Team Liquid continued streaking though the Lower Bracket of DreamLeague Season 13: The Leipzig Major. Behind another excellent showing by Tommy “Taiga” Le on Enigma, Liquid eliminated Chengdu Major champions TNC Predator, 2-1, in an intense, closely-contested series.
Liquid held the lead early, but TNC were able to claw their way back into the game as they won the midgame fights, thanks to some big Echo Slams from Timothy “Tims” Randrup’s Earthshaker.
The tides turned in Liquid’s favor once Taiga got both Black King Bar and Refresher Orb, which allowed him to hit two huge Black Holes in consecutive teamfights to give his team control of the game.
However, TNC were able to repeatedly repel Liquid’s attempted base sieges as their core duo of Slark for Kim “Gabbi” Villafuerte and Shadow Fiend for Armel Paul “Armel” Tabios were getting much stronger than their counterparts.
As the series hung in the balance, Taiga caught Gabbi in a Black Hole that allowed Liquid to take the TNC carry down and force him to buy back. In a huge clash for control of the Roshan pit soon after, Tims was somehow able to snatch the Aegis of the Immortal away from Liquid and force a fight that seemed like it would end in TNC’s favor.
However, Gabbi was caught out in that engagement and killed without buyback, which gave Liquid the opening they needed to breach the enemy base.
Despite an admirable effort by TNC to defend their Ancient without their carry, Taiga landed one last Black Hole to secure the series win for his team after a 54-minute thriller.
Liquid keep their tournament hopes alive and will be looking to continue their Lower Bracket warpath in the next round against rivals Alliance.
Meanwhile, TNC bow out of the Leipzig Major at 7th-8th place, with US$40,000 and 450 Dota Pro Circuit points in consolation.