The premiere CIS side’s curse at The International continues in 2019 as they were upset by the Chinese regional qualifier Royal Never Give Up. Despite two strong starts, VP couldn’t keep their cool and continued a storyline they no doubt would have wished to end.
After barely making it to TI in the first place and surviving a scare in the groups – not to mention the lucky break in the first round of the lower bracket with Alliance’s mispick –, not many would have expected RNG to upset Virtus.pro, especially not after how the first game began.
VP rushed to a massive early lead: seventeen minutes in, Dota Plus forecasted a 82% win likelihood for the CIS side. It was no good though as RNG fought back ferociously, outperforming Virtus.pro’s veterans in teamfights, roaring back to a famous victory in less than thirty minutes in the end.
Just look at ramzes’ exasperation:
Game 2 followed a similar pattern, with pasha and co. gaining an early advantage, only to transform into Virtus.pooh shortly thereafter.
Take a look at this 4v2 fight which seemed to last an eternity:
It was around this point where the game started to swing decisively in RNG’s favor, and it only took them ten more minutes to end Virtus.pro’s TI9 adventure amid the deafening roars of the Shanghai crowd.
This was the second meeting between these two sides, and it’s worth noting that the Chinese already managed to upset VP once at MDL Macau. In the end, VP finish their season in 9-12th place at TI despite racking up 13500 points and clinching second place in the preceding DPC season. For context, their worst result at a Major was in Paris, where they still made it to 7-8th. One has to wonder whether this disappointment means the end of this long-standing VP lineup.
RNG will play the winner of TNC versus Liquid in the opening game of Day 4. They will certainly cherish the break tomorrow.