Image credit: MineskiTV
The two-week grand Dota 2 showdown has finally come to an end.
Team Liquid denied Newbee and Faith their chance to be Dota 2 history's first two-time Aegis of Champions bearer after sweeping them at the grand finals of The International 2017.
The Kuroky-led squad's grand final run was history-setting itself as it went down as the first ever sweep in the history of The International's grand finals. At some point, Newbee was able to turn the tides of the game but, it was evident that from the first game down to the last seconds of the final one that there was never a doubt about Team Liquid's chance of retaining the Aegis of Champions pattern.
If there's a TL;DR version of the 3-0 grand finals, this Chinese Dota Proverb summarized it best. However, if you wanted to savour how Team Liquid won the Aegis of Champions as well $10,800,000+ grand prize, here's how it went down.
HE WHO CONTROLS THE MAP CONTROLS THE GAME
The momentum picked up from their series against LFY has never left Team Liquid. They continued drafting a physical-heavy, push-oriented line up backed by MinD_ContRoL's Nature's Prophet, MATUMBAMAN's Lifestealer, GH's Slardar, Miracle-'s Troll Warlord, and Kuroky's Lich.
Demolished was an understatement when describing the first game of the best-of-five series. Newbee's pocket Bloodseeker played by Moogy was proved to be a non-factor against Team Liquid's frontline. The toll on Nature's Prophet global mobility was proved to be better trade compared to the free-farming Bloodseeker.
The pushing prowess of Team Liquid was far too much for Newbee to handle altough they were never short of lockdowns and crowd control. Overwhelmed, the Chinese squad gave the first game up to Team Liquid right after the 27-minute mark.
THERE'S A MIRACLE
After getting punished by the pushing prowess and global mobility of MinD_ContRoL's hero, Newbee has learned their lesson and allotted the first ban slot for Nature's Prophet. They were also able to pick up a comfort hero for Sccc in the form of Queen of Pain partnered with Moogy's Anti-Mage. Meanwhile, Kuroky opted for a four-protect-one strategy focused on Miracle's Alchemist.
The first 13 minutes of the game was nothing but Newbee reminding everyone about their capabilities as a grand finalist. They were owning Team Liquid, 10-0, until GH and MATUMBAMAN, on Earthshaker and Necrophos, respectively, were finally able to put a kill score against Anti-Mage in the 14th-minute mark.
The Chinese squad was in good form to tie the series up until a clash at the Roshan pit ended heavily in Team Liquid's favor. The Dark Horses claimed three lives of Newbee to break their already yielding advantage and open space for the Alchemist to snowball out of control.
Despite the innate ability of Newbee's draft to clear waves of creeps, the sustainability of an Alchemist with 22k networth was simply too much for TI4 champions. After a sloppy high ground defense resulted to to put Anti-Mage in the sideline for more than two minutes, Newbee was forced to call gg out and left Team Liquid a game closer to the Aegis of Champions.
IT'S A DISASTAH
The third and possibly final game started the same way as the second one did. Newbee was able to take an early advantage after choking Team Liquid off their map activity as their push-oriented draft easily brought down towers.
A staple Chinese draft featuring Death Prophet and Shadow Shaman punished Team Liquid's laning phase. However, just like the second game, Team Liquid was released off their chains after a devastating clash at the Roshan pit wiped all of Newbee's advantage.
Kaka's position was already good enough to fend off any contest coming from Team Liquid, but MATUMBAMAN teleport to shrine basically ended all of Newbee's hope to be the first organization to win two The Internationals.
As soon as Sand King's Epicenter was casted, the Radiance-wielding Necrophos walked near enough to put its Blink Dagger off cooldown, wasting most of its pulses hitting nothing but the ground. He didn't even bother to Force Staff his way in for a faster Burrowstrike, depleting ultimately the lives of his cores.
Despite minor efforts to hold Team Liquid's highground seige, Newbee already knew that they are only delaying the inevitable. Another tragic Roshan clash wiped all four heroes of Newbee, including a dieback from Sccc's Death Prophet. Finally, after 45 minutes, Team Liquid was officially announced as The International 2017 grand champions.