Dota 2 Lima Major: Team Liquid sweep Talon Esports in lower bracket finals
Liquid made the Grand Finals while having analyst Jabbz as a stand-in for Boxi, who exited the Major due to a medical emergency.
Western Europe's Team Liquid will be moving on to the Grand Finals of the Dota 2 Lima Major after they swept Southeast Asia's Talon Esports, 2-0, in the tournament's upper bracket finals on Monday (6 March).
Liquid will be facing Western European powerhouse Gaimin Gladiators in the Grand Finals for the first Major championship of the 2023 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) season as well as the grand prize of US$200,000 and 400 DPC points.
Liquid were the overwhelming favourites to take the championship in Lima as the top team in Western Europe, the strongest region in the circuit.
Their case was only strengthened after they finished the Group Stage with the best record among all teams at 14-2 and an undefeated run through the first two rounds of the upper bracket in the Playoffs.
Unfortunately for Liquid, they had to play the upper bracket finals without position 4 support player Samuel "Boxi" Svahn, who was forced to exit the Lima Major due to a medical emergency. The team tapped analyst Mathis "Jabbz" Friesel to be Boxi's stand-in.
Boxi's absence was apparent, as Gaimin Gladiators soundly swept Liquid in the upper bracket finals and sent them down to the lower bracket finals.
Meanwhile, Talon had been one of the biggest surprises of the tournament. They were the only Southeast Asian team to make the Playoffs, but were immediately knocked down to the lower bracket by Liquid.
Talon then went on a rampage in the lower bracket, eliminating HellRaisers, Team Spirit, Entity, and Shopify Rebellion to earn a rematch with Liquid in the lower bracket.
Michael "miCKe" Vu willed Liquid to the Grand Finals with back-to-back standout performances in his team's sweep over Talon.
In a 36-minute rout in game one, Liquid led from the laning stage and never looked back, with miCKe on a carry Nature's Prophet finishing with a series-high 19 kills against just one death.
Game two was a much closer affair, as both teams were in a deadlock until the midgame. However, Liquid started to slowly pull ahead after the 30-minute mark. Despite Talon's best efforts to mount a comeback behind Nuengnara "23savage" Teeramahanon's Terrorblade, Liquid methodically choked them out before forcing the GG call after 52 minutes.
MiCKe once again led the way for Liquid, this time on Morphling, and racked up 17 kills against three deaths.
With their victory, Liquid have guaranteed themselves at least US$100,000 and 350 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) points in winnings.
Of course, they now have their sights set on defeating Gaimin Gladiators to claim the Major championship as well as the grand prize of US$200,000 and 400 DPC points.
Meanwhile, Talon bow out of the tournament in third place and with US$75,000 and 300 DPC points in consolation.
The Lima Major is the first Major of the 2023 DPC season, featuring 18 of the best teams in the circuit battling for their share of the US$500,000 prize pool and 1,900 DPC point pool.
Those precious DPC points will go towards earning an all-important direct invite to this year's iteration of The International (TI), Dota 2's annual world championship tournament.
For everything you need to know about the Lima Major, check here.
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