After 7 days of epic Dota2 battles at EPICENTER 2017 in Moscow, the title holders remain the same. Despite the shaky start and 2 defeats in the groups, Team Liquid picked up the pace in the playoffs, boosting their form and confidence steadily after each victory. After winning StarLadder i-League Invitational, this is the second LAN title in a row for Liquid. A victory at EPICENTER 2017 is a great way to boost Liquid’s team spirits before the upcoming TI7.
The road to the EPICENTER 2017 Moscow finals
Since Liquid finished third in their group, they started the playoffs in the quarterfinals against Virtus.pro. In the first game VP drafted their commonly used Troll+Ursa and their early to mid game was just too strong for Liquid to handle.
MATUMBAMAN’s Void was completely denied in the first game, so in the second game he picked up Lone Druid. Along with Earth Shaker and Tree to provide control, Team Liquid made quick work of VP to tie the series. Their gameplan was the same for the deciding third map, and once again they stopped VP in the early game. The shutdown on the cores of VP was too much to recover from, which led to Liquid winning the map in just over 30 minutes and advancing to the semifinals.
Epicenter 2017 Semifinals
The opponent in the semifinals was LFY, who displayed a dominant performance in the EPICENTER 2017 group stage, dropping only one map. When MATUMBAMAN was interviewed he stated that LFY was playing the best Dota of all the teams at the event. However, Liquid prepared very well for this clash. Crystal Maiden and Slardar were crucial picks in both games, and Miracle pulled off unusual mid picks – Sven in game one and Earth Shaker in game two. Both picks worked out perfectly and there was no question for a moment that Liquid will emerge victorious.
EG vs. Secret
In the group stage EG secured the first seed, so they started the playoffs with the semifinals against Secret. Evil Geniuses had a prepared strategy for Team Secret. We must notice that drafting phase by Secret was kinda poor. In both games they allowed EG to pick almost the entirely same composition – Puck – SK – Warlock – Drow, complemented by OD in game one and Lina in game two. Secret tried to respond with Tree + Tide in the second game. However, it was obvious that EG has had better knowledge of their team comp. They executed their strategy brilliantly to take the series 2-0.
EG vs Team Liquid – EPICENTER 2017 Finals
In the first game of the finals, it became obvious why everyone has been banning Wisp against Liquid. Strong presence of him and Tusk in the lanes made Miracle’s Sven too fed for EG to handle. TL finished the first map in a bit over 17 minutes. The draft for the second map looked favourable to Liquid, Enchantress could have been a huge problem for EG. However, slow early game impaired his presence in lane, and eventually stronger teamfight brought EG the victory.
Bristleback too strong?
In the third game Liquid turned to their comfort picks. Miracle was playing incredibly well on his Invoker, while GH kept finding good initiatoins as Earth Shaker. Bristleback was also a huge problem for Evil Geniuses, proving to be almost unkillable. The NA squad couldn’t survive untill the late game in order to have their Warlock+Tree comp work out for them, since their cores just couldn’t get the proper ammount of farm.
In the fourth and final game, MATUMBAMAN was mid as Bristle against Puck, and Miracle played Ursa at position 1. In this game, Bristle was just too much for EG to handle as you can see in the video below.
Team Liquid finished the game with ease, leaving no chances to EG. The EPICENTER Moscow 2017 winners take astounding $250,000 paycheck home.