With the fourth day of the International 2022 Last Chance Qualifiers coming to an end, four more teams were eliminated from the tournament. And, while it took some time for T1 to flame out, Team Liquid sent Xtreme Gaming home in the quickest series of the LCQ.
Xtreme was knocked down to the lower bracket by Team Secret during the playoff opener, while Liquid was coming off a 2-1 defeat against Virtus.pro just hours prior in the upper bracket. It was a match between a well-rested team and a squad that were just reverse-swept in a clash to stay in contention for one of the final tickets to TI11.
Considering the two teams were also deemed as favorites at the beginning of the LCQ, and it was an elimination series, most fans expected the players to bide their time during the matches and play to their strengths.
The teams picked active heroes in the first match alongside some pushing and teamfighting power, clearly ready to battle it out in the early game or back up to let the game run and farm up their cores. Though even with an even start to the early game, Liquid amped up the pace and started gaining momentum after taking down Lou’s Terrorblade two times in a minute.
Having lost the safe lane, Xtreme struggled to find an opening on the map and conceded more kills every two-to-three minutes. Without a mistake in sight, Liquid kept up the tempo and didn’t give the Chinese team the slightest chance of a comeback, wrapping the game in 19 minutes and 43 seconds—the fastest game in the entire TI11 LCQ to that point.
Though tapping out early in a match may look unconventional, it generally happens at this stage of Dota 2 when teams feel like they can instantly do better on the rebound, and all the Xtreme members were ready to focus on the next match.
Starting fresh in the second match, the only difference was that Xtreme lost control of the match at the 12-minute-mark instead of collapsing even earlier.
The match started going south after Xtreme traded four heroes in exchange for a single kill on miCKe’s Shadow Fiend. Once Liquid got the momentum in their favor, the team never let go like and wrapped up the second game in 26 minutes.
With this win, Liquid advanced to the next round to face Vici Gaming in the Lower Bracket semifinals, and the winner of that series will face the loser of Team Secret vs. Virtus.pro.
Meanwhile, Xtreme falls well short of their TI aspirations after previously winning a hard-fought series to eliminate Natus Vincere in the previous round.
Xtreme’s quick farewell to the tournament was a disappointing end for the team after entering the LCQ as one of the top rosters. It is even more disheartening for the players, as the majority of the team is made up of former-Vici players who were looking to make it back to the TI stage with a new roster.
Now they join the newly dispatched group of NAVI, T1, and Wildcard Gaming while Secret, VP, Liquid, and Vici prepare to battle for the final two spots at TI11.