Team Liquid triumph at Epicenter in Moscow
EPICENTER: Moscow crowned its first Dota 2 champion yesterday after Team Liquid defeated China’s Newbee in a very close 3-2 series. Although both teams looked very strong leading up to the finals, Team Liquid made the better decisions and plays that allowed them to bounce back after being 1 game away from elimination when Newbee had a 2-1 lead. Let’s break down what happened match by match:
Newbee took a quick lead in game one, with the odd Riki pick by Team Liquid not really paying off. But the whole game changed when Newbee took a horrible engagement in Liquid’s jungle at 22 minutes, losing all 5 of their heroes for a Rubick kill. With a free Roshan to follow it up, TL took a decisive lead and secured themselves a 27 minute victory after yet another one-sided team fight.
The second game saw both teams pick farm-oriented lineups which resulted in a much slower pace. It wasn’t until 27 minutes that a major team fight finally happened, with Newbee wiping TL while only losing a support hero. Newbee easily pushed TL’s rax for the rest of the game and got the victory at 33 minutes.
Both teams decided to draft teamfight-oriented heroes for the third match. As expected, this resulted in a very action-packed game, with Newbee forcing an aggressive teamfight at TL’s tier one mid tower at only 11 minutes. The fight went extremely well for Newbee, picking up an Ultra kill for Death Prophet while only losing their Beastmaster.
Newbee kept up the pressure by picking up an Aegis at 14 minutes and continuing to push TL’s outer towers. They further increased their lead at 24 minutes with yet another one-sided team fight, and a 2nd Roshan kill. Unable to stop Newbee’s pushes, TL GG’d at 32 minutes.
Game four started off disastrously for Newbee, with their mid Invoker getting picked off at only 12 seconds into the game, and Liquid’s aggressive top trilane picking up multiple kills. But somehow, Newbee managed to slowly claw their way back to an even game.
Despite this, TL took the lead once again after a couple of very favorable team fights with Earth Spirit’s Magnetize and Slardar’s Crush proving to be the decisive plays.
After picking up Roshan, TL pushed Newbee’s bot rax while killing 3, forcing the GG at 34 minutes. Mind_Control on Slardar proved to be the MVP for Liquid, landing some very impressive stuns throughout the game and playing aggressively to shut down Newbee’s Clinkz.
The final game saw a lot of back and forth kills throughout the early game, but TL got the better end of most engagements. Liquid continued to increase their kill, gold, and tower lead as the game went on. They then pushed Newbee’s high ground at 23 minutes, picking up 4 kills while only losing one. After forcing a buyback on Doom, they decided to back off and pick up Roshan.
Although Newbee managed to defend their base for a long time, they were too far behind, while TL’s Slark was starting to look very scary. TL finally forced the fight at Newbee’s mid rax at 40 minutes and easily secured the win.
Team Liquid’s victory broke their “second place curse” and netted the team $250,000. Epicenter proved to be a very interesting event with lots of surprises, such as both EG and Secret getting nowhere close to the finals, and Complexity going 2-0 over EG. You can check out all the VODs at the Twitch channel.