To claim the Aegis of Champions today, they had to fight through a pool that kept the world at the edge of their seats.
Coming up through the loser's bracket, are both the first team to have ever swept the grand finals at TI, and also the first to win after dropping in the first round of the winner's bracket. In a largely unsurprising turn of events, each western team has been knocked out, barring Netherlands-based Team Liquid, who are set to face LGD.Forever Young in the semi-finals on Saturday the 12h of August. In fact, Liquid is the first squad to ever enter the Losers' Bracket after the first round of Winners' Bracket play and go the distance to win The International.
Even though TL defeated Empire, Resolut1ion had an incredible run for a team I considered to already be one of the weakest going into the event. The match was an explosive back-and-forth between the two Chinese teams, during which Newbee showed absolutely spectacular teamfights and took the spot.
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Sweden's Victor Lindelof looks the ideal partner for Eric Bailly in the centre of defence and Nemanja Matic is a proven asset on the defensive side of midfield duties.
Team Liquid came 8th previous year, taking home the comparatively low $311,557 cash prize. After yesterday I think Liquid are on a huge upswing, if they can take game one I'm confidant they can with this series. Before this, there has never been a 3-0 grand final.
But, despite getting through the group stage with a 13-3 record, Team Liquid fell to the lower bracket on day one with a 1-2 loss to Invictus Gaming. On the other, Newbee lost the very last of their entire bottom lane, tower and barracks, opening the lane for creeps to move in and start harassing them.
The dominating snowball style of Team Liquid shone in each game of the Grand Finals. This approach carried over into all three games as Liquid worked to control all factors of the game towards the final objective: taking down the Ancient. No matter who Newbee face I think they should be favored and it would be awesome to see a team win a second global. It won't be an easy match for either team.