It was the final day of Manila Major at Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines and boy was it some great Dota action. It was a perfect end to the near perfect event that was the Manila Major. The Day started with Liquid vs Newbee lower bracket clash. First game was won by Newbee by putting on some early aggression taking first blood and another kill before the runes spawned. After that the game was pretty much in Newbee’s hands. They crushed the safelane of Matumbaman with a Sladar Enchantress offlane combo, completely shutting down Liquid’s hardcarry Lycan. With 8 minute blink dagger on kpii’s Sladar, Newbee went full ganking mode and just didn’t let Liquid’s draft to take off. The match ended in just 31 minutes with Newbee having a 27000 gold net worth advantage. But this was not enough for Liquid as they struck back hard in game 2. With some unpredictable drafting coming out of team Liquid as Mind_Control was drafted Weaver in the offlane. Due to lack of sufficient lock downs on Newbee’s side, the Weaver just got out of control and too much to handle for the Chinese squad ending at the top of the net worth graph. In a sense Newbee got ‘mind controlled’. Third game of the series was one of most different draft team Liquid has ever shown. With mid Medusa and Drow Ranger safelane, Liquid seemed pretty strong going into the game but at the same time quite vulnerable as this was Fata’s first pro game on Medusa. Liquid won the game by not letting Mu’s Death Prophet farm up. Even though Liquid lost some team fights during the earlier stages of the game, Liquid showed what a well coordinated team could do. Even though Newbee had great team fight wombo combo heroes like Dark Seer and Winter Wyvern, Newbee just couldn’t land them always catching 1 or 2 heroes. Liquid won the with 16000 net worth advantage, thus eliminating Newbee out the title race. Next comes OG vs Liquid.
OG vs Liquid
So the grand final series was here and crowd was really hyped about it. This was the matchup a lot of us awaited. Two EU powerhouses going against each other to claim the championship. Everyone expected a great series. Fans also got to see Kristian Nairn who played Hodor in television series Game of Thrones.
Game 1 saw a different type of draft from Liquid. Even after giving up highly contested heroes like Lifestealer and Earth Spirit to OG, Liquid didn’t seemed scared and picked up unconventional Riki to counter the early roaming Earth Spirit. Also Liquid got the better of OG as they gave Fata Timbersaw against N0tail’s Alchemist in the mid. With Riki giving so much scouting information Liquid just kept on ganking OG. They didn’t care about consequences. They ganked OG even under tier 3. Liquid stomped through game 1.
Now it was time for game 2. With OG getting their favored Phoenix and Earth Spirit along with Faceless Void they drafted a good team fight lineup whereas Liquid went with more DPS and push heavy lineup getting their signature heroes like Dragon Knight and Lycan. But it seemed like OG had Liquid figured out. OG had a highly superior team fight combo and just shredded Liquid. With Chronosphere-Sunray combos OG took control of the game. This was opposite of game 1 as Liquid managed to get only 10 kills to OG’s 36. OG won this game
Game 3 was reminiscent of game 2 as Liquid drafted almost the lineup which lost them the 2nd game while also giving away Faceless Void and Phoenix to OG. The results were also quite similar as OG stomped this one too. In both the games Liquid lost team fights near Roshan which was a massive blow as both the time Liquid had Lycan in their draft. With OG winning this one it became a little worrisome for Liquid who were just one game away from losing the title.
Game 4 saw a lot of draft adjustments. With Miracle on Templar Assassin and Fata on Lone Druid the mid matchup favored Liquid a little bit. But in a masterstroke Fly pulled out Wraith King for N0tail instantly countering the Lune Droid. The game was really up and down. At one point in the match Liquid got a team fight and it seemed like Liquid were on the driver seat. But OG didn’t seem to have faltered. With lots of farm on their cores they didn’t seemed to care about Fata’s Lone Druid as Wratih King was hitting that bear hard. Although the analyst panel questioned the Wraith King earlier Wraith King proved to be a formidable force. With recent changes to the hero dealing double critical to summons, it was definitely a master draft from Fly. With OG winning this match as well they became the champions of Manila Major becoming the only team to win two Valve hosted tournaments.
This was it for the last day of Manila Major. The tournament had amazing Dota action with even more amazing production by PGL. Shoutout to them. Also TI open qualifiers are about to start. Have you guys started practicing your strategies? To read more on Dota 2, click here.