Team Liquid are crowned the EPICENTER Champions
After a long and arduous battle for all the teams involved, we finally find ourselves at the Epicenter: Moscow finals. Newbee versus Team Liquid. Both teams looked ultimately unstoppable through the event, dropping barely any games – but only one would prevail as the EPICENTER champions.
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Newbee began the game with an early smoke into the Radiant Secret shop area and ended up grabbing first blood before the horn had even sounded. Map control had gone the way of Newbee with five minutes passed, claiming the first tier one tower in the top lane without much contest. With ten minutes gone by in the game, Newbee held the advantage with the score line being 7-4 in their favour. However, the XP charts showed that the game was still rather even.
With twenty minutes approaching, Team Liquid started to show a bit more fight. Team Liquid found an amazing team fight outside the Rosh pit, wiping the entire Newbee team, claiming an aegis, and pushed bot lane. They decided to then go high ground and managed to drop the tier three tower and claim more kills before exiting the base.
With twenty seven minutes having passed, TL destroyed Newbee again and forced out the GG, taking game one of the grand final series.
Game two had a much slower start with first blood falling just before four minutes this time round but after the initial few kills around first blood, the game slowed down with both teams focused on farming for the earlier moments. With ten minutes passed, TL had removed all the Dire side tier one towers but were behind on the score. Newbee continued to take fights but with eighteen minutes gone, TL looked toward high ground bot lane but disengaged after forcing out buybacks.
Newbee then managed to put some pressure back onto TL with a great gank onto the bot lane but they would still need time to find the right fights and take the game. Newbee used their pressure to obtain a quick aegis and began to look more dominant now. At the twenty-seven minute mark, Newbee claimed victory in a massive team fight mid, dropping the entire TL team and consequently the mid barracks. Thirty three minutes passed before Team Liquid threw in the towel and called GG, giving Newbee the win.
First blood fell at six minutes, going the way of TL at the Dire bot tier one tower, but Newbee instantly return the kill in the top lane. With the game heading passed eleven minutes, the first team fight broke out in the mid lane and resulted in Newbee picking up four kills, all on the Death Prophet. This advantage was used to claim an Aegis and a tier one tower mid. Newbee then started to claim dominant map control, dropping the bot tier one tower as well.
Newbee continued to hold their advantage in the game with twenty minutes passed but TL began to get many items online at that point and might have had a chance to make a comeback. However, Newbee showed again that they had the stronger team-fight potential, killing off three from the Radiant team and claiming an aegis. Twenty seven minutes passed and Newbee went up to the high ground, dropping the mid barracks and taking the proceeding team fight as well.
With thirty two minutes gone, Newbee marched into the Radiant base and dropped the top and bot barracks, forcing the GG from Team Liquid and giving them the advantage in the series.
First blood was drawn rather quickly, just fifteen seconds into the game, as TL took a quick kill on the Invoker after losing both early bounty runes, and kept the pressure up, taking two more kills before the two minute mark. As ten minutes passed, TL still had a slight advantage in the score line but lost the tier one tower top and Newbee tied up the score at 4-4 soon after. TL though, not wanting to lose the tournament, continued to keep the pressure up with pick offs across the map, which kept the score line in their favour.
Newbee found a great initiation as they attempted to take down Roshan and brought the game back to an even standing. TL then managed to find an initiation outside the pit at eighteen minutes and destroy Newbee. They managed to take down four from Newbee again at twenty minutes, and claimed the Aegis. Liquid began to show that they weren’t going to let the tournament get away from them, placing pressure across the map.
TL took down Roshan again at thirty two minutes and looked toward the high ground, dropping the tier three bot tower, and forcing a decisive game five.
Team Liquid started the game with a fast pace once again, taking down first blood before one minute had passed and claiming another kill soon after. Both teams started putting pressure on tier one towers from six minutes, trading them in mid and top. TL began to show their strength as they turned around a fight in their own jungle, dropping three from Newbee which took the score to 7-5 in their favour. By fourteen minutes, TL took another engagement, killing off four from Newbee and losing two.
Team Liquid went for the high ground at twenty three minutes and managed to drop the tier three tower, escaping with only a single casualty. Soon after, Liquid ran down mid again and killed off four of Newbee, then moved over to the Rosh pit to claim the Aegis. The game looked in the bag for the Radiant team, as Newbee seemed to have no response for the TL pressure. Even with TL’s constant pressure, Newbee had managed to put up a rather decent defense, taking the game toward the forty minute mark, they finally began to pick up some momentum.
Newbee managed to hold off against the next highground push but ended up losing the mid barracks soon after and on the back of this, Team Liquid forced Newbee to throw in the towel.
After a hard fought Grand Finals from both teams - with thirty three heroes being picked throughout the series, and Newbee making an epic showing after coming up from the Wildcard playoffs, the grand finals of EPICENTER come to an end with Team Liquid claiming first place to break their second place curse.
EPICENTER Prize Pool Distribution: