Liquid take Newbee out of the Kiev Major
picture courtesy of PGL
In game one the clear MVP was undoubtedly Xun 'uuu9' Han's Healing Ward. This little ward with only a single HP and magic immunity, moving at a blazing fast 420 movement speed while healing for 5% of max HP in an aura around it singlehandedly kept Newbee into the game through the barrage of spells from Amer 'Miracle-' Barqawi's Tinker.
The game started with early rotations from Liquid to try and even out the lanes, but with no early kills. The first blood was a surprise as an aggressive move uphill from Tinker, with a haste rune being met with roots and stuns from three heroes.
Liquid were not discouraged from the trades and managed to keep the score even, knowing they put all their bets on late game trying for some kills and failing, while Newbee were relentless in their pushes. With Roshans and systematically taking Liquid’s towers, kept up by the Healing Ward, even in two fights, where Ivan 'Mind_Control' Borislavov Ivanov masterfully managed to blink in and Doom Damien 'kpii' Chok's Omniknight.
By 30min Liquid had no towers left and mistake after mistake cost them Mid Rax first, then Bot and finally top. In the end Tinker couldn’t stop the enemy alone, despite how many mangoes he ate and the GG was called with game one going to Newbee.
This is a game you shouldn't miss. Like a classic action adventure movie, where the hero gets beaten to within an inch of his life and just as it seems it’s all over but the crying he comes striking back, swinging and winning. This is the story of this game, this is what Liquid did.
It started horrible for them. Early game was all Hu 'Kaka' Liangzhi all the time. The first blood attempt on him, reduced him so low, that a spit could finish him, but he managed to end up on the wrong side of the Ice Shards, turned around and with a single stun, secured a double kill for Chun 'Sccc' Song. From then on he was part of nearly all kills and managed to evade death on multiple occasions, helping his team find both counter and proactive kills.
The midgame wasn’t any different with Liquid trying moves and repeatedly getting punished with the score dropping to a 16-2 in Newbees favor, with a Roshan kill as the prize. Maroun 'GH' Merhej scouted out the Roshan attempt, Miracle bought back and Liquid, shwoing that they aren't done yet, jumped in. Taking out Hong 'Faith' Da Zeng’s Warlock and dooming uuu9 ensured a victory that saw the first time the graphs turning towards the Dire.
With that single fight Liquid were coming back into the game. They kept getting pickoffs and winning small skirmishes, where the game turned into Kuro 'Kuroky' Salehi Takhasomi’s turn to shine. His graves and heals were pinpoint precision, denying duel wins and keeping Miracle- alive in critical fights.
After a win mid, Liquid went for Roshan and Newbee desperately tried to stop them, ending at the Ancients sandwiched between Ice Shards and the entire Dire team. With a full five man wipe they called the GG and game two went to Liquid.
The last game of the series, the do or die for both teams was very intense. It started with a courier pickoff between T2 and T3 and Mind_Control dying to tower fire for it, but making sure he doesn’t give first blood, so that Miracle and Kuroky can get it on Sccc. From then on Liquid were full throttle to take this game, but Newbee weren’t going to make it easy. Teams traded kills and were generally even with Liquid ahead on gold, but Newbee ahead on XP.
The mid game was ruled by Matumbaman’s wolfs. They were scouting every movement on Newbee even forcing them to buy extra sentries just to get rid of the things. They managed to get Liquid a very advantageous pickoff on uuu9 ending in a full five man wipe with a perfect GH Winter Curse. The combo of duel into global silence meant that the game boiled down to this: can GH cast cold embrace onto whoever gets dueled. To this end Winter Wyvern got Guardian Greaves, which on activation remove all debuffs, but he got double silenced the first time and stunned the second.
Both of those ended in Liquid feeding a lot of kills and the game of cat and mouse continued. One scouted smoke gank turned to a disaster for Newbee. GH managed to save Miracle, who proceeded to destroy the enemy. Within minutes and buying back a second such fight ended into another full five man wipe for Newbee, who had nothing more they could do, but call the GG and give the victory to Team Liquid.