The International 7 is finally at the end of the road, with the last day kicking off with Team Liquid winning over LFY 2:1 to advance to the Grand Finals to face the awaiting Chinese super power Newbee.
The lower bracket finals was the last stop for either Team Liquid or LGD Forever Young. The pressure and the stakes were high as both teams took the stage for potentially the last time at The International 2017. Coming down to the wire, a 3 game deciding series, it was Team Liquid and KuroKy that outplayed, outdrafted and outlasted LFY to inch closer to the Aegis.
Picking up a KOTL for Maroun “GH” Merhej, Team Liquid went for their core picks. LFY went for the sniper and a lifestealer making a very scary lineup against the Europeans. The game had a very slow start even as they both aggressively sought out first blood which took 6 minutes to secure when LFY took the first two kills. LFY had calculated and cohesive moves as they trampled over Liquid. Hunting them down, dewarding and diving towers. The split push was Team Liquid’s only option as they couldn’t directly answer the sniper and lifestealer picks, but they just couldn’t get any momentum going. Later on, with the Lone Druid’s spirit bear taking down barracks in LFY’s base, Team Liquid were doing it once again to create a rat race and kept the fires and hopes burning. However, a 5 man wipe at 49 minutes with no buybacks on Team Liquid would put an deafening end to their efforts. Team Liquid pulled out every last stop even then but eventually fell behind with the first game loss.
With the potential elimination game on the line for Team Liquid the team came out of the gate swinging at the second game. LFY started to fall behind early. The level of aggression coming out from Team Liquid made it very difficult for LFY to find their footing and turn the tides. LFY could not find an opening and instead were losing everything. Meanwhile, Team Liquid were overpowering their opponents and were also popping up around the map to defend towers and maintain their map control. In stark contrast to their first run in the series, Team Liquid answered LFY in a bold and clear message – they were not ready to concede.
Third game, LFY were quickly losing footing early on. With the first two kills on the board and taking a tower, the courier snipe was the dream start for Team Liquid. Team Liquid continued to punish LFY at every turn with constant pressure and pick offs. Refusing to give up, LFY turned the team fights in their favor, but only temporarily. Tiny windows were available for LFY to open the game up, but they were not able to crack them enough to get through. When not able to find an opening, LFY just created one and broke the game wide open with incredible team fights and capitalizing on every opportunity. The grand finals within reach for either team, the heated competition went back and forth in an intense and thrilling match. When the dust settled, it was Team Liquid standing with the victory flag.
Team Liquid will now face Newbee in the grand finals. Will the Western team achieve the impossible or are we going to see another win for Newbee?