OG defies underdog tag, wins TI8

A Cinderella finish for OG.
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASAY--Having to undergo a huge rebuild with only two months to prepare for The International 2018, eSports pundits and fans tagged OG as a heavy underdog.

On Sunday (Philippine Time), OG walked out of the Rogers Arena in Vancouver with the Aegis of Champions.

The Red Bull-backed club overcame the odds and edged LGD, 3-2, in the finals of TI8.

OG recovered from a slow start as carries Ana Pham and Topias Taavitsainen got their bearings going down the stretch with captain Johan Sundstein and Jesse Vainikka providing the needed support to take Game 1.

The Paris St. Germain-supported LGD, however, took the next two games as the trend of Chinese teams winning it all every even-numbered year loomed to continue to the 2018 edition of TI.

Facing elimination in Game 4 as playing coach Sebastien Debs failed to sustain a great start with Axe, he, Pham, and Taavitsainen found their groove way late into the game as LGD could not finish off OG.

The tides eventually turned in OG's favor as the team razed LGD's ancient to force the decider after a 66-minute classic.

OG still faced adversity early into Game 5, doing down, 10-28, on kills early on.

But a huge team wipe at the Roshan area sparked the turning point with Pham, now playing Ember Spirit, taking the Aegis.

Eventually, Pham wrecked havoc and forced LGD to concede after 37 minutes.

OG, which repeated its upper bracket finals dominance over LGD, walked away with around US$11.2 million (around PHP599.5 million) for the win that marked the first time a non-Chinese squad won TI in back-to-back years.

LGD settled for a US$4 million (around PHP218 million) for the runner-up finish.
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