Only eight teams remain in contention for the Aegis of Champions at the end of the third day of The International 10 (TI10) Main Event.
Southeast Asia's T1 kicked things off in the lower bracket by eliminating Western Europe's Alliance in a 2-0 sweep. Meanwhile, North America's last hope in Evil Geniuses (EG) bowed out of the tournament much earlier than expected after falling to China's Vici Gaming in a 2-1 reverse sweep.
Over in the upper bracket, Team Secret and PSG.LGD each secured a Top 3 finish with dominant 2-0 sweeps over Invictus Gaming (IG) and Virtus.pro (VP), respectively.
T1 2-0 Alliance
Despite being the last team from Southeast Asia remaining in TI10, T1 didn't seem to break a sweat as they secured a spot in the Top 8 with a dominant 2-0 sweep over Alliance.
In game one, Nuengnara "23savage" Teeramahanon on Wraith King and Karl "Karl" Baldovino on Lina combined for 26 kills and 15 assists against four deaths to lead T1 to a 37-minute victory to start off the series. Game two then saw Karl on Ember Spirit notch a series-high 18 kills against just two deaths as T1 sealed the deal in a 34-minute rout with a lopsided 44-15 kill score.
Vici Gaming 2-1 Evil Geniuses
EG entered their elimination match against VG as the favourites, as the Chinese team looked shaky in their loss to VP that knocked them down to the lower bracket.
Things went as many expected in game one, as EG cruised to a 22-minute victory while their opponents only looked even more tilted.
However, VG were somehow able to turn the series on its head as they pulled off a huge comeback victory over EG in a 57-minute marathon in game two. VG midlaner Zeng "Ori" Jiaoyang on Queen of Pain led the way for his team in that pivotal game, recording 15 kills and 10 assists against six deaths to help force the series to a do-or-die game three.
Despite their loss in game two, EG looked in control early into the series decider and were quick to start knocking at their opponents' base.
However, a stalwart VG squad punished EG's aggression and took control of the game themselves. Despite their best efforts, EG were forced to call GG at the 37-minute mark and bow out of TI10 in 9th-12th place — the first time since TI7 that the organisation finished outside of the Top 8 at TI.
Team Secret 2-0 Invictus Gaming
Still riding high from their huge victory over back-to-back defending champions OG in opening day of the Main Event, Western European powerhouse Team Secret continued their hot streak with a dominant 2-0 sweep over IG, arguably the second best Chinese team in the tournament.
Secret kicked off the series with a 30-minute rout of IG. Midlaner Mikal "Nisha" Jankowski on Templar Assassin notching a clean 14 kills and 11 assists while carry player Lasse "MATUMBAMAN" Urpalainen on Monkey King pitched in with 10 kills, four of which came in the decisive clash of the game.
While IG put up a better fight in game two, Secret still outclassed them en route to a 45-minute victory that secured the series sweep for the European juggernauts. Matumbaman on Lifestealer had a game-high 11 kills against three deaths as his team became the first squad to lock up a Top 3 finish in TI10.
PSG.LGD 2-0 Virtus.pro
PSG.LGD — the strongest team in China and whom many consider the favourites to win the Aegis of Champions this year — looked like they were on an entirely different level as they made short work of top Eastern European team VP in the last match of the day.
The Chinese juggernauts opened the series with a 43-minute rout, with carry player Wang "Ame" Chunyu on Luna leading the way with 12 kills against three deaths while support player Zhang "y`" Yiping on Visage also shone with 10 kills of his own.
PSG.LGD then flexed their muscles to close out the series. Even after giving the dreaded Tiny-Io hero combo to VP away in game two, PSG.LGD utterly dominated their opponents in a 26-minute beatdown.
Ame on Monkey King, midlaner Cheng "NothingToSay" Jin Xiang on Kunkka, and offlaner Zhang "Faith_bian" Ruida on Necrophos combined for 23 of PSG.LGD's total 24 kills all while conceding no deaths.
With today's results, only eight teams remain in TI10: Team Secret, PSG.LGD, OG, T1, Team Spirit, VG, VP, and IG. Secret and PSG.LGD are the only ones left in the upper bracket and will be facing off in the upper bracket finals on the penultimate day of the tournament on 16 October for a spot in the grand finals.
Meanwhile, the fourth day of the Main Event will see OG take on Spirit while T1 will face VG to see who will advance to the fourth round of the lower bracket, where VP and IG await.
EG and Alliance exit the tournament in 9th-12th place and will take home US$800,400 in consolation.
Here's a look at the bracket at the conclusion of day three of the Main Event:
TI10 is this year's iteration of Dota 2's annual world championship tournament. The event features 18 of the best Dota 2 teams in the world battling from 7 to 17 October in Bucharest, Romania for the right to claim the lion's share of a massive US$40 million prize pool as well as the coveted Aegis of Champions.
For everything you need to know about TI10, check here.
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