After only managing some mixed results through the first two days of The International Group Stage, Team Liquid clawed their way up the standings in Group A with a 2-0 sweep of Chinese team Keen Gaming.
Liquid pulled out a carry Earthshaker for Amer “Miracle-” Al-Barkawi alongside Aliwi “w33” Omar on Templar Assassin against Wang “old chicken” Zhiyong on Phantom Assassin and Zhai “一” Jingkai on Tiny.
Both teams traded multiple kills on their respective cores from the early to midgame, but Liquid was able to win multiple key engagements around the Rosh pit to seize the initiative.
While Liquid was able to break into Keen Gaming’s base, the game would stall once the Chinese squad’s cores peaked and repelled their opponents’ onslaught.
Miracle- would break the game wide open for Liquid with a massive Echo Slam and Enchant Totem critical hit at the decisive fight by the Rosh pit, enabling Liquid to take the game shortly thereafter.
Liquid had another trick up their sleeve for game two, picking Tinker for w33 and Ember Spirit for Miracle- against old chicken on Phantom Assassin once more and — on Outworld Devourer.
With w33 having trouble during the laning stage, Miracle- wreaked havoc across the map to make space for his fellow core to catch up — all while Keen Gaming try to hold off the onslaught then have enough to fight back.
Even as Liquid had the superior position and were methodically closing in on Keen Gaming’s base, the Chinese squad was able to mount a successful defense and buy themselves some more time.
But that also allowed Liquid more opportunities to crack Keen Gaming’s defense, eventually overpowering their opponents and forcing them to concede the series.
Liquid finish the day 3-1 to improve to a 6-8 overall record, while Keen finish their Group Stage with a 5-11 line and are set to start the Main Event from the Lower Bracket.
Be sure to check out our coverage of The International 2019 Group Stage for more TI9 action.