Team Liquid drops Alliance into the Lower Bracket
After a flood of delays in Shanghai, Team Liquid faced off against Alliance in the first Upper Bracket game of the main event.
After a small break from the initial drama which the Shanghai Major brought in its first few days, the main event was set to commence without any issues, or so we hoped. Before the first game of the Upper Bracket got underway, we were supposed to witness an opening ceremony for the main event but as we know by now, nothing goes as planned. The opening ceremony was apparently cancelled, but then suddenly occurred without 80% of the teams actually being there. Beyond that, once it got underway; the streams had major lag issues and the audio was terrible too. Left, right and center there were problems and many took to social media to voice this. This is just one of many tweets from an annoyed @LDdota
But after a less than pleasant two hour delay, the teams finally found themselves loading into game one.
Game one saw Team Liquid outdraft Alliance completely. By banning the Nature’s Prophet, they forced Henrik 'AdmiralBulldog' Ahnberg to pick another one of his strong heroes, Lone Druid. Even with the pick up of Lone Druid, it became quite obvious early on that Team Liquid were going to focus on shutting down Bulldog in any way possible. With quick ganks and Alliance seeming to have no team synergy, Lasse 'Matumbaman' Urpalainen on Ursa and Adrian 'FATA-' Trinks on Outworld Devourer made light work of Alliance. At 37 minutes, they threw in the towel, giving Liquid a 1-0 lead in the series.
Game two and still the audio problems continue, but Alliance pick a far stronger line up this time, giving Jonathan 'Loda' Berg a Naga Siren. Knowing that they would need to take it to the mid-late game for Naga to work out, Alliance play the early game perfectly, allowing Loda all the space he needs to become the six slotted core that easily carried them to victory. With the Naga sleep ulti used perfectly to disengage as soon as Alliance took an objective or lost a hero, they were able to persistently push high ground and tie up the series at 1-1.
The deciding match between this two teams was set to be extremely entertaining; with the loser being knocked down to the Lower Bracket. For a third game running, Team Liquid lock down the Nature’s Prophet pick, taking it away from Bulldog – this seemed to be one of the factors that really swung the series in Liquid’s favour. Even though Alliance would constantly punish the Nature’s Prophet, they ended up being undone in the mid-game and neglecting to stop the Anti-Mage pressure meant that they would fall in the long run. By 45 minutes, Liquid had pushed through Alliance enough times to draw out the gg. With that, Liquid took the series 2-1 and proceeded into the next stage of the Upper Bracket, while Alliance dip down into the dreaded Lower Bracket Bo1’s.