Now, however, one of eSports’ most iconic franchises has claimed Dota 2’s biggest prize, as Team Liquid emerged as the winning side of The International 7, taking home over $10 million United States dollars in prize money for its victory. Who will hoist the Aegis of Champions next?
In one of the most intense and heart-racing best-of-three series at The International 7, Liquid edged out LGD Forever Young in the third game of their lower bracket match.
Liquid rode their lower bracket momentum into game one, which resulted in an early rout that went unchallenged for half an hour as the European Union team ran over Newbee, in large part thanks to roaming offlane play of Ivan Borislavov “MinD_ContRoL” Ivanov as Nature’s Prophet. In fact, Liquid is the first squad to ever enter the Losers’ Bracket after the first round of Winners’ Bracket play and go the distance to win The International.
Liquid move on to the Lower Bracket Finals to face LFY. With exciting plays and unusual strategies by Liquid to take down the Chinese dark horse, Liquid eventually took the series 2-1 before the Grand Final later that day. Before this, there has never been a 3-0 grand final.
Coming up through the loser’s bracket, are both the first team to have ever swept the grand finals at TI, and also the first to win after dropping in the first round of the winner’s bracket. Liquid came out swinging in game one, taking all of Newbee’s outer towers before 20 minutes and forcing a GG shortly after. LGD.Forever Young have flexed their superhero-sized gaming muscles this year and lost only one match, to the tough-as-steel Chinese team and TI4 champions Newbee. But the most impressive-and game winning-was one final Juggernaut slash by Miracle-, superpowered by a Double Damage rune that helped to wipe out the entirety of Newbee. West sentiment, as Chinese fans were out in full force while the North American audience, still loyal to Team Liquid from their NA days, fired back with furious roars at every opportunity.
The current edition of The International is seeing non-western teams – particularly China, taking the tournament by storm.