It’s now the third StarLadder title for the organization.
Following an intense round of group stages that interestingly saw both Chinese squads (Vici Gaming and Newbee) fail to take a game, compLexity Gaming surprisingly top their group, and Natus Vincere manage a series victory over Team Secret (their 85-minute Game 3 is a nail-biting must-watch) only to be soundly defeated in their lower bracket rematch, the four teams of the playoffs were finally decided: From Group A come Team Liquid, TI7 winners, as expected – and rising South East Asian powerhouse Mineski. While in group B it was compLexity Gaming and Team Secret moving on to the next round.
In the semis, Mineski’s squad took the series 2:1 over coL, and Team Liquid soundly took their series over Secret in a convincing 2:0.
In the first game of the best-of-five Grand Final, Team Liquid opted for a Lifestealer-centric draft to counter Mineski’s magical burst damage in Mirana and Venomancer. While Amer “Miracle-” Al-Barkawi’s Ember Spirit was able to keep up in kills and farm, the rest of Team Liquid struggled under Mineski’s gank-heavy strategy, ultimately conceding the game.
In the second game, Team Liquid opted for a heavy-pushing lineup in Venomancer, Nature’s Prophet and Terrorblade, a strategy which Mineski was unable to successfully counter – Miracle-‘s Terrorblade set a game-record 19 kills and an impressive 14,603 tower damage.
Changing things up in the third game, Mineski drafted themselves heavy team fight heroes – opting for Earth Spirit, Disruptor, Magnus and Venomancer, with a Chai “Mushi” Yee Fung Anti-Mage. Team Liquid responded with a Rubick and Naga Siren support duo, with Lasse “MATUMBAMAN” Urpalainen on the Lifestealer once again, and Miracle- on his signature Invoker – despite a close kill-count, the game ultimately still ended in Team Liquid’s favor.
The fourth and final game in the series was also the fastest, with Team Liquid taking the game (and the championship) in just over 20 minutes – they chose to counter Mineski’s heavy-farming Alchemist-Naga Siren draft with a faster-pushing strategy in Venomancer and Dragon Knight, and with a support duo of Earth Spirit for crowd control and their signature Keeper of the Light to sustain pushes, Team Liquid handily took game 4.
KaLeRei usually can’t shut up about video games, so she writes about them instead. Single-player RPGs or empire-builders/strategy games are her usual cup of tea, but she’s also been an avid follower of the Dota 2 and CS:GO professional scenes for a while. She has a fascination for old pros trying to prove they’ve still got what it takes, and cats.
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