Secret, PSG.LGD clinch upper bracket spots at TI9

The $33 million prize pool for International 9 is the largest-ever in esports. As of Saturday, OG, PSG.LGD and Team Secret are in the best spot to claim the lion's share of that money. Bob Frid/USA TODAY Sports

Team Secret's Dota 2 team locked up a spot in the upper bracket of The International 9 on Saturday, but the previously undefeated team suffered its first taste of defeat on the third day of group stage play in Shanghai.

Secret went 2-4 for the day, with two split-series against TNC Predator and Mineski followed by a sweep by PSG.LGD that put Secret on top of the Group A standings.

OG, the Group B leader coming into the day, finished 4-0 to move to 13-1 overall. OG, who won the event last year, hasn't lost since splitting their opening series.

Secret split an opening series against TNC Predator, their first blemish in group play after an 8-0 start. A series split with Mineski followed by a sweep at the hands of PSG.LGD left Secret at 10-4, which guarantees them a spot in the upper bracket.

The 18 teams are divided between two groups and playing a round-robin, two-game-series format. The top four teams in each group will advance to the upper bracket of the main event, the bottom team in each group is eliminated, and the remaining teams will participate in the lower bracket of the main event.

PSG.LGD, the new leader of Group A at 12-2, also swept a series against Mineski on Saturday to clinch their spot in the upper bracket.

Meanwhile, OG strengthened their grip on Group B by sweeping Fnatic and Virtus.pro. Vici Gaming, at 8-4, sit well behind in second place in Group B.

Chaos Esports Club split series with Keen Gaming and TNC Predator and were swept by Newbee to fall to 2-12, guaranteeing they will finish at the bottom of Group A and be eliminated. Chaos will take home $83,123 for the 17-18th finish.

The teams are vying for a record prize pool of more than $33 million, with the winning team to take home more than $15 million.

Day 4 schedule

  • Virtus Pro vs. Evil Geniuses

  • Ninjas in Pyjamas vs. Infamous

  • Royal Never Give Up vs. Fnatic

  • Vici Gaming vs. Natus Vincere

  • Team Liquid vs. TNC Predator

  • Team Secret vs. Chaos Esports Club

  • PSG.LGD vs. Alliance

  • Newbee vs. Mineski

  • Vici Gaming vs. OG

  • Virtus Pro vs. Fnatic

  • Evil Geniuses vs. Ninjas in Pyjamas

  • Royal Never Give Up vs. Infamous

Group A standings

  1. PSG.LGD, 12-2

  2. Team Secret, 10-4

  3. Newbee, 8-6

  4. Alliance, 7-7

  5. Mineski, 7-7

  6. TNC Predator, 7-7

  7. Team Liquid, 6-8

  8. Keen Gaming, 5-11

  9. Chaos Esports Club, 2-12

Group B standings

  1. OG, 13-1

  2. Vici Gaming, 8-4

  3. Natus Vincere, 7-7

  4. Evil Geniuses, 6-6

  5. Fnatic, 5-7

  6. Infamous, 5-7

  7. Royal Never Give Up, 5-7

  8. Virtus.pro, 5-7

  9. Ninjas in Pyjamas, 2-10

--Field Level Media