OG outlast Gaimin Gladiators 2-1 to stay alive in TI11 lower bracket

OG extended their stay at The International 11 (TI11) after they defeated fellow Western European squad Gaimin Gladiators in the second round of the Main Event's lower bracket. (Photo: Valve Software)
OG extended their stay at The International 11 (TI11) after they defeated fellow Western European squad Gaimin Gladiators in the second round of the Main Event's lower bracket. (Photo: Valve Software)

It was adrenaline all around Suntec City as OG outlasted Gaimin Gladiators 2-1 in an all-Western European slugfest in the lower bracket of The International 11 (TI11) Main Event.

The first series of this year's Main Event that went to three games was a hard-fought showdown between two regional rivals that thrilled the crowd both at the venue and at home.

Both teams played the Group Stage in Group A and didn't have the most promising showings.

OG narrowly secured an upper bracket berth in the Main Event as the group's fourth seed with a 10-8 record.

Meanwhile, the Gaimin Gladiators only managed to get their group's seventh seed with a 8-10 record, but it was still good enough to put them in the lower bracket of the Main Event.

OG didn't stay long in the upper bracket, quickly sent down to the lower bracket by Tundra Esports in a 2-0 sweep.

On the other hand, Gaimin Gladiators survived their best-of-one elimination match against Fnatic in order to set up a meeting with their regional rivals.

OG were heavily favoured to take the series, as they had won 17 of the 21 games they played against Gaimin Gladiators throughout the 2021-2022 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) season.

OG started the match by going for a heavy physical damage lineup with multiple armor-shredding abilities: Slardar for Ammar "ATF" Al-Assaf, a support Naga Siren for Tommy "Taiga" Le, and Snapfire for Mikhail "Misha" Agatov. Artem "Yuragi" Golubiev's Monkey King was responsible for delivering the physical damage the team needed to win the game.

One of the best counters against physical damage lineups is the Atrophy Aura from Underlord, which Gaimin Gladiators picked for Marcus "Ace" Hoelgaard. The team also went for a mid Tiny for Miroslav "BOOM" Bičan, a durable frontline hero who the team hoped would be able to withstand the punishment from OG.

Game one started well for OG, as they secured First Blood and multiple couriers in the first three minutes. The lead started to grow as the laning stage progressed, as OG secured four kills in the bottom lane, giving Yuragi an incredible head start.

Realizing the lanes were going well for his team, Bozhidar "bzm" Bogdanov on Invoker went for a Hand of Midas pickup, ensuring he will scale well into the late game. OG's aggression notably dropped at the end of the laning stage, as ATF also picked up his own Hand of Midas.

The onus was on the Gladiators to make something happen on the map and they were successful, taking the mid tier one tower and quickly transitioning into a Roshan attempt. OG's multiple Midas pickups meant their fighting prowess at that time was severely hampered.

OG's greedy item build started to pay off as the game progressed. While Yuragi started to fall slightly behind the other cores in net worth, his fellow cores were steadily becoming more and more dangerous. This was been OG's signature tri-core strategy in action.

The second Roshan was the main focus of both teams. OG were leading in networth but it wasn't a big advantage and, in the end, it was the Gladiators who secured the second Aegis of the game.

But the Aegis wasn't enough to allow the Gladiators to push high ground and instead, they suffered heavy losses. The networth advantage by OG was becoming too much for their opponents to handle.

In the end, the Gladiators needed to push harder after the laning stage and punish their opponents' greed. Come late game it was no contest, as OG took the first game in 39 minutes.

The Gladiators picked Silencer for Erik "tOfu" Engel again in game two and paired it with Crystal Maiden for Melchior "Seleri" Hillenkamp. Ace's Primal Beast and dyrachyo's Lifestealer would be responsible for charging into fights and taking down the OG heroes.

OG gave Yuragi the Faceless Void, one of the strongest teamfight carries at TI11. Mikhail "Misha" Agatov's Jakiro can do incredible damage to enemies in the Chronosphere while bzm makes space in the mid game with Pangolier.

The top lane looked good for the Gladiators, as their combination of Silencer and Primal Beast was dangerous for Misha and Yuragi to deal with. Bottom lane wasn't going as well though, as ATF and Taiga were more than a match for Lifestealer. It was a tough start for the carries of both teams.

The game was off to a slow start but the last couple of minutes of the laning stage saw OG land six kills. This wasn't another slow Hand of Midas game for them, as they were intent on oppressing their opponents as much as they could.

The two teams traded kills after the laning stage, but it was usually OG who won the trades and grew their net worth lead. Most of the deaths in the game were on the supports, leading to a big disparity in net worth between them and the cores in the game.

Even when OG started fights with a numerical disadvantage and bzm wasted his ultimate, they still managed to win a big fight near the Roshan pit.

OG was in firm control of the game after securing the first Aegis. Yuragi had a tough laning stage but by the 30-minute mark, he was the richest hero on the map, just what Faceless Void wanted.

But one surprising development was the incredible plays coming from Ace, as he salvaged a lost fight for his team by taking four OG heroes down with him using his hero's Aghanim's Scepter. Primal Beast is a tempo-based hero that peaks in the mid game, but Ace's performance proved that the hero is a threat at any stage of the game even with a significant networth disadvantage.

The Gladiators were able to sneak in and take the second Aegis of the game as a result, giving them some breathing room. However they were still significantly behind in terms of farm, the Aegis needed to be used perfectly if the Gladiators wanted to make a comeback.

OG was unsure how to engage when dyrachyo had the Aegis, as they didn't know if they should use Chronosphere to control him or not. This led to Yuragi losing his life a multiple times in a row, letting the Gladiators win crucial fights and equalize the net worth.

OG took the third Aegis of the game and decided to dive the enemy's base. Yuragi's performance in the second half of the game was questionable, as he was caught off guard three times and failed to land the game-winning Chronosphere.

The Gladiators finally closed out the game after 54 minutes and forced their match with OG to a decider, the first time in TI11's Main Stage that a series went to three games.

With their tournament lives on the line, OG decided to go back to the bzm Invoker, a key figure in their victory in game one. Misha stuck to Jakiro while Yuragi picked Naga Siren.

ATF went for Sand King, an odd choice since it's not one of his traditional heroes, but the synergy between the hero and the rest of his team's draft was fantastic.

The Gladiators they also went back to one of the heroes they picked in game one, the Shadow Fiend for dyrachyo. It's common for the team to pick two hard supports and this time it was Disruptor and Undying.

Both teams won their offlane, as the Gladiators were happy to ferry several Echanted Mangos in order to keep harassing Yuragi while ATF was able to secure a couple of kills in the top lane.

However, it was the Gladiators that came out ahead in the laning stage, as Yuragi was completely shut down. ATF was even poorer, so it was all on bzm to bring OG back into the game.

Both teams had impressive teamfight lineups. But when they clashed at the 12-minute mark, it wasn't Epicenter or Tombstone that won the fight, but a simple Glimpse that allowed the Gladiators to win the first big engagement.

The Gladiators started to exert control on the map, using the vision from Ace's Beastmaster to find OG and get pickoffs. Once Roshan became an option, dyrachyo claimed the Aegis for himself.

With a dominated Black Dragon and an Aegis on the team, the Gladiators decided to amp up their aggression and go for a high-ground push. However they weren't able to commit due to the split push coming out from bzm and ATF.

In the end, the push amounted to nothing and the first Aegis of the game wasn't enough to bring down any barracks.

While it didn't look that bad at the time, failing to take a barracks with the Aegis was a death blow for the Gladiators. Their lineup didn't scale as well in the late game and they had just picked up a Helm of the Overlord. It was the biggest power spike for the team and missing their timing allowed OG to dominate the map for the rest of the game.

Controlling the Roshan area was the name of the game, and it was OG that took the fight in the pit convincingly and took control of the decider.

The pressure from OG eventually became too much for the Gladiators to handle. OG's draft scaled better into the late game thanks to Naga Siren and they had the networth advantage. Despite a valiant effort by the Gladiators, their missed timing cost them the game and their spot in TI11.

OG's victory has guaranteed them at least a 7th-8th place finish as well as over US$420,000 in winnings. They will next face Team Liquid in a highly-anticipated showdown in the third round of the lower bracket.

Meanwhile, Gaimin Gladiators bow out of the competition in 9th-12th place and with over US$340,000 in consolation. They are the first Western European team to bow out of TI11.

TI11 will be hosted in Singapore from 15 to 30 October and features a revamped format and a longer schedule.

TI11's Main Event will be a double-elimination bracket and is split into two phases, the first being held from 20 to 23 October while the second will take place from 29 to 30 October.

For everything you need to know about TI11, check here.

OG roster:

  1. Artem "Yuragi" Golubiev

  2. Bozhidar "bzm" Bogdanov

  3. Ammar "ATF" Al-Assaf

  4. Tommy "Taiga" Le

  5. Mikhail "Misha" Agatov

Gaimin Gladiators roster:

  1. Anton "dyrachyo" Shkredov

  2. Miroslav "BOOM" Bičan

  3. Marcus "Ace" Hoelgaard

  4. Erik "tOfu" Engel

  5. Melchior "Seleri" Hillenkamp

Otomo is a long-time gaming enthusiast and caster. He has been playing games since he was 10 and is the biggest Dota 2 fan.

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