posted by kipspul,
It's been a long time coming, but yesterday the winner of season 6 of the Dota 2 Champions League has finally been decided. Neither Empire nor Liquid was about to let the upcoming Frankfurt Major overshadow them. Their 4-game clash ran the gamut of Dota 2 experiences: comebacks and throws, technical issues and DDOS, diebacks and outplays... all culminating in a nail-bitingly tense game 4. Click on through to see how it all went down.

D2CL Season 6 Final standings
1. eu Team Liquid
2. ru Team Empire
3. eu OG
4. gr Golden Boys*

Only a week after eu Team Liquid took the Summit 4 EU qualifiers from ru Team Empire, the two teams once again met in a best-of-five finals. Since then the European squad had also been the fist team to qualify to the Defense 2 LAN finals. The D2CL finals were Empire's last chance to show their strength before the Major.

A very short final?

Unfortunately for Empire, the first two games clearly cemented Liquid's status as favorites. de Kuro S. 'KuroKy' Takhasomi's squad went blow for blow with the aggressive Russian team, eagerly taking fights to create space for the carries. Game 1 ended at only 20 minutes, after Empire threw all of their ultimates at fi Lasse 'Matumbaman' Urpalainen's Huskar and failed to even trigger his aegis.

The second game saw a similar scenario unfold over a slightly longer time span. Empire picked ua Roman 'Resolut1on' Fominok his beloved Invoker, but their draft seemed to be heading for tough times. In the words of Clairvoyance: "Empire are the ones that need to make things happen during this game". Instead, the opposite happened. The Russians lost all their lanes, and this time it was de Adrian 'Fata' Trinks's Razor who reached critical farm mass.

Team Liquid just before their run through the Nanyang Championships, where they finished 4th. Image from Nanyang Championships.

Once again, Liquid put a hero that was too huge to die on the enemy highground. Empire simply did not have the damage to keep Razor from destroying their base and gg'd out.

Liquid gets the Silent treatment

It had been an hour since the finals started and Empire was already down 0-2. But the experienced squad was not about to let it get to them. While Team Liquid tried to throw a curveball by surprise-picking Broodmother and switching their Dark Seer to support, Empire kept it simple. They got their hands on ru Airat 'Silent' Gaziev's famous Gyrocopter and immediately set out to make Liquid regret giving it away.

The Gyro rose to untouchable heights on the networth chart while Liquid struggled to stop hemmorhaging kills. And it wasn't just their opponents that tried to keep Empire from winning. A DDOS attack on Empire's tryout offlaner ru Alexander 'Flow' Sazonov stretched allowed pause time far beyond its limits. And while Durka and Clairvoyance smoothly navigated the extended breaks, their broadcasting PC decided to up the ante by fully breaking down.

Empire always strikes back.

But both Empire and the casters were not to be deterred. Even though Flow's Nightstalker had to be microed by his teammates for a while (who couldn't buy his crucial Aghanims Scepter for him), Silent's Gyrocopter was simply too big to deal with. Empire broke Liquid's stride and forced the series to a game 4.

It's not over until the Ancient falls

Liquid were not about to fall for the same trick twice. They took the Gyrocopter for themselves, but the decision turned against them as Matumbaman failed to get as much out of the hero as Silent did before. Empire grabbed the advantage and pushed heavily into Liquid, eager to equalise the series.

What they had not counted on was FATA's decision to buy a shadowblade on Lina. The pressure he exerted allowed his experience-starved supports and underfarmed carry some much needed breathing room. “FATA on this Lina is an absolute wrecking ball” – Durka.

Lina brings the pain to Queen of Pain

What started as a smooth ride for Empire turned into a wild rollercoaster. Matumbaman caught up in farm, and Liquid started trading kills instead of just giving them up. The pace of the game accellerated. At 45 minutes, Liquid took the first rax and kicked off what can only be described as a 15-minute tug-of-war. [b]The two teams took turns wiping the other squad, killing towers, and buying back.[/b] Jerax' Lotus Orb worked overtime, counter-snowballing his teammates out of several nasty teamfights.

In the end it was Team Empire that drew the short straw. FATA treated Silent's buyback-less Juggernaut to a double Laguna Blade to the face, and the Empire carry had to sit on the sidelines as Liquid claimed victory of the the hour-long punchout and the title of D2CL Season 6.

  • kipspul


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