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The EPICENTER XL Grand Final

By Tasho Tashev Dota 2 06 May 2018 314 views

PSG.LGD and Liquid met for the second time in this tournament, their previous encounter ending with a 2-0 victory in favour of the Chinese. Liquid didn’t have an easy time making it back as they had to go through the ‘giantkillers’ FlyToMoon. There was only one question, which one of the two was going to win their first Major?

The draft in match one seemed to be in favour of the European team since they had enough crowd control to win every fight, especially useful would be the double silence with Skywrath Mage and Death Prophet against the enemy Morphling. If caught off-guard it makes for an easy pick off without the ability to switch agility to strength. The early game went back and forth and was fairly even standing at 8-8 on minute ten, networthwise LGD had the lead, but not by much. With the BKB’s coming online it became progressively harder to burst people with magic damage. In a critical situation where it all looked grim for LGD and Liquid were knocking on the tier three tower, the sole defender was Wang ‘Ame’ Chunyu, who surprised everyone with an amazing play. Morphing into Gyrocopter and using Flak Cannon, then swapping back to his original form he was able to quickly nuke three heroes and chase a fourth, successfully defending the base. After taking Roshan and wiping a few members of the enemy team, the Chinese had no trouble destroying most buildings with the help of their Pugna. It all ended in 37 minutes with a definite victory for LGD.

Game two gave us an interesting offlane Bane versus Morphling and Lion. Ivan Borislavov ‘MinD_ContRoL’ Ivanov held his own against the two of them without struggling too much. Amer ‘Miracle-‘ Al-Barkawi played one of his signature heroes, so it was just a matter of time. Was the game going to last long enough so he can come online? Windranger proved to be way more active around the map and that was expected. Liquid couldn’t rely entirely on Invoker to carry the game, but their Drow Ranger was severely behind, so short skirmishes was the way to go. After a successful teamfight in the Dire jungle, Miracle- got a Rampage, wiping the entire enemy team, only to die less than a minute later, twice with the Aegis of the Immortal. Despite that, it was enough, Invoker got the items he needed, namely Black King Bar, which allowed him to focus entirely on the offence. That same overconfidence from game one made a return as Liquid extended a bit too much and lost four members. They acquired the Aegis once more, thanks to an excellent bait from Sand King, who took the aggro to himself and allowed his team to finish off Roshan. After a slow siege, LGD’s barracks crumbled on all lanes, at which point the latter called it ‘gg’.

It looked like Liquid were happy with how the previous match went and decided to go for an Invoker pick again. This time LGD focused the enemy midlane trying to slow him down as much as possible, but after realizing the cost for that wouldn’t be worth it, they spread out to other lanes. Liquid, on the other hand, were playing for their win condition, making good use of Spirit Breaker, Skywrath and Invoker’s Cold Snap early on. Each team played on the opposite side of the spectrum as the Chinese wanted to get Phantom Lancer as much farm as possible, while Liquid were trying to get pickoffs, but had difficulty doing so as their only form of lockdown was Spirit Breaker. A really awkward situation ensued where a fight around the pit started with three buybacks from the side of Liquid which allowed them to win the encounter. Phantom Lancer bought back only to die again, but despite that Miracle-’s squad couldn’t finish the game. Ironically, they got wiped and lost due to a lack of buybacks. LGD simply went for the Throne after taking out the tier three tower.

Game four could’ve been the final one, but it was hard to tell who’s going to take it. Both drafts were looking solid, so all was to be decided by skill. Miracle-’s Kunkka won his lane alone,  outleveled and outlived the enemy Death Prophet. LGD applied pressure on the toplane, constantly killing Gyrocopter with three-man ganks. It was just a matter of time until Slark got his hands on a Shadowblade and started hunting the squishy enemy supports. The name of the only issue with that was Axe. Teamfights though were another subject, LGD had three BKB’s and prevented a whole lot of magic damage, securing an advantage of more than 10k gold, which they managed to keep. Winning several big teamfights, wiping four members of Liquid in each, and a push with Exorcism easily allowed them to take out a lane of barracks. LGD played it safe and instead of overdedicating they decided to wait out their cooldowns. The Chinese secured Aegis of the Immortal and a few minutes later, their first Major.

Taking $ 500 000 for the first place and a total of 2250 DPC points they’re now sitting at fourth place in the DPC Ranking.