Liquid kicks TNC Predator out of TI9

By Ivan Saldajeno

LIPA—Team Liquid put an end to TNC Predator's run in TI9 after sweeping their best-of-three lower bracket playoffs on Wednesday night at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai.

Denied of a shot at the upper bracket after being swept by TNC Predator in their group stage series, Liquid delivered a much painful payback to TNC Predator by ousting its opponent in the do-or-die phase.

Learning its lessons from the group stages, Liquid wasted no time in pulling off a Game 1 comeback as Aliwi Omar took over as Templar Assassin to overturn a 4-12 deficit in kills to a 19-14 lead and a 33-minute finish.

Both teams tried to play it slow in Game 2, but Amer Al-Barkawi, who was pummeled by Tims Randrup in the group stage, got buffed so quickly that he led the offensive as Anti-Mage as Liquid finished TNC Predator off in 46 minutes.

Liquid will next face Royal Never Give Up, which shockingly eliminated Virtus Pro by a 2-0 sweep of its own in their own Lower Bracket second round affair, in the third round.

TNC Predator, on the other hand, will go home with US$675,403 (around PHP35.2 million) along with Virtus Pro.

However, Randrup's stint in TI9 is not yet over as he will be part of the All-Star Game on Friday.

TNC Predator's elimination leaves Mineski as the only Southeast Asian team left in TI9.

Mineski will fight for its tournament life on Thursday against Secret in their own lower bracket second round meeting.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno