What a comeback! After being down 1 game to Team Liquid, we bounce back to close out the series 2-1 and advance to the #DreamLeague S8 Major Grand Finals! GGWP to Liquid! #SecretFighting pic.twitter.com/p9HUHfH836
— Team Secret (@teamsecret) December 2, 2017
It’s the final day of the ROG DreamLeague Major Finals and we’ve got EG vs Liquid squaring off for a shot at Team Secret in the Grand Finals later in the day. Obviously, both teams are not equally favoured in this matchup. Evil Geniuses, for one, have seen much better days. Meanwhile, Team Liquid are the reigning TI champions. They’re fresh off a win at Midas Mode and have won 7 out of the 8 previous LANs they’ve played in, a run that dates back to the Starladder Invitational back in May.
Still, Evil Geniuses have a puncher’s chance in this supposedly one-sided EG vs Liquid matchup.
After losing to Team Secret 2-0 in the opening rounds of the ROG DreamLeague Major Finals, they have since stepped up their level of play; they just swept both Virtus Pro and Natus Vincere out of the tournament. Their win against the former is especially noteworthy, as even Team Liquid have yet to 2-0 Virtus Pro in the five times they’ve met so far this year.
Team Liquid vs Evil Geniuses
And we're back.
— Evil Geniuses (@EvilGeniuses) December 2, 2017
Only a few Dota 2 teams in the world have the same calibre of talent to match up with Team Liquid and Evil Geniuses are one of those teams. Syed Sumail ‘SumaiL’ Hassan and Artour ‘Arteezy‘ Babaev are just as good if not better than Amer ‘Miracle–‘ Al-Barqawi and Lasse Aukusti ‘MATUMBAMAN’ Urpalainen. Even Andreas Franck ‘Cr1t-‘ Nielsen seems to be playing on the same level he showed back when he still played for OG, which puts him arguably on par with Maroun ‘GH‘ Merhej.
Does this mean they’ll win against Team Liquid? Not really. Kuro ‘KuroKy‘ Salehi Takhasomi and his crew of 9K MMR players will always get the benefit of the doubt against anyone until they prove unworthy of it. But, what we’re trying to say is that should we see the same Evil Geniuses tomorrow that showed up today, then it’s anyone’s ballgame.
Being an elimination match, it’s always wise to pick total maps to go over 2.5. Additionally, it would be a wise idea to risk Map 1 Game Time to go over 37.5 minutes as both teams try their best not to give the other the momentum, then go for over 37.5 minutes in the next map or two.
Smart Money: Speaking of risks, picking Evil Geniuses to go 2-1 to win the series to set up a rematch against Team Secret is worth a shot. The form they’ve shown so far shows a lot promise and is worth investing in. Besides, don’t forget that bigger upsets have happened in the past, and as we now know, Team Liquid are not exactly invulnerable.
EG vs Liquid vs Secret
— DreamHack Dota (@DreamHackDota) December 2, 2017
The obvious choice here is Team Liquid. However, don’t discount Evil Geniuses just yet. They may have lost to Team Secret in a resounding 2-0 sweep earlier in the tournament, but they’ve improved a lot since. They’ve swept all of their opponents in the lower brackets so far, playing with a lot more discipline and composure than they’ve shown all season long. They’re a good pick to go for an upset should they walk away from the EG vs Liquid matchup with the win.
Regardless of who Team Secret faces up against in the finals, though, expect the total time to go under 36:00 most of the time because they have an average total match time of 36 minutes and 56 seconds in 41 games so far this patch. In fact, in this tournament alone, 6 out of 7 of their previous matches ended before the 36-minute mark and the one game that did didn’t even go past the 44-minute mark. Although it is worth taking note that their longest match came against Evil Geniuses,who seem to have a penchant for prolonging games.
Smart Money: Team Secret already gave Evil Geniuses a sound beating and they have had Team Liquid’s number so far this season. Regardless of who they end up facing, there’s very little reason to believe that Clement ‘Puppey‘ Ivanov will suddenly stop schooling opponents with his drafting in the Grand Finals. This is Team Secret’s to lose.