Vici Gaming Survive Brutal Slugfest to Win EPICENTER Major 2019

With the conclusion of the EPICENTER Major 2019 comes the official end of the 2018-19 Dota Pro Circuit.

Vici Gaming and Team Liquid put on arguably the best show of skill and talent in Dota 2 this season as the two teams took center stage and treated fans to a back-and-forth series that nobody could really guess who would win until it was all over.

Once the dust had settled, it was Vici Gaming who had emerged victorious. They had survived a brutal five-game series against Team Liquid to take home the EPICENTER Major 2019 trophy.

The win gave Vici Gaming their second Major title of the 2018-19 Dota Pro Circuit — two titles more than they had won last season, where they had infamously finished in second place multiple times.

Vici Gaming will take home $350,000 and 4,950 DPC points for the win. Meanwhile, their opponents, Team Liquid, will go home as runner-ups in a Major for the second time this season and will pocket $170,000 in earnings, as well as 3,000 DPC points.

Team Liquid’s hard carry, Amer “Miracle-” Al-Barkawi, was named the MVP of the EPICENTER Major 2019 for his outstanding play.

EPICENTER Major 2019 Grand Finals Recap

After a display of dominance over Virtus.Pro in the lower bracket finals, Team Liquid’s momentum carried over in the grand finals against Vici Gaming.

The rebuilt squad, who recently welcomed Aliwi “w33” Omar, opened the series with a resounding 43-minute win. The win was highlighted by Miracle setting multiple tournament records on his Antimage as Team Liquid finished the game with a 40k gold lead.

Vici Gaming, however, proved resilient.

The champions of the CORSAIR DreamLeague Season 11 outdrafted and outplayed Team Liquid in Games 2 and 3. Both with Zhou “Yang” Haiyang and Pan “Fade” Yi put up MVP-worthy performances in both games to help Vici Gaming secure a 2-1 lead.

After two quick wins, the series seemed over, but then, Game 4 happened.

Throughout the hour-long game, Vici Gaming had maintained a steady lead against Team Liquid. But, Kuro “KuroKy” Salehi Takhasomi proved why they were TI champions.

Showing incredible composure throughout, Team Liquid stuck to their gameplan. They split the waves and bought as much time for themselves as possible. Miracle’s excellent play on Arc Warden then afforded Team Liquid a chance to make a comeback win late in the game to extend the series.

Unfortunately, that was all she wrote for Team Liquid. 

Vici Gaming’s coach and legendary Dota 2 player, Bai “rOtk” Fan, pulled out all the stops in Game 5. He would execute a near-perfect draft. This resulted in every one of his players getting a comfort hero.

To no one’s surprise, Vici Gaming would secure Game 5 and the series in a rather anti-climatic fashion.

Final Thoughts

Now that the EPICENTER Major 2019 is over, we can now look forward to the The International 2019.

Currently, 12 slots for the tournament have been taken, with Alliance taking the twelveth and final slot. The remaining six will be distributed equally among the six competitive regions. This makes for a total of 18 teams for The International 2018 in Shanghai this August.

What was your biggest takeaway from the EPICENTER Major 2019? Do you think Vici Gaming can maintain their form? Will Team Liquid improve on their already-excellent play come TI9? Can Virtus.Pro and Team Secret bounce back? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below. 

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