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In most Dota 2 games, players end up relying on their team to help close out tough games, and Team Liquid kept themselves from throwing away a win at the DreamLeague Season 13 Major today thanks to the dynamic duo of Samuel “Boxi” Svahn and Tommy “Taiga” Le.
It felt like Liquid had the game locked up 40 minutes in, but Virtus Pro just wouldn’t concede and nearly brought the whole series back despite being at a massive disadvantage.
Going into the draft, things were already a little weird. Liquid went with Dark Willow on an early pick for Taiga. Meanwhile, it looked like VP were stacking up to rally behind Vladimir “No[o]ne” Minenko’s Outworld Devourer and Egor “epileptick1d” Grigorenko’s Lifestrealer.
Things got off to an incredibly slow start for both sides, with each team having only 15 kills by the 30-minute mark and lacking a clear advantage. That changed just a few moments later after Liquid nearly team-wiped VP and went on to build an uncontested lead.
Liquid didn’t let up, securing another team wipe 55 minutes in and all but sealing the game if it wasn’t for the tenacity of VP’s core. Epileptick1d would not stop in his aggressive play, matching Max “qojqva” Bröcker’s Storm Spirit blow for blow despite being so far behind.
Even though Liquid had every advantage, including a 50,000 net worth lead over VP, they could not find a way to close out the game.
It just looked like the European squad was reluctant to commit in various situations, which led to multiple openings within their defense that VP happily took advantage of to secure a few extra kills and close the gap. When Liquid eventually committed and approached the high ground, it all came down to if they could kill No[o]ne on his massive Outworld Devourer.
The initiation was well-executed, but Liquid were quickly forced to use two big buybacks after VP turned on them. That reverse forced Liquid to try and bail on the fight, but the CIS stack closed out a few kills before chasing down and locking in one more thanks to Vitalie “Save-” Melnic’s Avalanche on Tiny.
With three Liquid players dead with only a few buybacks, VP charged ahead and brought the fight from their side of the map to their opponent’s.
All five VP players pushed the high ground and started hammering away at the racks and towers before approaching Liquid’s throne. Boxi was left on his own against the entire enemy team after Aydin “iNSaNiA” Sarkohi was torn apart, but thankfully Taiga was able to buyback in.
VP did not have enough firepower to kill off Boxi’s Slardar without committing more than two players, so the team decided to chase him and left Roman “Resolut1on” Fominok to take care of the towers. That ended up being a big mistake; Taiga came in and melted him with his Dark Willow.
Taiga kept throwing out attacks while Boxi just tried to keep VP’s attention on him rather than the towers or throne, and eventually, he just threw his body in front of his base to take the hits instead. This ended up saving the game as the Dark Willow is able to take out the Tiny too and then come in to help Slardar.
Boxi came in firing on epileptick1d, which drew in No[o]ne to continue the attack. Taiga used that movement to lock on and just annihilate the Outworld Devourer and both players then turned their attention to taking down the last two VP players.
That two-man team wipe ended the game since VP did not have buyback for any of their players. GGs came out soon after, which meant Liquid were moving onto the next round while VP were eliminated from the Major.
Liquid will be playing the loser of Natus Vincere and Alliance at 6:30am CT on Jan. 23, which will be decided tomorrow at 6:30 am CT.