Tundra continued their dominant performance from the Group Stage and swept OG, 2-0, in their encounter in the first round of the upper bracket to advance to the upper bracket semifinals.
The Group Stage went very differently for these two squads. Tundra finished atop the standings of Group B with a 14-4 record, being the only team during the stage to not drop a series 0-2, to enter the Main Event with the privilege of choosing their opponent.
Meanwhile, OG barely managed to qualify for the Main Event as the fourth seed of Group A with a 10-8 record. Despite entering TI11 as one of the favourites to claim the Aegis of Champions, OG have looked shaky at times and lost a series 0-2 three times during the Group Stage.
It's no wonder Tundra chose OG to be their opponent for the first round of the upper bracket.
OG opened the match by picking Oracle for Tommy "Taiga" Le and Crystal Maiden for Mikhail "Misha" Agatov, two supports that lean heavily towards enabling their cores. Ammar "ATF" Al-Assaf and Bozhidar "bzm" Bogdanov acted as the tip of the spear for the team on Sand King and Ember Spirit, respectively.
Tundra went for their classic zoo offlane hero in Visage for Neta "33" Shapira. Leon "Nine" Kirilin is well known for his unorthodox picks in the mid lane and he kept that trend by picking Tusk. Another interesting hero choice was the position 5 support Mirana for Jingjun "Sneyking" Wu.
Tundra had a flying start to the laning stage of game one. While bzm was able to win the mid lane, OG's two other cores suffered in terms of networth. However, the laning phase was equalized when Tundra tried to invade OG's ancients and got punished.
Thanks to 33's Visage, Tundra took down two early towers and shrunk the map for the OG. One of Tundra's focal points was to bring down ATF as much as possible, and they secured four kills on him in the first 15 minutes. ATF has always been the focus of OG's aggression and by shutting him down, Tundra had a much easier time controlling the map.
The pressure was mounting on OG and they went for an aggressive Smoke of Deceit attempt that was thwarted by Nine and led to Tundra taking a four-for-nothing teamfight win.
A huge factor in Tundra's success was how well both their supports were farming. Sneyking's Mirana and Martin "Saksa" Sazdov's Tiny each had 5,000 net worth by the 20-minute mark while the OG supports barely had 6,000 net worth between the both of them.
With a Wraith Pact on 33's Visage, an Aegis on Oliver "skiter" Lepko's Slark, and two heavily farmed supports, Tundra was happy to go high ground early, not even bothering to wait for the second Aegis.
Game one ended up being a one-sided, 24-minute stomp as Tundra's draft and execution were flawless, giving OG no chance at a comeback. Skiter notably had 10 kills against two deaths to pace his team's 26-7 kill lead.
In game two, OG stuck to their Oracle pick for Taiga. ATF played Timbersaw, one of his signature heroes, to pair with the tanky mid Primal Beast for bzm. Artem "Yuragi" Golubiev would have to carry the team late-game with Phantom Lancer, as the other cores on his team didn't scale as well.
Tundra stuck to their position 5 Mirana for Sneyking and offlane Visage for 33, two standout heroes in game one. Skiter took Lifestealer while Nine had another unorthodox mid pick in Spirit Breaker. Saksa was the wild card in game two, as his Earthshaker would make or break Tundra's teamfights.
The game started better for OG this time around, as they secured first blood and a solo kill in the mid lane. However, Tundra also did a better job at securing creeps for themselves.
As the two teams started to move around the map, OG had an easier time creating space. ATF had complete free farm in the top lane and Tundra was too wary to contest him, allowing OG to focus their efforts on the two other lanes. Tundra was happy to ignore ATF in the top lane as Timbersaw is a hard hero to kill but also a slow tower pusher.
Tundra went for a risky, but ultimately rewarding, kill attempt on ATF in the bottom lane, believing he was all alone. Luckily for them, they scouted out Taiga before he could save anyone, giving Tundra three clean kills.
OG had the superior lineup to take mid game teamfights and they started to pull ahead in networth. Unlike game one in which the Tundra supports were able to farm their items early, Saksa's Earthshaker couldn't get his Blink Dagger early which greatly weakened Tundra's early teamfight capabilities.
However, Tundra was able to take a couple of solid teamfights as OG overextended, losing bzm in two separate teamfights. This led to him becoming the poorest core in the game by the 20-minute mark.
This was a scary development for OG, Primal Beast doesn't scale into the late game and his greatest impact is during the first 30 minutes. A few deaths when bzm should be at the peak of his powe gave Tundra a lot of time to come back.
The Blink Dagger reveal for Saksa did not go as planned, as Tundra attempted to stop a Roshan attempt but ended up losing three members while giving the Aegis to OG. But despite losing the fight at Roshan, Tundra's draft was starting to come online and they started to hit OG where it hurts, focusing on Misha early and winning two teamfights in a row.
While Tundra's supports were lagging behind in the mid game, once the game clock hit 30 minutes, they zoomed well ahead of their OG counterparts. This allowed Saksa to escape an almost guaranteed death and help Tundra win yet another teamfight.
Things only continued to look bad for OG, as Tundra secured a significant gold advantage and the Aegis at the 34-minute mark.
The non-stop focus on Misha was a huge part of Tundra's success, as they focused him down first in teamfights, turning fights into five-versus-four affairs every time. A pivotal fight at the bottom lane forced OG to use a buyback on Yuragi or lose their Ancient. This led to massive economical damage to OG and it wasn't long until Tundra began to look to end the game.
OG managed to hold on to their throne by the skin of their teeth but it was a costly defense. Tundra took down their opponents in the next teamfight to secure the 2-0 series sweep. While game two was rough for Tundra in the first 15 minutes, they bounced back fantastically as the match went on.
With their victory over OG, Tundra have guaranteed themselves at least a Top 6 finish and advanced to the upper bracket semifinals. They now advance to the upper bracket semifinals, where they will face the winner of the match between Team Liquid and Team Aster.
Meanwhile, OG drop down to the second round of the lower bracket, where they will fight for their tournament lives against Gaimin Gladiators.
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.
Tundra Esports roster:
Oliver "skiter" Lepko
Leon "Nine" Kirilin
Neta "33" Shapira
Martin "Saksa" Sazdov
Jingjun "Sneyking" Wu
Artem "Yuragi" Golubiev
Bozhidar "bzm" Bogdanov
Ammar "ATF" Al-Assaf
Tommy "Taiga" Le
Mikhail "Misha" Agatov
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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