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Infamous stunned viewers by giving Vici Gaming an unexpected first defeat, outplaying the Chinese titans in the first game of their series today. Vici completed the second game without a sweat, but the single loss means that Vici are now in a tied with OG for the top spot in Group B.
The South American rookies went up against Vici, who have been dominating the Group B standings. And instead of cowering in fear, they entered the game with comfortable picks and turned up the aggression.
All of the players on Infamous are making their first appearance at TI and they also have the youngest average age for their roster at the event. Despite that, Infamous didn’t bend under pressure, playing fearlessly and showing poise far beyond their years.
The game was fairly even for a majority of the opening minutes, but Hector “K1” Rodriguez was blasting people on Lifestealer. Sitting with the highest net worth for a majority of game one, K1 showed his familiarity on the hero as he farmed up a storm, outpacing both of Vici’s cores for most of the game.
Jean “Chris Luck” Gonzales on Storm Spirit and Elvis “Scofield” De la Cruz Peña on Tiny caused huge problems for Vici when they constantly picked off key targets while K1 farmed away. Even Zhang “Paparazi灬” Chengjun, known for his consistent carry play, started getting visibly frustrated with Infamous’ guerilla tactics.
Realizing that the Slark was dead for two minutes without buyback, Infamous used their time wisely. They secured an Aegis and mega creeps to prevent any unexpected situations before finishing the game as Vici desperately tried to defend. Vici’s Ancient fell just as Paparazi respawned, marking their first loss of the tournament.
The second game took a mere 30 minutes as Vici tried to put the upset behind them. Paparazi and Zeng “Ori” Jiaoyang took the game one loss personally, crushing Infamous without mercy while using Faceless Void and Sniper, respectively.
While Infamous’ cavalier attitude got them the game one win, it clouded their judgment in game two. A Venomancer carry and Slark mid pick showed misplaced confidence in their hero pool. Both matchups were destroyed by Vici in the lane. When Vici came knocking on their high ground as Paparazi dove the fountain, Infamous simply had to concede.
After suffering their first loss of the tournament, Vici share the spot atop Group B with OG. OG have won four games today, beating Evil Geniuses and Ninjas in Pyjamas handily. EG looked uncharacteristically poor again after their dismal day one start, while NiP threw away advantages in both games against OG.
OG had an unconventional carry Io pick for Anathan “ana” Pham in both games against NiP. While Io is traditionally a powerful support hero in the pro scene with its high healing ability and extreme mobility, its win rate at the event has been poor. OG are clearly unafraid to experiment, though.
NiP started strong in both games, gaining a gold advantage in the mid game. But the moment ana picked up a Heart of Tarrasque on his Io, the fights quickly swung in OG’s favor. With Io’s support potential greatly nerfed in the early levels, maybe playing the hero as a core is the right way to go.
Both Vici and OG will be happy with their current position in the standings and have another matchup to end the day. If the teams win their respective series, they’ll have a fantastic chance of beginning their main event run with an upper bracket slot. The only team close to them in terms of record is Natus Vincere, who recorded a convincing 2-0 victory against Virtus Pro.
Stay up-to-date with The International 9 group stage results and standings.