Liquid still the team to beat
The TI7 winners Team Liquid had not played for 2 months but came out of the shadows for the first Minor of the Valve Pro Circuit and did not skip a beat. There was talk of the TI curse, there was talk of perhaps they had lost motivation but Team Liquid answered the critics with a brilliant performance in the Grand Finals against Mineski.
Mineski had taken the lead in game 1 with a stellar showing by Anucha 'Jabz' Jirawong's Clockwerk, taking Maroun 'Gh' Merhej's Earthshaker out of the game. Mineski in game 1 simply had "too much stuff" according to panelists David 'Moo' Hull and Kyle 'Kyle' Freedman from compLexity, and heading into game 2 had the better draft according to the duo. However, Liquid expertly kept Mineski busy while Amer 'Miracle-' Al-Barkawi's Terrorblade prepared for destruction.
Miracle's Terrorblade terrorises Mineski
Miracle was level 25 on Terrorblade just 30 minutes into the game and already had a Butterfly. A clever Blink purchase along with a BKB countered Mineski's Arc Warden and despite Mind_Control playing "pretty YOLO" according to commentator Blitz, Liquid drew level.
The play of the game though has to go to Jabz for this incredible kill on Terrorblade. Jabz had stolen Sunder and remained low hp in the hope of catching Miracle out. A blind Blink into the Roshan Pit and quick reflexes allowed Jabz to secure a kill on Liquid's carry.
The moment Miracle seemed to "break" Mineski's morale
Game 3 was the most diverse of the Grand Finals as you could almost tell the moment Mineski broke. Mineski were in the lead but analyst Winter said they tilted and lacked discipline to grind out the win. One moment in particular stood out from the game, and that was a ballsy play by Miracle to kill of two of Mineski in his own jungle without vision.
Godz labelled Miracle "the best Invoker player in the world hands down", and it is hard to point to any other player for Liquid's victory in game 3, beside perhaps Mind_Control on Mirana who just kept landing Sacred Arrows onto Mineski's Cores. "He's making Mirana seem playable," said Blitz during the cast.
By Game 4 Mineski looked like a broken team and the fourth and final game of the series was over in just 20 minutes as Miracle's Antimage went to town on Mineski thanks to the setup from Matumbaman's Veno, Kuroky's Keeper of the Light and GH's Earth Spirit.
Mineski's performance at the Starladder i-League Season 3 Minor was impressive and means they already chalk up 90 Qualifying Points for TI8. Team Liquid earn 150 QPs of the total 300 for 1st place while 3rd-4th Team Secret and CoL both take home 30 QPs!
Title defended— KuroKy (@LiquidKuroKy) 15 October 2017
Team Liquid are the Grand Champions of Starladder i-League — The very first Minor. 150 QP's all players. Congrats. #DPC #SLTV pic.twitter.com/TEQCaPJDuD— Wykrhm Reddy (@wykrhm) 15 October 2017