posted by Abelle,
The first semifinal of ESL One Katowice 2018 was a crazy ride. cn Vici Gaming's amazing event continued with an inspiring performance that included capably handling a last-pick Broodmother and picking 2018's second-ever Alchemist.

In the first game of the series, eu Team Liquid hit Vici Gaming with the dreaded last-pick Broodmother. They took an early game lead and things looked pretty dire for the Chinese squad.

This is the 3rd highest Net Worth on record for a pro Broodmother at the 10:00 mark. The former 3rd highest is also by @LiquidMATUMBA, set against Team Secret at TI7. #ESLOne #eslonekatowice2018— Nahaz (@NahazDota) February 24, 2018

Vici Gaming didn't let Liquid get away with it, though using their own last pick Warlock to dominate mid-game teamfights and swing the advantage their way. Zhi Cheng 'LaNm' Zhang's Naga Siren set them up for some devastating combinations and Liquid found themselves dead without buyback, and Vici on their doorstop by the 32-minute mark.

Liquid struck back with a win in Game 2. The game was quite even until the 14-minute mark, when Liquid wiped Vici Gaming and took over the game.

WOW!!@TeamLiquid are playing like a team on a mission as they wipe @ViCi_Gaming! #ESLOne— ESL Dota2 (@ESLDota2) February 24, 2018

The final game of the series was where Vici Gaming busted out the Alchemist. It was the second time, Alchemist has been picked in pro Dota 2 in 2018, the first also coming from Vici Gaming - albeit as a support. This time Alchemist was taken to the midlane in the hands of Zhang 'Eurus' Chengjun. The game was very back and forth but Liquid started to take a lead as the game reached the 40-minute mark.

It's possible that Liquid felt like they were playing against the clock with an Alchemist on the enemy team but, when they pushed to end the game, they were unable to break through Vici's line of defense. Liquid took two sets of barracks and even the Tier 4 towers but Vici held on. As time went on they became harder and harder to kill. Once Paparazi gave Yang 'Eleven' Wei Ren's Underlord an Aghanim's Scepter, the entire team gained a significant damage boost on top of already being very tanky.

Liquid's lead slowly eroded and Vici Gaming took control. By the end of the 58-minute game, Liquid's almost 10k net worth lead had been turned into an almost 20k net worth lead for Vici Gaming.

With this win, Vici Gaming are the first ESL One Katowice Grand Finalists. Tomorrow, they will play the winner of tonight's second semifinal between Int Fnatic and ru

Header Photo Copyright: ESL | Bart Oerbekke

  • Abelle


    Annabelle Fischer
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