Team Liquid secured perhaps the most important victory of their Dota Pro Circuit Europe Upper Division run by defeating OG 2-1 to not only keep the hopes at a ticket to the first Major of the year alive but also to avoid possible relegation into the Lower Division for Season 2.
Ahead of their series against OG, Team Liquid were sitting at the middle of the pack with just two victories and three losses and were in danger of actually going to tiebreaker games with relegation on the line. However, the Europe region being rather contested outside of that first spot in the League, which is already locked in by Team Secret, means that one victory today would totally change the entire standings.
A victory for OG would have secured them the spot at the Singapore Major, but Liquid came prepared to spice things up.
After getting completely outpaced in game one by an offlane Alchemist offering an insane boost to his Monkey King with an early Aghanim’s Scepter gift, Team Liquid forced OG to their fastest GG call of their entire existence. While OG wanted to execute more or less the same Alchemist strategy, but with a mid lane Arc Warden and a carry Dragon Knight, Liquid managed to set a very fast tempo by winning all three lanes and forcing OG to a continuous team fight that led to a 13 minutes GG call.
Game three witnessed another first for OG, as they drafted Wraith King for the first time in this DPC season. They ignored the WK and the Earthshaker through the entire 7.28b patch, neither picking nor banning either of these two. But despite Wraith King getting slightly nerfed with today’s 7.28c patch, they decided to give it a go. Unfortunately for them, Yeik “MidOne” Zheng did not get any chance at becoming a menace in the game. However, while he got hunted down five times in the first 10 minutes of the game, in the offlane, Sébastien “Ceb” Debs was thriving on Chaos Knight and became OG’s hope at turning the tides in their favor.
Team Liquid held the advantage through the entire game courtesy of their Lycan draft, perfectly enabled by Grimstroke and Earth Spirit, but a couple of mistakes opened the door for OG to make full comeback around the 37-minute mark, when they found three kills on Liquid’s heroes and were able to take down Roshan uncontested. Lycan saved the day by denying the Aegis with his wolves and from there on, OG got once again cornered in their base and had to admit defeat.
This series outcome impacts the bottom teams in the League as well. For High Coast Esports, Liquid victory sends them straight into the Season 2 Lower Division, while the series between Tundra Esports and Vikin.gg will now be played with relegation on the line as well.
headline picture: DreamHack