ESTNN's Veselin Ignatov walks fans through the final day of the Moscow EPICENTER Major.
After a week of amazing Dota 2, it is finally time to say goodbye to one of the most amazing Majors in this DPC season. There were a lot of surprises along the way but in the end, Vici Gaming was the was the squad that walked away with the big prize.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
EPICENTER Major Final Day Recap
Lower Bracket Final (TL 2-0 VP)
— Virtus.pro (@virtuspro) June 30, 2019
The first series of the day was the much anticipated fight between Team Liquid and Virtus.Pro, two of the most consistent teams in this DPC season. Having said that, Team Liquid was definitely the more successful of the two and the results today proved it.
Game One between the two teams had a lot of back-and-forth action going on, especially during the mid-game. The teams were literally neck and neck for the entire duration of the game, mainly because they chose to bet on the farm rather than fighting.
That said, Virtus.Pro managed to win a very important fight near the Rosh pit which gave the CIS team a fantastic advantage. All they need to do was simply play safe and go on to win the game. Unfortunately, this did not happen. We saw once again why people refer to No[o]ne’s team as “Virtus Throw.” They failed to push Liquid’s high ground, resulting in a savage counter-attack from the European powerhouse, which ultimately won TL the victory.
Unlike the first game of the series, Game Two was completely one-sided as Team Liquid ripped through their enemies. They grabbed the lead early after winning the laning stage, and carried it through to the end. VP tried to bounce back with several smoke attempts, but it seems like they were somewhat demoralized after the unfortunate result in Game One.
In the end, MinD_ContRoL and his team-mates managed to accumulate a nearly 16k net-worth advantage. However, unlike their enemies in the last game, they were able to utilize their lead properly and pushed their enemies. This aggression secured TL the victory in the series and a spot in the Grand Final.
Virtus.Pro finished in third place this Major, which is definitely a very good finish. They are undoubtedly going to be one of the contenders for the upcoming TI9.
The Grand Final
This was the battle fans had been waiting for all tournament long. The two teams that deserved it the most got to play in The Grand Finals of this amazing Major. Sadly, only one of them got the lift the trophy: Vici Gaming.
Game One of this amazing series was full of insane numbers. The one that fans will remember most is the INSANE 47k+ net-worth advantage which Team Liquid had accrued at around 42 minutes. Just looking at the draft, Team Liquid was expected to win, because, let’s face it, Miracle rarely loses on his Anti-Mage.
Vici Gaming tired to stick to the tournament meta and picked IO-Gyro for themselves. Unfortunately for the Chinese superstars, their European enemies were prepared for that pick and had little-to-no trouble putting away Game One.
Team Liquid looked like they were on fire going into the second game, but Vici Gaming had other plans. Despite the fact that Game Two was pretty even early on, once the Chinese got the advantage, they just kept it until the end.
Ori and Co. got themselves a quick Roshan kill early on and immediately pushed Liquid’s base. The TI7 winners tried to defend themselves, but they lacked the items to do so. Seeing the opportunity, Vici Gaming continued their march and just 26 min, Team Liquid called the GG. Viewers were basically back where they started – at an even score.
Each of the two teams approached the third game of the amazing series in completely different ways. Team Liquid put more emphasis on the mid-game, whereas Vici Gaming was looking to push into the late-game with their setup.
In the beginning, Team Liquid seemed to be playing more aggressively. However, as soon as the game passed the 30-minute mark, the situation slowly started to change. The Europeans were in a very bad position as their win-condition window became smaller and smaller after each minute that passed by.
In the end, Vici’s late-game composition did what it was supposed to do. Kuro and his team-mates tried to take the last fight using MC’s Black Hole, but they failed.
Vici Gaming took the lead in the series after an impressive Game Three.
HOLYYYYYY SHITTTTT!!! GAME 5!! No better way to end the DPC this season. #EPICENTER
— Wykrhm Reddy (@wykrhm) June 30, 2019
This was absolutely the most interesting game in the entire event. Not only did fans get the see the most farmed Arc Warden ever, but they also witnessed a TL “one-shot combo” against Roshan, something which viewers definitely do not see every day.
The game had a somewhat similar vibe to the previous one. Again, Vici was the team who emphasized more on the late game compared to Liquid. However, unlike the previous game, Team Liquid was unable to get any sort of advantage outside Miracle’s insane farm.
Regardless of that, Miracle's one-man army was a huge pain to deal with, even for the over-farmed cores of Vici. In fact, during the last team fight, Vici gaming had an advantage of over 40k net worth. However, they used everything they had in order to kill Miracle twice, which gave TL, and more importantly his Ultimate, enough time to kill Vici two times in a row after they wasted all of their buybacks.
After this fight was over, Team Liquid stomped into their enemy’s base and claimed the priceless victory. This will definitely go down in history as one of the most interesting games at any Major event. It was certainly a joy to watch.
The Final Game
The DOTA community couldn’t have asked for a better end to the last Major of this DPC season: two of the strongest teams playing five games in a row.
Vici Gaming was in the driver's seat yet again after they won the laning stage handidly. After 23 minutes, the Chinese had a solid 13k lead. Even though Liquid tried to counter-attack, their efforts were futile. Vici easily took both Game Five and the championship victory.
The Chinese got a well-deserved victory in this event because their play was nearly flawless. Not only are they undoubtedly the best team in China, but they are also among the best in the world right now.