a spot in the upper bracket final while OG and EG will fight it out in a repeat of last year’s semi-final. The lower bracket games will have Newbee fighting to stay alive against Infamous and Mineski trying to cause an upset against Team Secret. Hang on tight, because anything can happen!