Day four of the 2017 International Dota 2 Championships saw dramatic swings and even more western teams exit the tournament ahead of today's upper bracket final.
The day began as EU-based Team Liquid played in the third round of the lower bracket against Russian Team Empire. Empire seemed to be on a roll after soundly defeating NA squad Cloud9 in a best of one on day one and next eliminating tournament favorites Evil Geniuses in a 2-0 performance. Meanwhile, Liquid has had difficulty maintaining consistent play on The International's main stage after being knocked from the upper bracket by Chinese team Invictus Gaming, just barely eeking out a win against a less-favored Team Secret in the lower bracket to fight for their tournament survival.
Despite excellent carry play from one of the tournament's standout players in last-minute sub Roman "Reso1ution" Fominok, Liquid appeared to have Empire figured out, a task that eluded other teams, beating the Russian team 2-0.
Next, EU team OG fought for International redemption after breaking their apparent tournament curse the day before, while Chinese team LGD sought to recover after being knocked from the upper bracket on the first day of the main event. The Chinese team managed to regain some momentum, and OG's dreams of finally winning an International were ended as they were eliminated from the tournament.
The day's tournament play ended with Liquid continuing in an additional match pitting them against Russian team Virtus.Pro. VP sought to reassert themselves after losing to the tournament's odds-on favorites LGD.FY in the upper bracket earlier in the week, and the resulting set yielded one of the longest matches in competitive Dota 2 history at 104 minutes. VP and Liquid slugged out a full three game series, and ultimately, Liquid survived as the sole remaining non-Chinese team at TI7.
Day five opens as Chinese teams Invictus Gaming and LGD fight to determine who will take on Liquid in the fifth round of the lower bracket, and fellow Chinese teams Newbee and LGD.FY compete to see who will secure their spot in the International Dota 2 Championships Grand Final on Saturday afternoon.
You can read more about how to watch and understand Dota 2 with our primer.