For the first time since 2017, two-time defending The International (TI) champions OG have been made to bleed and have their backs against the wall.
Following a shocking loss to rivals Team Secret on the opening day of TI10's Main Event, OG's hopes for a three-peat were in jeopardy as they faced North America's Quincy Crew in the lower bracket.
Fortunately for the title hopefuls, OG's star midlaner, Topias "Topson" Taavitsainen, stepped up when his team needed him the most to fuel a much-needed 2-0 win over Quincy Crew.
The first game of the best-of-three elimination match saw Quincy Crew in control for much of the game. However, Topson on Void Spirit almost single-handedly led OG to a comeback as he repeatedly forced their opponents to expend much-needed abilities on him — all while evading them masterfully — before decimating the enemy backline during the decisive clashes.
OG won game one in 40 minutes of action with 30 total kills, of which 20 came at the hands of Topson. OG's midlaner also dealt over 45,800 total damage during all that, which was the fifth-highest total damage ever dealt by a Void Spirit in the over 2,500 times that the hero appeared in a pro game, according to Dota 2 statsman Alan "Nahaz" Bester.
After leading OG to a comeback in game one, Topson then spearheaded a dominant showing by his team to secure the series sweep in game two.
With Quincy Crew looking to tie up the series late with a Medusa carry for Yawar "YawaR" Hassan, Topson feasted with a surprise mid Dawnbreaker pick to throw a wrench at the North American team's plans.
Topson had a phenomenal laning phase, notching a staggering 75 last hits before the eight-minute mark, to become an absolute monster in the midgame.
Quincy Crew could do little to stop Topson's Dawnbreaker from bulldozing through them in team fights, which gave OG carry player (and YawaR's younger brother) Sumail "SumaiL" Hassan on Templar Assassin the space he needed to mop up what remained of the opposition.
OG forced the GG call from Quincy Crew after 38 minutes to complete the 2-0 series sweep. Topson notched game-highs of 11 kills — tied with Martin "Saksa" Sazdov on Snapfire, who also flourished with all the attention his midlaner demanded — and 19 assists against just two deaths to help keep OG's hopes for a third-straight Aegis of Champions alive.
With their victory, Topson and OG have secured a Top 8 finish at TI10 and will move on to the next round of the lower bracket against Eastern Europe's Team Spirit. Meanwhile, Quincy Crew bow out in 9th-12th place and with US$800,400 in consolation.
TI10 is this year's iteration of Dota 2's annual world championship tournament. The event features 18 of the best Dota 2 teams in the world battling from 7 to 17 October in Bucharest, Romania for the right to claim the lion's share of a massive US$40 million prize pool as well as the coveted Aegis of Champions.
For everything you need to know about TI10, check here.
OG Dota 2 roster:
Sumail "SumaiL" Hassan
Topias "Topson" Taavitsainen
Sébastien "Ceb" Debs
Martin "Saksa" Sazdov
Johan "N0tail" Sundstein
Quincy Crew Dota 2 roster:
Yawar "YawaR" Hassan
Quinn "Quinn" Callahan
Rodrigo "Leslão" Santos
Arif "MSS" Anwar
Avery "LoA" Silverman