Different roster, but still lower bracket kings. Team Liquid made an impressive run through the playoffs elimination series in the OGA Dota PIT playoffs to reach the lower bracket finals, where they will play against the loser of Team Secret versus OG.
The third day of the playoffs has been a long one for Team Liquid, who opened the elimination marathon midday at 12:00 CET and finished their last series about seven hours later. Their first match-up was against Alliance, a team they haven’t defeated 2-0 since February, in the ESL One Los Angeles Major regional qualifiers. Since then, they clashed a couple of times in the many online tournaments, but Alliance had their number most of the time. Most recently, the Swedish organization took down their former roster 2-0 in the Gamers Without Borders charity event.
Nonetheless, Liquid took full revenge when it mattered. In the first game Alliance tried to take them by surprise with a carry Doom, as none of the Liquid players were natural Linken’s Sphere builders, except perhaps for Michael “miCKe” Vu’s Queen of Pain. But despite the Doom threat, Liquid were able to outmaneuver their opponents with a fast paced game that didn’t give Doom the time to develop, and snatched game one victory with the Lycan-QoP duo. Game two started much better for Alliance, who were in full control despite having to protect Nikolay “Nikobaby” Nikolov’s Morphing until he had his shotgun ready to wreak havoc. However, a couple of pickoffs and two completely missed Echoslams from Simon “Handsken” Haag in two crucial team fights, allowed Liquid to make a full comeback and eliminate Alliance.
The next series brought Virtus.pro fighting for their tournament lives against Ninjas in Pyjamas and although the best-of-three series went to the full length, VP outclassed their opponents. After taking game one with 36 to 9 on the kill score, they got bested by a Lifestealer with multiple Infest options in game two. VP came back strong in game three and styled on NiP with a mid lane Sniper and a support Warlock from their captain, Alexey “Solo” Berezin.
Unfortunately for the CIS fans, VP’s demise came in the next series at the hands of Team Liquid. Game one victory was secured with a mid lane Visage and a nearly perfect Queen of Pain execution from miCKe, who managed to keep the lanes pushed against VP’s Lycan. One game away from elimination, Virtus.pro tried to secure stronger team fight tools with Enigma, Pangolier and Invoker, but Liquid had a line-up built to take the control from the early laning stage. Axe-Phoenix proved to be impossible to be dealt with, while the offlane was also lost to a Luna-Vengeful Spirit coming from Liquid. The stacking auras, along with the Blink-Call initiation into the Phoenix Supernova, made the game easy for Liquid’s carry Luna, and VP bowed out of the tournament in fourth place.