They may have fallen just short of qualifying for the Boston Major but Team Liquid hit their stride in the DreamLeague LAN Finals over the last two days going undefeated to become the sixth champion of the series.
Competing with Maroun 'Gh' Merhej as a stand-in for Sam 'Bulba' Sosale, Liquid took on Escape, Imperial and Alliance in a double elimination playoffs at the tournament being held at Dreamhack Winter 2016.
Liquid have been out of sorts this season but their performance this weekend inspires confidence for their roster moving forward into next season. Amer 'Miracle-' Al-Barkawi was back to his former self and Maroun 'Gh' Merhej played a major part in helping make that happen in particular on Wisp in game 2 of the Grand Finals assisting Miracle's Tiny.
The addition of GH has granted Miracle additional support in the mid-lane and the duo worked incredibly well together at DreamLeague Season 6, and also looked to get on extremely well in the post-match interview after the semi-finals.
Their opponent in the Grand Finals was Ninjas in Pyjamas* who put up a fight despite the final 3-0 scoreline. In Game 3 Escape were ahead for the majority of the game, and Max 'Qojqva' Broecker's Lone Druid a prominent character after a 16 minute Radiance and 23 minute Assault Cuirass. Escape were playing with Kalle Juhanpoika 'Trixi' Saarinen as a stand-in for the departed Maurice 'KheZu' Gutmann and their second place was unexpected after their opening defeat yesterday.
Escape had fallen in the first round of the playoffs but found redemption after eliminating both Danish Bears* and Alliance in the lower-bracket. Despite losing the Grand Finals their second place nets Escape $45,000, meanwhile first place winners Liquid took home $90,000. It is the team's first LAN victory since the departure of Adrian 'Fata' Trinks and Jesse 'JerAx' Vainikka.
DreamLeague was the tournament where Liquid's carry Lasse 'Matumbaman' Urpalainen first came into prominence back in 2014 while playing with 4ASC with fellow Finn Kalle Juhanpoika 'Trixi' Saarinen, and he paid tribute to that with a short video on his Twitter page.
Easiest final of my life, sitting back and getting carried. ayy— Lasse Urpalainen (@LiquidMATUMBA) 26 November 2016