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The battle for the Aegis of Champions at The International 10 (TI10) is now down to its final three teams.
Chinese juggernauts PSG.LGD became this year's first grand finalist after they soundly swept Western European powerhouse Team Secret 2-0 in the upper bracket finals.
Over in the lower bracket, Invictus Gaming (IG) defeated fellow Chinese team Vici Gaming (VG) to advance to the lower bracket semi-finals against Eastern European dark horses Team Spirit. Spirit continued their incredible run through the lower bracket by sweeping IG to advance to the Top 3 and qualify for the lower bracket finals, where Secret will be waiting.
If you missed out on the earlier days of the Main Event, then you can check out our recaps for day one, day two, day three, and day four. Otherwise, read on for a breakdown of all the matches of penultimate day of TI10's Main Event:
Invictus Gaming 2-0 Vici Gaming
The penultimate day of TI10 began with an all-Chinese affair between IG and VG for the right to challenge Team Spirit for a spot in the Top 3. A hard-fought 51-minute marathon in game one ended with IG emerging victorious behind a stellar performance from midlaner Zhou "Emo" Yi on Ember Spirit, who had 18 kills and 15 assists against just one death.
VG held the lead for much of game two, but IG's superior execution during team fights allowed them to wrest momentum away from their opponents and eventually secure the 2-0 series sweep in just under 47 minutes.
Jin "flyfly" Zhiyi on Spectre led the way with 16 kills against three deaths, while Emo pitched in with 14 kills of his own against four deaths, as IG earned a spot in the Top 4 as well as a showdown with Team Spirit at the end of the day.
PSG.LGD 2-0 Team Secret
The second series of the day saw PSG.LGD reaffirm their place as the heavy favourites to win the Aegis of Champions and become TI10's first finalists with a resounding 2-0 sweep over Team Secret.
Secret gave the dreaded Tiny-Lycan combo away to PSG.LGD in game one, which ended up as a complete stomp.
Once Wang "Ame" Chunyu's Tiny had his items and received the 'Wolf Bite' buff from Zhang "Faith_bian" Ruida's Lycan, PSG.LGD simply obliterated their opponents en route to a 42-minute victory. Ame led the way for the Chinese juggernauts, scoring a series-high 14 kills against zero deaths.
Secret struck back hard to kick off game two and looked like they were about to score an easy win to tie up the series. However, PSG.LGD were able to keep Secret at bay long enough for their heroes to come online and for their opponents to present them with an opening for a comeback.
That opening came during the 50-minute mark, when Secret dived into PSG.LGD's base in an attempt to score a game-winning pickoff.
Unfortunately for Secret, that dive ended up being the game-winning clash for PSG.LGD, as Ame's Monkey King and Zhao "XinQ" Zixing's Elder Titan obliterated them. With their core heroes dead without buyback, Secret were forced to call GG after 52 minutes of action while PSG.LGD marched onward to the grand finals.
Team Spirit 2-0 Invictus Gaming
Despite a strong showing against VG earlier in the day, IG ended up being the latest victim of Team Spirit's incredible run in the lower bracket that already cost two-time champions OG and regional rivals Virtus.pro their shot at the Aegis of Champions.
Spirit opened the series with another show-stopping performance, as they utterly dominated their Chinese opponents in a 33-minute rout and with the final kill score 22-9 in their favour. Spirit's rising star carry player Illya "Yatoro" Mulyarchuk on Phantom Assassin led the way with 11 kills against just one death.
IG did not go down without a fight, however, as they looked dominant early into game two. Despite being down early, Spirit still relentlessly went on the offensive. Yatoro on Drow Ranger then scored a Rampage in the pivotal clash of the game at the 43-minute mark, which made him the first-ever player to have two Rampages in the Main Event of any TI.
Despite IG's best efforts to defend, they could do little to stop Spirit from claiming the 2-0 series sweep after a 50-minute thriller. On top of his record-setting Rampage, Yatoro also notched a series-high 15 kills against five deaths to extend Spirit's Cinderella Run into the Top 3.
With today's results, VG exit TI10 in 5th-6th place with US$1.4 million while IG bow out in 4th place with over US$2.4 million in consolation.
As the first grand finalist, PSG.LGD are guaranteed at least a 2nd place finish and over US$5.2 million. Meanwhile, Team Secret and Team Spirit round out the TI10 Top 3 and are guaranteed at least a 3rd place finish with US$3.6 million in winnings.
The final day of TI10 will begin with the lower bracket finals between Team Secret and Team Spirit, with the winners earning the right to challenge PSG.LGD in the best-of-five grand finals for the US$18.2 million grand prize and the coveted Aegis of Champions.
Here's a look at the bracket ahead of the final day of TI10:
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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