Day three of The International 2018 in beautiful, though terribly smoky, Vancouver, BC, Canada has come to a close. Today saw two more teams eliminated in round 2 of the lower bracket and featured the semifinal of the upper bracket, with two more teams dropping down to the lower bracket to fight for their lives again in the future. The OpenAI DOTA 2 bots also played their first match, taking on Brazilian team paIN Gaming and giving them a pretty good run for their money.
Lower Bracket Round 2
VGJ Storm vs. Winstrike
VGJ Storm extended their stay in The International 2018 by defeating Winstrike in two straight games. VGJ Storm never really struggled too much, dispatching their opponents from Russia in just over an hour.
Team Secret vs. Vici Gaming
Team Secret managed to pull off the comeback victory against Vici Gaming after initially dropping the first game against the Chinese team. The first game took nearly an hour on its own, tossing the entire schedule of the day on its head as nobody expected Team Secret to spend the next hour winning back-to-back games to stay alive.
OpenAI Match 1
paIN Gaming beats the OpenAI version 5 team, but just barely. That’s the headline I really wanted to write here because as exciting as it is to watch two top teams duke it out, it’s even more interesting to see how far the OpenAI bots have come in their development. While paIN Gaming ended up winning the game, there were a few touch-and-go moments for the team from Brazil. In the end, however, some of the OpenAI strategies are still too predictable. This game was the first of three scheduled OpenAI matches at The International 2018.
Upper Bracket Semifinals
Team Liquid vs. PSG.LGD
Arguably the most anticipated match of the day began nearly two hours after schedule but was met with just as much excitement by the crowd in Vancouver as the defending champions Team Liquid took on the last remaining Chinese hope in PSG.LGD.
Team Liquid may be the defending champions, but the crowd in Vancouver certainly made it known that they are behind PSG.LGD as the Chinese team affiliated with French soccer giant Paris Saint-Germain schooled the team from Europe in the first game.
If game one was a slaughter, then game two was PSG.LGD pouring salt into the wound. It seemed as though every time Team Liquid moved anywhere they were outnumbered and out-skilled. PSG.LGD enjoyed themselves, taking just over 30 minutes to win game two and advance to the upper bracket finals.
OG vs. Evil Geniuses
Evil Geniuses harbor some hometown love here because Arteezy is from Vancouver and certainly a fan-favorite at the event.
The Track was successful, and now they’re rocking @Arteezy signed, game-worn jerseys!
— Evil Geniuses (@EvilGeniuses) August 21, 2018
OG jumped out to a reasonably quick one-game lead over Evil Geniuses and then looked firmly in control after an incredibly fast start in game two. It took all the skill that Evil Geniuses could muster, but they clawed their way back and beat OG in game two in just over 45 minutes time. Game three started off at a slower pace, but Evil Geniuses’ SumaiL went on an absolute tear to carve out a nice lead over OG, but the match went all the way down to the wire as OG refused to give up. In the end, OG prevailed to move on to the upper bracket finals.
That’s it for our day three coverage of The International 2018. Remember that you can watch the entire event live using Valve’s new streaming platform at steam.tv. Be sure to check back tomorrow for a concise summary of everything you need to know about day four as we cover rounds three and four of the lower bracket, the second OpenAI match, and the All Stars game.