Team Liquid knock OG out of TI11 with 2-0 sweep in lower bracket

MATUMBAMAN and Team Liquid kept their hopes alive at The International 11 by knocking out regional rivals OG. (Photos: Valve Software)
MATUMBAMAN and Team Liquid kept their hopes alive at The International 11 by knocking out regional rivals OG. (Photos: Valve Software)

Lasse "MATUMBAMAN" Urpalainen isn't ready for his last tournament run at The International 11 (TI11) to end just yet.

The TI7 champion led Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) winner Team Liquid to a resounding 2-0 sweep over regional rivals OG in the third round of lower bracket in TI11's Main Event.

The two Western European powerhouses both started the tournament's Group Stage in Group A. Despite coming from the LCQ, Liquid looked dominant and finished with a 13-5 record to claim the group's second seed as well as an upper bracket berth in the Main Event.

They didn't stay long in the upper bracket, however, as Team Aster knocked Liquid down to the lower bracket with a 2-0 sweep. MATUMBAMAN and his squad then outlasted fellow Western European team Entity in a hard-fought 2-1 slugfest to advance to the third round of the lower bracket.

Meanwhile, OG narrowly secured an upper bracket berth in the Main Event as Group A's fourth seed with a 10-8 record.

OG also had a short stay in the upper bracket, quickly sent down to the lower bracket by Tundra Esports in a 2-0 sweep. They then outlasted fellow Western European squad Gaimin Gladiators, 2-1, to set up a showdown with Liquid.

Stable lanes were the name of the game for Liquid to start the series, as they picked arguably the game's strongest laning support in Undying for Aydin "iNSaNiA" Sarkohi. Ludwig "zai" Wåhlberg went for Pangolier, which worked with Samuel "Boxi" Svahn's Marci as a strong initiating duo.

The physical damage coming out of Liquid was impressive, as their dual ranged cores in Drow Ranger for MATUMBAMAN and Lina for Michael "miCKe" Vu could melt anyone in seconds.

OG understood that they needed some defensive abilities in order to withstand the physical damage from their opponents.

Mikhail "Misha" Agatov on Lich provided his allies with Frost Armor while Tommy "Taiga" Le's Shadow Demon can use Disruption to halt the enemy's aggression. Artem "Yuragi" Golubiev's Slark was a good pick-up in order to avoid some of the damage coming from Liquid.

The laning stage went well for Liquid, as they got 11 kills on OG while only giving three back. Their strong laning draft was working wonders and it looked like they would snowball their advantage to an easy victory.

OG's chaotic approach to the early game was punished by Liquid's steady lanes. However, what OG lost in the laning stage they made up for in the mid game teamfights. Even an Aegis advantage was not enough for Liquid to withstand the onslaught from OG.

Liquid adjusted well after losing a couple of teamfights and ensured that the next time they clashed with OG, they had multiple Force Staffs on the team to keep their distance from the enemy heroes. Lina and Drow are glass cannons and the extra mobility made a big difference in their ability to contribute in team fights.

Liquid secured the second Aegis and brought down two cores from OG. The overwhelming damage from them was too much to handle for OG in the ensuing base defense, which resulted in a convincing 34-minute victory for Liquid.

Both teams had some surprising picks to throw off each other in game two. For Liquid, it was the offlane Broodmother for Zai, as the Spiderlings he can summon would work well with Boxi's Tusk. Michael "miCKe" Vu on Leshrac could melt towers and was a good match for Bozhidar "bzm" Bogdanov's Ember Spirit.

Meanwhile, OG had their own cheesy offlane pick in the offlane Huskar for ATF, a great pick against the lack of burst damage from Liquid. Another interesting choice was the carry Nature's Prophet for Yuragi, which gave the team some global presence and split-pushing potential.

The laning stage went well for Liquid once again, especially in the top lane thanks to Boxi's Tusk. Liquid's position 4 support has been a standout at TI11 and he continued to impress in game two, helping zai double Yuragi's last hits by the 5-minute mark.

OG got a couple of kills in the laning stage but it wasn't enough to slow down Liquid as they had a 2,000 gold lead just 10 minutes into the game. It was a scary situation to be in, as zai's Broodmother and miCKe's Leshrac could quickly take down buildings when left alone.

Similar to game one, OG knows how to take a teamfight and that's exactly what they did by turning what looked like a free pickoff on ATF into a three-for-one trade.

OG winning a couple of skirmishes slowed down Liquid's snowball, but the latter still took down Roshan and secured the first Aegis of the game. The Huskar pick was not working out for OG, as ATF was the poorest core in the game and missed important power spikes.

Liquid's ability to control the map was phenomenal, as they neutered OG's supports while preventing the cores from farming. Bzm was the only one on the enemy team who was able to fight, but one farmed Ember Spirit wasn't enough to win the game.

It was not OG's day, as their greedy tri-core draft backfired on them. Yuragi went for several utility items, which didn't help the team to get kills, while ATF's lack of items was another nail in the OG coffin.

With an Aegis on miCKe and another pickoff on bzm, Liquid eventually forced the GG call from OG and secured the 2-0 series sweep.

With their victory, Liquid have guaranteed themselves a 5th-6th place finish and over US$600,000 in winnings. The day is not yet over for them, however, as they will next South American hopefuls Thunder Awaken for the right to be among the final four teams playing in TI11's Finals Weekend.

Meanwhile, OG bow out in 7th-8th place and with US$430,000 in consolation.

While they fall short of the ultimate goal, the two-time TI-winning organisation's new young roster still end a successful run this year as champions of the ESL One Stockholm Major and a Top 8 team at TI11.

TI11 will be hosted in Singapore from 15 to 30 October and features a revamped format and a longer schedule.

TI11's Main Event will be a double-elimination bracket and is split into two phases, the first being held from 20 to 23 October while the second will take place from 29 to 30 October.

For everything you need to know about TI11, check here.

Team Liquid roster:

(Photo: Valve Software)
(Photo: Valve Software)
  1. Lasse "MATUMBAMAN" Urpalainen

  2. Michael "miCKe" Vu

  3. Ludwig "zai" Wåhlberg

  4. Samuel "Boxi" Svahn

  5. Aydin "iNSaNiA" Sarkohi

OG roster:

(Photo: Valve Software)
(Photo: Valve Software)
  1. Artem "Yuragi" Golubiev

  2. Bozhidar "bzm" Bogdanov

  3. Ammar "ATF" Al-Assaf

  4. Tommy "Taiga" Le

  5. Mikhail "Misha" Agatov

Otomo is a long-time gaming enthusiast and caster. He has been playing games since he was 10 and is the biggest Dota 2 fan.

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