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It's Mineski vs Team Liquid in the Starladder Grand Finals - Esportsranks
It’s Mineski vs Team Liquid in the Starladder Grand Finals

With the first two series of the day done and dusted, we finally have our matchup for the Starladder Grand Finals. And boy, is it going to be a star studded series.

Mineski’s Versatility Shine Against CompLexity Gaming

Mineski showcased their willingness to try out atypical strategies against CompLexity Gaming.

In Game 1, Mineski deviated from their usual 4 protect 1 strategy. They gave Mushi a squishy, team fight-oriented hero in Pugna, while picking Timbersaw and Viper for iceiceice and NaNa respectively.

With little burst damage and control for Timbersaw and Viper, CompLexity Gaming just couldn’t deal with Mineski. After 30 minutes and down 31-14, as well as two sets of rax, CompLexity Gaming had no choice but to tap out.

Starladder Grand Finals

iceiceice and his Timbersaw made an appearance once again in Game 2. However, CompLexity Gaming were more prepared for it this time around; Rasmus ‘Chessie’ Blomdin and Linus ‘Limmp’ Blomdin on Bloodseeker and Pugna just had enough control for iceiceice and the rest of his team.

This forced Mineski to play defensively, limiting Mushi’s space to farm on his Luna and leading to a loss.

With the series now tied 1-1, Mineski showcased their strategic depth in the series-clincher. Although they initially went with a more traditional 4 protect 1 strategy with Mushi on Sven, they adjusted in-game and instead focused more on giving NaNa and his Tinker space to farm.

Starladder Grand Finals

Image via Starladder

With Mushi and iceiceice — who played a very atypical iceiceice hero in Night Stalker — constantly picking off Zakari ‘Zfreek’ Freedman’s Chen and shutting down his farm, Mineski were able to build a considerable lead.

Eventually, NaNa and his Tinker got the necessary farm, allowing Mineski to run away with the game at the 40-minute mark.

By beating CompLexity Gaming 2 to 1, Mineski move on to the Starladder Grand Finals. Coincidentally, this is Mushi’s first time playing in the Grand Finals of a LAN event since The Summit 1 back in 2014 when he and iceiceice still played for Team DK. 

Team Liquid Come Up Big in the Clutch

Starladder Grand Finals

Image via Team Liquid

Team Liquid’s execution mid-game, making the most out of their hero’s level and item timings is unparalleled. It’s arguably what led to the two-time Starladder Champions’ recent run of 4 straight LAN tournament titles. However, an underrated aspect of Team Liquid’s game is their ability to come back from seemingly unwinnable games.

Game 1 was pretty much all about Team Liquid; Lasse Aukusti ‘MATUMBAMAN’ Urpalainen was excellent on his Broodmother. Left to pretty much free farm the whole game, he got too big to handle despite Marcus ‘Ace’ Hoelgaard’s best efforts to try and keep Team Secret in the game.

Game 2, though, was where Team Liquid’s penchant for coming up big in the most decisive of moments truly shined.

Team Secret went with a slightly questionable draft featuring 4 invisible heroes in Weaver, Templar Assassin, Nyx Assasin and Bounty Hunter. However, it initially worked well for them; Nyx Assassin and Bounty Hunter, played by Yazied ‘YapzOr’ Jaradat, gave Team Liquid fits for much of the game. Meanwhile, their constant pickoffs gave Yeik ‘MidOne’ Nai Zheng all the space to farm on his Templar Assassin.

With a net worth lead of almost 8K around 24 minutes into the game, Team Secret decided to go for a high ground push in the bottom lane. However, instead of playing it safe, MidOne got a bit too cocky and overextended. This then led to a near full team wipe with Puppey and his Bounty Hunter the only one left alive.

Team Liquid never looked back after that botched push attempt. They would go on to lose only one hero — a support Pugna at that — in the next 10 minutes as they went straight for the throne and forced out a GG from Team Secret.

The Starladder Grand Finals

The Starladder Grand Finals will see a story of redemption versus the beginning of a legitimate Dota 2 dynasty.

For Team Liquid, it is their chance to extend their streak to 5 straight LAN titles since May. Meanwhile, Mineski, specifically Mushi, will get a shot at redemption after last winning a LAN title back in 2014 with Team DK in Starladder Starseries Season 9.

You can watch the Starladder Minor Playoffs as it unfolds in the Dota 2 client, YouTube, and Twitch, all for free.

Which team do you think will win in the BO5 Starladder Grand Finals? Will it be Team Liquid or Mineski? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below. 

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