Team Liquid Likely Secures Kiev Major Invite With StarLadder Victory

Screenshot via Twitch
Screenshot via Twitch

After missing December’s Boston Major and struggling the past few months to stay abreast of a tough European Dota 2 scene, it looked like Team Liquid might have to go through the gauntlet of European qualifying for the upcoming Kiev Major. Performing well at the StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season Three finals was their best hope at avoiding such a fate.

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Liquid took out The International 6 winners Wings Gaming, and Southeast Asia squad TNC Pro Team, on its way to the finals, where they faced VGJ, who knocked off tournament favorite OG 2-1 in the semifinals.

The home crowd in Shanghai, China was rooting for VGJ, a new Chinese all-star squad, but in game three a disconcerting silence fell over it.

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And of course, it wouldn’t be a finals without camera operator issues. This time, it was an intense focus on VGJ’s desperate efforts to take down a tower, rather than Team Liquid destroying the ancient and winning the game.

Liquid went on to take the series, and a top prize of $135,000. More importantly, the win at StarSeries almost guarantees them an invite to the upcoming Kiev Major. Though there are no strict requirements for being given a direct invite, as opposed to earning one through qualifiers, winning a major tournament right before a major tends to do it.

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Team Liquid looked confident and self-assured, bolstered by new talent like Maroun “GH” Merhej, who had an impressive performance on Wisp in the final match of the series, alongside mid Amer “Miracle-” Al-Barkawi’s surprise Anti-Mage pickup. Liquid’s struggles in the past—finding room for cores, keeping pace with a faster tempo of Dota—weren’t apparent. They didn’t look like the same team that fell in the Boston qualifiers, and just might be standing on center-stage again in Kiev in a few short months.

Freelance writer, Dota enthusiast, Texan.

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conordalgarno
BestInSlot

Is there a way to hide these posts? Because I am really tired of seeing this stuff spoiled in the headline/lead pic.