Team Liquid did it; Advance to the Grand Finals of The International 2017
The last day of The International 2017 kicked off with Team Liquid rolling over LFY 2:1 to advance to the Grand Finals.
The lower bracket finals was the last stop for Team Liquid and LGD Forever Young on the emotional and life changing journey to the grand finals fight for the Aegis of Champions. The pressure and the stakes were high as both teams took the stage for potentially the last time at The International 2017.
Of the four players, who have been to all seven iterations of The International, Kuro "KuroKy" Salehi Takhasomi and Leong "DDC" Fat-meng have yet to hold the Aegis of champions in their hands. Both have come within inches - KuroKy took up 2nd place with Na'vi at TI3, DDC 3rd place with LGD Gaming at TI2. Both were on stage fighting for their dream. One would fall short, one would continue to hope.
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 with one of their over powered strategies that typically is banned against them. LFY went for the Sniper and a Llifestealer making a very scary lineup against the Europeans. Despite the hype for the drafts, 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 looked calculated and cohesive as they trampled over Liquid. Hunting them down, dewarding and diving towers, LFY boosted their confidence and bragged about their power. 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 - until they did. With the Lone Druid's spirit bear taking down barracks in LFY's base, Team Liquid were doing it once again to create an electrifying rat race and kept the fires and hopes burning.
A 5 man wipe at 49 minutes with no buybacks on Team Liquid would put a 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 came out of the gate swinging. 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. Going all in on the fights, the ganks and their itemization, LFY could not find an opening and instead were losing everything.
Meanwhile, not only were Team Liquid overpowering their Chinese opponents, they 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.
Getting pushed in rapidly, 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 be pushed around, 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, some find ways to create one and LFY just broke the game wide open with incredible team fights and capitalizing on every opportunity. The grand finals within reach for either team, the pendulum was swinging back and forth in an intense and thrilling match.
When the dust settled, it was Team Liquid waving the victory flag.
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Will Team Liquid ride the wave of momentum and win their first International?
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