Lasse “MATUMBAMAN” Urpalainen and Team Liquid defeated Team Aster 2-1 in a thrilling lower bracket semifinal match. The win secured Liquid a top-three placement at TI11, and it also eliminated the final non-Western team from the event.
Liquid ultimately relied on a bold safelane Night Stalker pick by Matu to put Team Aster away in the decider match.
Matu had only played the hero five times out of the 1,822 games he’s played in his illustrious Dota 2 career, according to Dotabuff.
MATUMBAMAN delays retirement as Team Liquid continues lower bracket win streak at TI11
Liquid’s Samuel “Boxi” Svahn was the clear MVP in game one of the match. Using Marci’s mobility, Boxi shut down Du “Monet” Peng’s carry Sniper in the bottom lane. He also was pivotal in Liquid’s team fights, setting up his teammates for success.
Boxi continuously caught enemy heroes that were slightly out of place and gave his squad a clean game one victory.
In game two, Aster evened the series with their superior Pudge and Omniknight draft that caught Liquid by surprise.
Zeng “Ori” Jiaoyang’s Pudge dominated the midlane and shut down Michael “miCKe” Vu’s Storm Spirit. Aster also took a significant gold and experience lead early in the game, which allowed the Chinese team to take control of the map.
Liquid attempted to take down Ori’s Pudge, but Ze “Boboka” Zhibiao’s support Omniknight would always come in to save his midlaner. By using Omniknight’s Guardian Angel ultimate, Ori’s Pudge was nearly unkillable. With Ori and Boboka in the frontlines, Monet’s sniper was able to dish out the damage from a safe distance.
In the decider game, Team Liquid asked Matu what he wanted to play as his last hero, and he surprised them all by picking Night Stalker as a counter to the opposing Beastmaster and Drow Ranger.
Liquid completely shut down Aster’s early-game aggression and teleported to the lanes whenever pressure came from the Chinese squad.
Matu then picked up the pace during nighttime, as his Night Stalker chased down and silenced Aster’s heroes in team fights. With the vision advantage granted by Dark Ascension, Liquid was able to pick their targets at will, zoning out Monet’s Drow in the backline
Even though Ludwig “zai” Wåhlberg’s Pangolier had a horrendous start in the lane, he came through with some clutch Rolling Thunders. These included two important ones that distracted Aster completely by locking down the Dire jungle ramp access to the Pit, securing Roshan for his team.
Aster’s decision to flex the Naga Siren to the support position ultimately resulted in their cores suffering, with Ori’s Primal Beast and Li “Xxs” Jing’s Beastmaster down in the net worth charts.
Meanwhile, Liquid’s Night Stalker and Lina were sailing high — miCKe ended the game almost doubling Monet’s net worth, and it showed whenever the two teams clashed.
Monet’s Drow was ultimately unable to fight, and Aster could only watch as Liquid ravaged their base and secure top three for themselves.