Chinese favourites PSG.LGD had their hopes for the Aegis of Champions at The International 11 (TI11) dashed by regional rivals Team Aster in a 2-0 sweep in the fourth round of the tournament's lower bracket.
Both Chinese powerhouses looked strong during the Group Stage and earned upper bracket berths in the Main Event.
Team Aster finished the Group Stage with a 10-8 record, good enough to get the fourth seed of Group B. They looked better once they got to the Main Event, however, as they swept Team Liquid in the first round of the upper bracket.
Aster's momentum was then put to a stop by Western European powerhouse Tundra Esports in the upper bracket semifinals.
As a result, the Chinese team dropped to the fourth round of the lower bracket, where they awaited PSG.LGD.
Meanwhile, PSG.LGD overcame a rough Day 1 in the Group Stage to finish as the third seed of Group A with a 12-6 record.
That earned them an upper bracket berth in the Main Event, though they were quickly knocked down to the lower bracket by Team Secret in a 2-0 upset.
While PSG.LGD were heavily favoured as the consensus strongest team in China and one of the finalists of TI10, Aster seemed to care little as they soundly swept their regional rivals out of the tournament.
PSG.LGD looked to be in control early into the first game of the series. However, Aster came back with a vengeance and seized an unexpected 42-minute victory.
Aster smelled blood in the water in game two, as they shook off PSG.LGD's best efforts to mount their own comeback and secured the series sweep in 41 minutes.
With their victory, Team Aster have guaranteed themselves a 4th place finish and over US$1 million in winnings. They are now the last Chinese team left standing at TI11 heading into Finals Weekend, where they will start in the lower bracket semifinals.
Meanwhile, PSG.LGD end their run in 5th-6th place and with US$600,000 in consolation. It's a sad ending for the team's bid to capture that ever-elusive Aegis of Champions and the career of Faith_bian, who previously announced he will be retiring after TI11.
There will be five-day break before the Finals Weekend from 29 to 30 October. The penultimate day of TI11 will feature the upper bracket finals between Team Secret and Tundra Esports as well as the lower bracket semifinals.
A new Dota 2 world champion will then be crowned on 30 October, which will begin with the lower bracket finals. The Aegis of Champions will then be claimed by the winners of the best-of-five grand finals.
TI11 will be hosted in Singapore from 15 to 30 October and features a revamped format and a longer schedule.
For everything you need to know about TI11, check here.
Team Aster roster:
Du "Monet" Peng
Zeng "Ori" Jiaoyang
Lin "Xxs" Jing
Ye "BoBoKa" Zhibiao
Yu "皮球" Yajun
Wang "Ame" Chunyu
Cheng "NothingToSay" Jin Xiang
Zhang "Faith_bian" Ruida
Zhao "XinQ" Zixing
Zhang "y`" Yiping
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