After two days of competition between the best sides in Europe at DreamHack Winter, Liquid managed to return to the sort of form they enjoyed for much of 2015. Despite an early loss to Fnatic they advanced from Group B, defeating world championship finalists Team Dignitas 3-1 in the semi-finals. Fnatic topped that group, and bested the newly-minted mYinsanity roster by the same score.
Despite Liquid looking strong with their new lineup, it was the new-look Fnatic that ended up being just a little better in the jaw-dropping final.
With the series at 2-1 in Fnatic’s favor and Liquid’s favorite Sky Temple the fourth map, Fnatic were dominating the fourth game. Left with just one keep and a few towers Liquid had their backs up against the wall, trying to defend their core, shrines and the boss all at once. One team fight misstep from Fnatic saw them lose three players, turning around the game and giving Liquid time to strike Fnatic’s core. Swarming for the victory it looked all but inevitable Liquid would level up the series, but the Fnatic players revived just in time. Saving their core at six percent and team wiping Liquid, the former DreamHack champions could only watch as their core fell and they lost their title.
Fnatic wins $10,000 for its first major title in Heroes of the Storm, breaking the stranglehold Liquid had over DreamHack. The Spanish-led side had taken victory at DreamHack Bucharest, DreamHack Summer and DreamHack Valencia.
For Fnatic, the victory seems to secure a permanent place on the roster for trialist Daniel “Shad” González. His versatility across all four roles made him one of the most valuable players in the tournament.
Though Dignitas have disappointed since returning from the inaugural Heroes World Championship, the team showed distinct signs of improvement throughout this week’s tournament. Look for them to continue to improve as three new signings settle in.
Image via DreamHack/Flickr