After an intense three-game series, Team Liquid has eliminated Newbee from the Kiev Major.
Following a disappointing sixth place finish in the tournament’s group stage, Liquid successfully came back to win their first game of the Kiev Major playoffs, defeating Newbee 2-1. At several points, however, it looked as if their Chinese opponents would secure the series.
The opening game in particular started out horribly for Liquid, as the team’s star mid laner Amer “Miracle-” Al-Barkawi gave away first blood five minutes into the game. While the Jordanian star player came back to top the charts for Liquid later on in the game with his Tinker—the Shadow Fiend of Song “Sccc” Chun and Xu “uuu9” Han’s Juggernaut were more than strong enough to deal with the threat of Miracle-.
Similar to the first game, Newbee were once again on the offensive in the second map of the series. Dominating Liquid throughout the laning stage, the European squad’s attempts at teamfighting were constantly shut down.
Things looked dire for Liquid, until Miracle- bought back on his Templar Assassin and proceeded to score a number of kills on Newbee—who had just brought down Roshan. From there on, Newbee began hemorrhaging players, as the strength of Miracle-’s Templar Assassin, as well as the coordinated play from the team’s support players, turned the game to Liquid’s advantage.
Eventually, there was nothing Newbee could do against Miracle-, who easily chopped through any given player on Newbee’s roster—meaning a third and decisive third game would be played.
For the first 20 minutes of the game, Newbee kept their composure, despite losing the second game of the series. But an incredible teamfight at 22 minutes, which saw Liquid catch out uuu9’s Sven in the Dire jungle, lead to a team wipe of the entire Newbee side.
Liquid were in a position to close out the series, but seemed a bit too eager in their attempts to breach the Newbee base—as Newbee succeeded in crushing two of Liquid’s attacks in rapid succession. For a moment, it looked as if the game could go either way.
One final fight decided the outcome, however, as Liquid pounced on uuu9 and Sccc, who had just bought back in a previous engagement. Without their carries to protect the base, Newbee’s time at the Kiev Major was over.
Having taken out one of China’s top rated teams, Liquid will now have to repeat their accomplishment, as they face Invictus Gaming in the next round of the playoffs. The game is set to start at 3am EDT (12am PDT) on April 29.