There are a few teams at the very top of Dota 2 esports scene. Virtus Pro leads the charge while others such as Team Liquid, PSG.LGD, Mineski follow suit. However, despite all their achievements, Team Liquid has not won a Dota 2 Major in the current DPC season.
Team Liquid win their first ever Dota 2 Major
Team Liquid has always been amongst the top few teams in Dota 2. They would have really strong performances, but they would almost always be shut down by the Virtus Pro juggernaut. Peaking just in time for The International, team Liquid was once again faced with the prospect of defeating Virtus Pro.
— Perfect World_DOTA2 (@PWRD_DOTA2) June 10, 2018
This time, however, they were prepared and had different strategies in place. As GH explained in final interview of the SuperMajor, their coach Keen has a huge impact on their tactics. He is constantly coming up with dominant innovative ideas which Liquid are always trying to incorporate into their gameplay.
Surprisingly this was Team Liquid’s first Major victory. Despite having qualified for TI8, quite some time ago, Team Liquid did not have a single Major win to their name. The TI7 Winners definitely chose the right time to start winning tournaments, with TI8 looming on the horizon.
Game 1: The start of a great series
The first game started off as a massive tug of war between the two teams. The game looked pretty much even for quite some time, but with Liquid’s lineup attaining key items, they sprung ahead later. Virtus Pro did try to bring back some control in the latter stages of the game, and they did manage to do so.
The team fight for Team Liquid was obviously the much superior amongst the two teams. Team Liquid played around their ultimate cooldowns beautifully and controlled the pace of the game. Their victory in the first game was short-lived as they were in for a rude shock in Game 2
Game 2 – Virtus Pro take the reins
The second game of the Finals saw Virtus Pro go back to a very familiar playstyle. The veto for Virtus Pro showed how much respect they were giving to Team Liquid’s team fight capabilities. They banned Naga Siren, Undying, and Warlock, three heroes which can make Liquid’s team fight exceptionally stronger. They also had a respect Tinker ban against Miracle, especially after seeing his dominating performance against PSG.LGD in the semifinals.
The VP draft was a very single target but it was a lineup ready for a fight. Although ultimately the game lasted 36 minutes, Virtus Pro showed a lot of dominance in their team fights and their ability to keep the pressure up. Ramzess and N[o]One took control of the game and never looked back. The series was tied at 1-1 and both the teams were itching to take the lead in the series.
Game 3: It’s all about the enablers
Team Liquid has one of the best mid players in Miracle. However, by his own words, Miracle depends on GH and Kuroky to a large extent in order to make the flashy plays. Liquid picked up an often forgotten hero in Drow Ranger. The hero which buffs range characters accompanied Windranger and Mirana on the lineup. They had the Beastmaster as well as the Warlock Rock Golem which enabled their early game team fights.
Taking advantage of the range in their lineup, Team Liquid applied so much early game pressure. GH had some really game-changing Shackle Shots on his Windrunner. Virtus Pro was forced to call a quick GG after being unable to get any traction in the match. In most of these matches, the veto holds a very important place. The teams obviously knew about each other’s draft and play style since Broodmother was a recurring ban in the pick-ban phase. Team Liquid took the third game to establish their 2-1 lead over Virtus Pro.
Game 4: Virtus Pro strikes back
Virtus Pro decided to up the ante with a very fast-paced game. The CIS team ensured that they won all three lanes and never allowed Miracle’s Tinker to get any sort of farm. Picking up Chen, Virtus Pro guaranteed a very strong early game. They never lowered the pace and the game ended in just 23 minutes.
The game which was amongst the top 5 shortest games at the SuperMajor was a clear plan by the CIS roster. They did not want Liquid to play the game at their own pace. Establishing a very dominant early game with the help of Rodjer’s Chen, Virtus Pro was almost on the verge of winning their fifth Major title.
The End to the DPC season: Game 5
Concluding one of the best Dota 2 events of DPC Season 1, it was only appropriate that the finals went all the way. Game 5 was a very high action and intense game. Virtus Pro had a great start to the game, but it was not enough to carry over the advantage to the mid and late game. Despite having Medusa on the team to guarantee an ultra-late game, Virtus Pro was never given the room to venture out of their base.
As the casters pointed out, Rodjer was stuck with four observer wards, but no chance to plant them. When Ramzess wanted to buy his Eye of Skadi, he had to send the courier all the way to the other side of the map in order to safely buy the item. Ultimately when the team fight for the bot lane broke out, Virtus Pro and Team Liquid expended multiple buybacks to ensure the team fight victory.
But Naga Siren’s Aghanim Scepter proved to be super strong as any kind of initiation on Templar Assasin proved to be futile. She would just regen under the Naga Song of Siren and they would be ready to go at it again. Of course, the Warlock Golem on top of the song regen proved to be too much for Team Virtus Pro to handle. They tapped out with a quick GG and congratulate Team Liquid on their first victory.
The Virtus Pro- Team Liquid rivalry is shaping up to be a great storyline in Dota 2. With the season coming to an end, the next potential match between the two will be at TI8 in Vancouver.
The SuperMajor: A great tournament format
Esports tournament formats can be the difference between establishing the best team versus lucky victories enabling an event trophy. Many tournaments see compromised tournament formats due to several factors such as the venue & time.
The SuperMajor had sixteen teams in a double elimination format. It had great production employing the best casters and analysts in the scene. Of course being a ‘SuperMajor’ it also had the biggest prize pool in the current season of DPC (apart from The International). The Shanghai Dota 2 SuperMajor had a prize pool of $1.5 million and was spread over nine days from 2nd June to 10th June 2018.
The #Supermajor groups.
Matches begin 10am on June 2! pic.twitter.com/5qzXQWIJbU
— Perfect World_DOTA2 (@PWRD_DOTA2) May 31, 2018
The team distribution across the Groups was done with dexterity. The four groups, as we can see are perfectly balanced and paved the way for the best teams to advance through to the finals.
Next Stop: TI8
There are no more DPC tournaments in the current season. However, there will be the open qualifiers which are equally as interesting. We have some really strong teams in the open qualifiers across regions.
— Nahaz (@NahazDota) June 10, 2018
The open qualifier matches start on June 14th and the road leads up the International in Vancouver.