- May 23, 2017
After four days of competing at the StarLadder i-League Invitational in Shanghai, Team Liquid wins their first LAN tournament after a long time. The last tournament they had won before the StarLadder i-League Invitational was another “sister” tournament from the StarLadder organisation – StarSeries – season 3. Although Team Liquid’s lineup induces awe just from reading the star player’s names, so far they have been unable to perform at the biggest tournaments. The StarLadder Invitational is not a major tournament, however a well deserved title for Team Liquid is sign that the European team is shaping up for The International 2017.
Both Team Liquid and TNC Pro team dominated their groups having perfect 4:0 scores. TNC beat iG in the groups with a convincing 2:0 score, demonstrating just how much SEA Dota has progressed. They outmanoeuvred one of the best Chinese teams and forced them to fight on their terms. Alliance fell afterwards after resisting valiantly, but their pick crumbled in the late game with Chaos Knight being their only hard carry. It seems as they mentally could not recover for the second game. In the semifinals TNC crushed Newbee and shown once again they know how to play the map against the Chinese teams.
On the other side of the bracket, Team Liquid expressly stomped Faceless in the group stage. It took Liquid around 50 minutes for a 2-0 sweep. In the second game an interesting pick was Miracle’s Earthshaker to counter Phantom Assassin. His impact on the game may not have been as significant as on other heroes, but it was extremely fun watching him jump around the battlefield on core position. Vega Squadron didn’t get many chances against sharp TL in the groups. Again it took the EU team around 50 minutes to overpower the CIS team. However, they were still to play two of the toughest competitors for the title. Invictus Gaming fell after more then 3 hours of battle and 0:1 map deficit. Team Liquid held their nerve and managed to win two exhausting hour long games.
Team Liquid 3:2 TNC Pro Team
The finals between TNC Pro Team and Team Liquid looked much like a veteran boxing match. Both teams exchanged blows and winning one game each. Liquid managed to deliver first blow in game one. This continuous exchange of victories led to 3:2 in favour of Team Liquid. We can notice that Team Liquid is timing their form well for The International. But knowing how much they struggle on major tournaments, we will stay cautious and not insinuate anything regarding the results at The International 2017 prematurely.
You can watch full matches on Dota 2 StarLadder’s official Youtube channel. Team Liquid will gain a boost of confidence with The International coming up, and also a $100,000 paycheck to go along with it.
In the video below you can see final minutes of the deciding game 5, and Team Liquid’s long awaited celebration.