The International Finals started with domination as ViCi Gaming took just under 25 minutes to beat Newbee, who looked out of practice following their three-day rest leading up to the Grand Final. ViCi are now two games away from winning $5 million.
Newbee: Nature's Prophet, Ancient Apparition, Lion, Lifestealer, Alchemist
ViCi Gaming: Shadow Shaman, Earthshaker, Brewmaster, Clockwerk, Lone Druid
An aggressive tri-lane designed to shut down Lifestealer paid immediate dividends for VG. rOtk put early levels in Clockwerk's rocket flare which provided ample early-game harassment of Nature's Prophet. Swift rotations at level six led to ViCi netting eight kills in as many minutes.
Super was extremely aggressive on Brewmaster early, splitting and initiating to kill the Alchemist mid. That aggression was punished at the 9-minute mark when Lifestealer, Lion and Nature's Prophet secured the kill in the Radiant tree line.
Newbee made it to this point through quick push, but in the first game of The International Final it was astonishing to see just how passive they played. A lack of solid initiation was completely overwhelmed by the Earthshaker/ Clockwerk combination, which allowed Lone Druid time to farm Radiance on his bear.
As the game went long it looked like Newbee could split push their way out of a mess. Nature's Prophet secured the Necrobook at the 18-minute mark, but a lack of farm on the team's supports meant he couldn't afford to stray too far from his teammates while ViCi pushed.
Stuck in their base and unable to farm, the end felt inevitable. Following a failed high ground split ViCi was able to pick up several high-value items that proved to be the difference. Their next push shattered the top barracks and led to the win.