This Grand Final was one hell of a ride, both for spectators and likely for the players themselves. Team Liquid came to the Grand Final all the way through the upper bracket, having never faced Virtus.pro at this event. Virtus.pro's upper bracket run was stopped by PSG.LGD, who were subsequently knocked down themselves by Liquid. VP took revenge on LGD to meet Liquid in this Grand Final.
The Supermajor Grand Final was the 7th DPC Grand Final for Liquid and the 6th for Virtus.pro. However, VP had won all five previous Grand Finals - 4 Majors and one Minor. Liquid had won three Minors and come second in two Majors and one Minor. In fact, the two teams never fought in a DPC Grand Final and only played one elimination game against each other since Liquid eliminated VP in The International 2017.
The two best teams in the world faced each other a total of five times between TI7 and this Grand Final. It's hard not to feel a bit robbed after the roller coaster that was this best-of-five. We want more.
The DPC reaches its explosive conclusion
The evolution of the drafts was one of the most interesting aspects of this long series. In a match between two of the best teams in the world, winning or losing often came down to little things about their drafts. Execution was on point, and watching their moves and counter-moves ingame was awe-inspiring. In the first game of the series - a rather back-and-forth affair, Liquid showed their favour for Lasse 'Matumbaman' Urpalainen's Visage, Maroun 'Gh' Merhej's Naga Siren and Amer 'Miracle-' Al-Barkawi's Templar Assassin.
Those same three heroes would make a reappearance in Game 5, but Naga earned a first-phase ban in Games 2 and 4 and was taken away by VP in Game 3. Liquid tried Monkey King twice in the series on both Miracle- and MATU but those were the two games of the series that they lost. Slark was banned by both teams in three games and picked once by Virtus.pro in Game 4 - the most one-sided stomp of the series. Despite our singing the praises of Miracle-'s Tinker yesterday, it was banned in Games 2 and 3 and picked in Game 4 only to be ganked into oblivion.
After witnessing the bloodbath VP served up in Game 4, Liquid fans were understandably on edge. Talk of a "Major curse" was on some lips, and it looked like VP were on the verge of taking their 6th DPC title. However, weren't going to go down that easily. They had a slightly rocky start thanks to some unsuccessful kill attempts, but found their timing window perfectly to start shutting down Roman 'RAMZEs' Kushnarev's Medusa. Liquid didn't give up a single kill between the 18-28 minute marks as they secured a strong lead and prepared to end the game.
Virtus.pro turtled in their base for several more minutes, even managing to sneak their courier to the enemy secret shop to get Ramzes his Eye of Skadi, but it wasn't enough. Liquid chipped away at their base using Naga illusions and Visage's familiars to keep the waves all pushed in and finished off VP in just over 34 minutes.
The curse was broken, and Liquid lifted the Supermajor trophy, looking elated. Last year's TI champions didn't top the DPC ranking this year, but they manage to stay on top of the world for an entire season after winning TI, a feat no team since Natus Vincere have managed. The only thing left is to see whether they can become the world's first two-time TI champions.
Let the long wait for TI begin!
Header photo credit: Perfect World on Twitter