The second match of the opening day of The International (TI) 2023's Finals Weekend saw an all-Eastern European affair between the star-studded BetBoom Team and a surging young Virtus.pro (VP) squad.
After a one-sided game one and a crazy 87-minute marathon in game two, BetBoom swept VP to secure a Top 6 finish at TI 2023 as well as US$101,000 in winnings. Meanwhile, VP bow out in 7th-8th place and with US$77,000 in consolation.
This was sweet revenge for BetBoom, as VP previously defeated them during the second phase of the Road to The International Group Stage to force them to a lower bracket start in the Main Event.
BetBoom came out swinging to start the series behind Danil "gpk" Skutin's Invoker, who put up a perfect 12-kill, 16-assist performance in a 44-minute, 36-13 rout. Egor "Nightfall" Grigorenko on Monkey King and Ivan "Pure" Moskalenko on Centaur Warrunner also pitched in with seven kills and one death apiece while combining for 29 assists.
Game two was the longest game of TI 2023 so far, and will likely remain so, at a whopping 87 minutes and 26 seconds of action.
VP started the game looking poised to force a game three behind Ilya "Kiritych" Ulyanov's Muerta. However, BetBoom were able to stall things out as Pure's Spirit Breaker relentlessly split-pushed across the map while tanking multiple VP ganks.
BetBoom were determined to take things late, buying Hand of Midas on four of their heroes in preparation for a late game comeback. However, we doubt they were prepared for the chaos that ensued.
While BetBoom's relentless split-push gave them map control and an overwhelming net worth lead, VP put up a stubborn defense of their base and even managed to win multiple five-on-five clashes against all odds.
As the game pushed past the 80-minute mark, the game hung in the balance as both teams continually probed each other for any weaknesses. VP looked to break the stalemate at the 86-minute mark by sneaking Kiritych into BetBoom's base in an attempt to get Mega Creeps.
However, Kiritych was caught out and taken down, losing two Divine Rapiers in the process. BetBoom didn't waste this golden opportunity and broke through VP's last line of defenses soon after.
Game two ended with both teams tied 36-36 in kills. Despite the loss, Kiritych put up a game-high 18 kills and 14 assists on six deaths. Meanwhile, Nightfall on Wraith King led the way for BetBoom with 13 kills and 20 assists on four deaths while gpk on Invoker had 11 kills and 18 assists on five deaths.
BetBoom have now advanced to the lower bracket quarterfinals, where they will face the loser of the upper bracket semifinals match between LGD Gaming and Azure Ray in the second day of Finals Weekend.
TI 2023's Finals Weekend will be hosted in the Climate Pledge Arena from 27 to 29 October in Seattle. There, the eight remaining teams will be battling to decide who will be crowned as this year's Dota 2 world champions.
For everything you need to know about TI 2023, check here.