Team Liquid narrowly defeated TnC Gaming in the tiebreaker of a drawn-out best-of-five series to win the grand final of the second edition of the StarLadder i-League Invitational.
The final victory came to Liquid thanks to a vital hero pick in the final game of the series. With their picking of Alacrity Bear and Enigma they were able to carry out a messy yet successful wrecking ball/black hole play amidst an all-out brawl at Roshan’s, which wiped out TNC, won them Roshan and essentially sealed the game for them.
The multi-national roster claimed their second StarLadder trophy of the calendar year after trouncing Vici Gaming in another grand final in the StarLadder i-League StarSeries, and it would also be a welcome result for Liquid they had struggled to yield achievements in recent Premier tournaments in The Kiev Major 2017 and the Dota 2 Asia Championship 2017.
Indeed, their presence in the i-League Invitational grand final, along with that of Philippines-based TnC would come off as a huge surprise as none of the Chinese teams made it to the final stage within their own turf in Shanghai.
TnC themselves enjoyed a fruitful campaign despite a recent roster shift on May 16. They placed an impressive first in their group before defeating Newbee in the semi-final, and had been undefeated up until advancing into the grand final.
As for Liquid, having held off the likes of Invictus Gaming en route to victory, this title win may very be the ticket they sorely need as they try to impress Valve in the quest for a spot in the looming and most coveted Dota 2 event of the year, the International 2017.
Still, if needed, they could gain more accolades that could further improve their chances in Moscow in EPICENTER 2017, a tournament they had already won in the last edition also held at the Russian capital last year.