OG and PSG.LGD will meet in the upper bracket finals for the second successive Dota 2 International as TI9 continues a theme of familiarity.
After Evil Geniuses vs Team Secret in upper bracket round one and OG vs EG in upper bracket round two, it's the third instance of a repeat from TI8.
Even in the Dota 2 professional circuit, the odds of that happening are unreal and we could, of course, see another if OG and PSG.LGD meet again in the final on Sunday.
Live stream: Watch OG vs PSG.LGD at TI9
OG beat PSG.LGD 3-2 in the dramatic and excellent TI8 Grand Finals, inking OG's underdog tale in Dota 2 history forever.
Since OG's victory in TI8 Grand Finals, the teams have met only twice and both matches were in the EPICENTER Moscow Major 2019. PSG.LGD beat OG 2-0 in group stage and then proceeded to eliminate OG from the same major in lower bracket round three. OG did go into that match knowing they had secured their ticket for TI9, which was surely the main item on their agenda.
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Their Road to TI9
PSG.LGD finished sixth in the DPC standings with no major performance in any of the Dota 2 majors this year. They finished 4th in The Chongqing Major and the Paris Major and managed to grab a few DPC points in Stockholm, Kuala Lumpur and Moscow.
Their defeat in TI8 Grand Finals seems to have left some scars but equally, it might have gathered LGD's intentions focused around a single objective: winning The International. It did not prevent them to show a relative consistency over the year, but more is expected from LGD.
OG only got their ticket for The International 2019 at the EPICENTER Moscow Major 2019 last June through the DPC standings where they were eliminated by their opponent of the day.
Their Dota 2 season did not start ideally with the departure of ana but they managed to secure a ticket without the stress that goes along regional qualifiers... and got ana back too.
TI9 so far
It seems that group stage performances have no link whatsoever with playoffs ones and TI9 shows its lot of surprises too compared to the DPC season, like the trajectory of Secret or the performances of Infamous and RNG.
Like OG, PSG.LGD finished first of their group with 0 defeat and 3 draws (one more than OG) vs Newbee, Alliance and TNC. PSG.LGD did not concede any game in TI9 playoffs stage. Sweeping Virtus.pro and Vici Gaming 2-0, two teams that had serious ambitions for TI9.
TI9 playoffs results
- PSG.LGD 2-0 Virtus.Pro
- PSG.LGD 2-0 Vici Gaming
TI9 group stage Results
- PSG.LGD 2-0 Chaos E.C
- PSG.LGD 2-0 Keen Gaming
- PSG.LGD 1-1 TNC Predator
- PSG.LGD 1-1 Newbee
- Team Liquid 0-2 PSG.LGD
- PSG.LGD 2-0 Mineski
- Team Secret 0-2 PSG.LGD
- PSG.LGD 1-1 Alliance
OG crushed their group only drawing the first game to Natus Vincere and the last one vs Vici Gaming when they were already qualified. N0tail even allowed himself a bit of bantering vs EG. They naturally finished first of their group with 14 points.
TI9 playoffs results
- OG 2-0 Newbee
- OG 2-1 Evil Geniuses
TI9 group stage Results
- OG 1-1 Natus Vincere
- OG 2-0 Infamous
- Evil Geniuses 0-2 OG
- OG vs Ninjas 2-0 Pyjamas
- OG 2-0 Royal Never Give Up
- Virtus.pro 0-2 OG
- OG 2-0 FNATIC
- Vici Gaming 1-1 OG
Mindset going into the match
We use the expression "history repeats itself" as if it was almost something proven. But it's not, quite the opposite actually. It is way more likely that our brains notice when it does and does not notice anything when it does not.
Following that, it's tempting to take the historic cycle and characters arcs to justify a happy and predictable ending, unlike a Game of Thrones season. What's better than a part two to the fantastic OG's tale, as if they had to confirm that last year's victory did not happen by chance and that they can win games and TI as favorites too.
But life is not always a tale and the historic cycle memory bias is real. This OG vs PSG.LGD is not the same as last year. This is the time LGD can prove that they have the nerves and psychological toughness it takes to win TI and that their team meltdown in TI8 Grand Finals was just an obstacle, the champions they are, can overcome. Game on!
Dota 2 fans can claim a free item of their choice when they top up their Luckbox account during TI9.