Team Liquid beat Virtus.pro (VP) to take home the China DOTA2 Supermajor, the last major before The International. It was Team Liquid's first major tournament victory -- and it came right on time.
Outside of the two finalists for the tournament, the second-best team, PSG.LGD Gaming looked like it was in pristine form. The Chinese juggernaut took down VP in the upper bracket with two Io drafts, but fell in the lower bracket rematch with a respectable third place finish. Team Secret, meanwhile, looked like a contender. The inconsistent all-star lineup may finally be putting together the pieces for a tournament win.
Grand finals: Team Liquid vs. VP
Team Liquid's script and drafts were in top form and VP played better mechanical DOTA2, but communication and execution was the finishing blow. Team Liquid's upper bracket advantage and its consistency to transition well into the midgame was unparalleled.
Which team could play faster and reach its peak quicker? Both displayed high individual mechanical skill as well as arguably the two best laning phases in the world. Team Liquid struck first behind a beautiful performance from Lasse "MATUMBAMAN" Urpalainen's Visage and Kuro "KuroKy" Takkasomi's Jakiro. Through a strong lane phase that transitioned into a midgame phase that never had Team Liquid trailing, VP looked outclassed.
VP was a force in Game 2. Their draft was too fast, had too many disables, and fought too well in broken fights. VP's best scores came from the Bloodseeker and the Faceless Void, but it was Pavel "9pasha" Khvastunov and Vladimir "RodjER" Nikogosyan's control with Windranger and Beastmaster that truly owned the game.
Team Liquid's draft of Drow Ranger with Mirana was spaced out with Beastmaster to form a pushing ball of death. It provided plenty of speed and catch for scrambles and ganks -- with just the right amount of greed. With Team Liquid's speed in pushing (eight minute barracks push), it put the timer on VP to finish.
VP was the favorite from start to finish in Game 4 with an incredibly lopsided draft centered around the transporting power of Chen and the carry power of Slark. Behind an aggressive tri-lane that stunted Team Liquid's safe lane and power a free-farming Slark, VP dominated the lane phase. With constant rotations from 9pasha's Pangolier, Miracle- was stunted and ineffective. VP finished the game in 24 minutes with the correct high-ground itemization and a soul-crushing lane phase.
The final game was a stalemate in terms of drafting, but it was miscommunication that cost VP. Two bad fights in the Roshan pit with incorrect timing of hero skills from VP cost the team the lead and another split fight in the bottom lane put Team Liquid ahead for good. Both teams inadvertently drafted a four-protect-one lineup with Amer "Miracle-" Al-Barkawi's Templar Assassin and Roman "RAMZES666" Kushnarev's Medusa as the main cogs for the teamfights. For Miracle-, his Templar Assassin was unstoppable with the Naga Siren support. The rest was history.