Newbee gets a chance in redemption when they face Team Liquid again later at 2PM.
169 days since Team Liquid’s historic win in The International 7, they face yet again their opponents in the Grand Finals. Later today at 2PM, in Genting, Newbee will have an opportunity to exact vengeance on the sweep that Team Liquid served them about half a year ago. This would be the two team’s second time facing each other in a LAN main stage, with the other time being in the Dota Pit semifinals last November, which ended with a 2:0 victory in favor of Team Liquid.
Newbee and Team Liquid are two of the last three teams who have retained their roster from TI7, with the other team being Virtus.pro. This allowed the rivalry between the two teams to grow even stronger, as the challenge for Newbee to finally defeat Team Liquid remains. As both teams retained their rosters, each time they match up would be an almost exact reenactment of their Grand Finals matches at TI.
The two teams have already faced each other earlier in this tournament. In the Group B Finals of the group stage playoffs, Newbee and Team Liquid found each other after sweeping all of their opponents prior to that. Newbee would take Game 1 from Team Liquid, preventing Liquid from taking yet another sweeping victory over Newbee. However, Liquid struck back and won the next two games, and consequently, the series. Liquid won again.
But Newbee seems to be unstoppable, as long as it wasn’t Team Liquid that they’re facing. Their loss in the group stage only meant that they’d have to beat one extra team before they arrive on the Finals. Unlike Team Liquid who only had to score 2:0 over Evil Geniuses before they sat pretty on the Finals stage, Newbee swept two. These two teams were Vici Gaming and Team Secret.
So far in Genting, the two teams have been undefeated except against each other, and so far both teams have shown great and consistent performance to back their claim on being the best team in their respective regions. Team Secret still sits comfortably on the top of the leaderboards, Liquid runs in hot pursuit in second place, and Newbee is not so far behind at fourth place.
As a side note, one could even speculate that had FATA- not been sick during Secret’s match against Newbee, we could be looking at a Secret-Liquid matchup instead of a Newbee-Liquid matchup. That too, would have been a great story to follow, with Puppey’s and KuroKy’s captaincies tested against each other. The story of the former teammates going against each other in intense matches showcase their familiarity with each others’ playstyles from their years playing together in Natus Vincere.
But that hypothetical matchup is not what we’ll be having later. The Newbee-Liquid matchup is just as exciting. Would KuroKy lead Liquid again to sweep Newbee? Or was Newbee’s win against Liquid earlier in the tournament an indication that Newbee has finally found a gap in Liquid’s winning strategy?
Neutral has been playing video games since he was a little kid. He started being competitive when he and his brother would bet favors for each other depending on who wins at the PS2 game Naruto Shippuuden. Recently he has been playing Dota2 and Animal Crossing on his revived 3DS. It is his dream to be part of the formation of the eSports version of UAAP through UP Gaming Guild’s Impetus Intercollegiate Dota2 League.
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