The previous year, Team Liquid arrived at The International 2017 as one of the favorites owing to their exceptional season. This year, they are the second team to accumulate enough points to be able to receive a direct invitation. However, the irregular results and the titles missed in the 2017-2018 season places them in a much more delicate position at TI.
The 2016-2017 season was a complicated year for Team Liquid, which was quite successful after the change of lineup: GH, the second support arrived at the end of 2016 to replace Bulba. Team Liquid’s lineup then started to bring steady results against the other title contenders. In August 2017, Team Liquid recovered the Aegis on their first TI grand finale appearance, winning 3-0 after making an impressive comeback in the Lower Bracket.
This victory was based on a style of play that is quite difficult to predict, with heroes like Keeper of The Light, Nature’s Prophet, and Earthshaker. Analysts and some pro players pointed out during the competition that it was particularly complicated to draft against Team Liquid, as each player had a pool of two or three signature heroes that no one could afford to ignore.
A mixed season for Team Liquid (2017-2018)
We know that the winners of The International tend to suffer from a certain disease i.e. the title-winning side fails to perform in the months following the end of TI. Team Liquid, on the other hand, seemed immune from the disease from the start of the 2017-2018 season. The International 2017 champions won SLI3 and AMD Saphire Dota Pit League (plus Midas Mode that didn’t earn them DPC).
Team Liquid competed in twelve of the twenty-two DPC tournaments of the season and left with almost all points, with the exception of DAC and ESL One Birmingham. At DAC they lost to one of the most unpredictable teams, TNC predator. While at ESL One Birmingham, paiN Gaming eliminated them quite early from the event.
Changes in the meta and strong contenders
It seemed like they had a tough time adapting to the meta on some occasions. Like we got to see Matumbaman playing in mid while Miracle was playing at the top lane. Repetitive changes on the bounty runes had a huge impact on Liquid’s playing style. So with all this comes the big question. Can Team Liquid achieve the feat of being the first team to win two titles at The International?
They can certainly do it but their chances of winning are quite slim as compared to last year. This year, PSG.LGD copies the amazing feat of Liquid in 2017. While Team Secret and Virtus.Pro having an excellent start to the year. Team Liquid will not be worried about Newbee that much but anything can happen at the main stage. In short, achieving the feat is possible but the task will be more difficult this year. There are tough opponents at The International 2018 to oppose Team Liquid.