DotA 2 has a new top dog in town. If a former winner of a Major could be called new. In either case, the reigning Major champions, Team Secret, who emerged victorious at the Shanghai Major earlier this year, have been dethroned. In a best of five, OG defeated Team Liquid to win the Manila Major. It took them four games in a reasonably one-sided series, early stumbles notwithstanding.
OG did have a slight tendency to stagger in the beginning of a series, when the stakes started to get high, losing the first game, only to come back stronger than ever, sweeping away their opponents in the remaining games and firmly stepping forward towards their ultimate goal – the championship title. In the course of their journey, OG had to dispatch such teams as Natus Vincere, MVP.Phoenix, Newbee, where their early series jitters started, and finally Team Liquid, where the new trend continued.
While OG’s second win in a Valve-sponsored event is clearly the biggest story, Team Liquid’s achievements shouldn’t be forgotten in light of their second failure in a row. While they don’t have a fancy title, the team is ranked no. 1 in the world.They proved that it’s deserved by appearing at the Finals of their second Major in a row. It’s understandable that nobody remembers the losers, however, their achievement is almost as big as OG’s, so it should be remembered.
Speaking about the Final’s games themselves, they were very one-sided, in favor of either team. In Game 1, Team Liquid dominated with Slardar, Riki, Disruptor. Ursa, and Timbersaw against OG’s Beastmaster, Lich, Alchemist, Earth Spirit, and Lifestealer. In the following games, the Europeans switched up their comp, with Earth Spirit being the only Hero they kept using for the second game. The rest of their comp was filled out with Phoenix, Faceless Void, Juggernaut, and Dark Seer. Liquid still prioritized Slardar the highest, first picking him and also getting Disruptor, as well as Lycan, Dragon Knight, and Beastmaster. It all came down to whether Liquid could contend with the Faceless Void – Phoenix combo, which, as it turns out, they couldn’t, losing games 2 and 3.
In front of them now was the juggernaut OG team with an advantage. Having lost two in a row, Liquid had to do the same to their opponents. While motivation was high after winning Game 1, now, the situation has been swung in a completely different direction. Unfortunately for Team Liquid, the last ditch rallying miracle didn’t happen and the team lost the final game with Slardar, which they insisted on first-picking in every game, Enchantress, Disruptor, Weaver, and Lone Druid vs. Wraith King, which was picked for the first time in the Manila Major, Templar Assassin, Batrider, Elder Titan, and Phoenix, which was used by OG in all three of their wins against Team Liquid.
OG won. Team Liquid lost. OG won their second Valve-sponsored Major. Team Liquid made it into the Grand Finals of two Majors in a row, losing both 3-1. While crushing, it’s not an easy thing to achieve by any means. And while they can’t call themselves Manila Major Champions, the $450,000 they got twice in a row will hopefully make it worth it.