After a troubling first day of TI12, Talon Esports found their wind and made an incredible comeback to the upper bracket playoffs.

For the first time ever, Talon Esports have made it to the upper bracket of The International 2023 (TI12) playoffs. It was an unprecedented achievement considering that they were on the verge of elimination on the first day.

From 0-4 to the upper bracket of TI12

Talon lost all four games on the first day of the TI12 group stages to Tundra Esports and TSM. They were on the verge of elimination by being dead last with a score of 0-4. However, they managed to win all games on the second day, defeating Vivo Keyd Stars and PSG Quest. Equalizing their score to a 4-4, Talon secured the playoffs by placing third in their group.

Dota 2 Road to The International 2023 - TI12 group stages (Image via <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow">Liquipedia</a>)
Dota 2 Road to The International 2023 - TI12 group stages (Image via Liquipedia)

Yet the real magic was when Talon defeated Gaimin Gladiators 2-1 to claim their spot in the upper bracket. The second game was especially incredible as Talon made a comeback after mere inches away from losing their throne to Gaimin. Talon extended what would have been a 2-0 for Gaimin and made it a reverse sweep instead. It wasn't until 10 minutes later (65 minutes into the game) that Talon sealed Gaimin's fate in game two.

The following is a summary of the chaotic course of events that went on for three minutes:

  • Quinn "Quinn" Callahan Pangolier opened the all-out brawl with a Rolling Thunder
  • All the cores from both sides fell one by one and were immediately bought back
  • After buying back, Rafli "Mikoto" Fathur Rahman Invoker teleported mid to destroy Gaimin's throne
  • Pangolier contested Invoker to defend the throne
  • Anucha "Jabz" Jirawong Bristleback synced up with Invoker to help destroy the throne
  • Meanwhile, a completely separate fight was still happening between Anton "dyrachyo" Shkredov Phantom Assassin, and three Talon heroes
  • Phantom Assassin failed to hold out and died back, giving Talon the edge to end the game
  • Playing with discipline, Talon decided to take on Roshan first
  • A final stand between Talon and Gaimin where the indestructible Bristleback finished the fight

How much further will Talon go at TI12?

Unfortunately, Gaimin lost the third game and failed to take their revenge for their loss against Talon at Riyadh Master 2023. Meanwhile, Talon managed to go beyond the group stages, making the upper bracket playoffs for the first time here at TI12. Last year at TI11 2022, they went out early after a subpar performance at the group stages.

Talon's next opponent will be Team Liquid. Throughout their history, they were only able to win six out of 17 maps against Liquid. Their previous big bout was at Riyadh where they lost to Liquid 1-2. This also came after defeating Gaimin. Will history repeat itself or will Talon finally defeat Liquid and go much further at TI12? Find out soon at the playoffs weekend starting October 20.

Stay tuned to for the latest Dota 2 news and updates as well as information on TI12.