Team Liquid are crowned as Starladder Champions once again, winning their fifth straight LAN tournament after taking down Mineski 3-1 in the Grand Finals of the Starladder i-League Invitational Season 3 Minor.
Starladder i-League Invitational Grand Finals Recap
In Game 1, Mineski showed that they were not fazed by the tall task ahead of them. Anucha ‘Jabz’ Jirawong, in particular, was his usual phenomenal self on Clockwerk, making things happen for Mineski as they pulled off the unlikely upset against Team Liquid.
After handing Team Liquid their first loss in what seemed like forever, Mineski had the hype and momentum going their way. Unfortunately for them, though, Team Liquid had Amer ‘Miracle’ Al-Barqawi to fall back on.
Deviating from their usual tri-core lineup, Team Liquid went full 4 protect 1 in Game 2 with Miracle playing Terrorblade.
With Team Liquid giving him all the space in the world, Miracle ended the game with nearly 35K in net worth in just 45 minutes and not even Jabz pulling off this amazing play on his Rubick could help get Mineski take a commanding 2-0 lead.
Game 3 couldn’t have gone any better in the beginning for Mineski as they went with their then-undefeated heroes, Venomancer, Anti-Mage and Earth Spirit. However, halfway through at the 21-minute mark, Miracle and his Invoker would prevent three of Mineski’s heroes, who were sitting in the midlane, from TP’ing top to defend their barracks while Ivan Borislavov ‘MinD-ContRoL’ Ivanov was pushing in.
The said sequence of plays effectively killed any momentum Mineski had going their way, leading to a demoralizing loss and Mineski were never able to recover after.
In Game 4, Mineski seemed tilted from their earlier loss and were very sloppy, resulting to Team Liquid closing out the series with a quick 20-minute win.
Back to Back to Back Starladder Champions
Ripping off five straight LAN tournaments is no small feat.
In recent memory, only Team Secret (4 back in May/June of 2015) and Wings Gaming (4 from July to November of 2016) have come close to what Team Liquid have achieved these past six months.
With that said, Team Liquid’s track record these past two years has to put them in contention for the best Dota 2 team of all time. Especially since their recent streak includes winning a TI.
Of course, all the greats come with their fair share of doubters and Team Liquid’s come in the form of them achieving only so much after 7.06 hit.
It’s a fair criticism, no doubt. No team has had more success in a single patch than Team Liquid has since 7.06 hit earlier in May of this year. But still, to call Team Liquid a one-patch team seems unfair; their versatility, chemistry, and talent as a team seem like it would translate to just about any patch.
Then again, until we see the recently-crowned Starladder Champions keep up their success even after 7.07 hits, we can never say for sure.
How long do you think the recently crowned back to back to back Starladder Champions will be able to keep their streak going? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.