Graphics by shiroiusagi
Postponed until further notice. Rescheduled for the same time on Friday.
It's yet another week of wall-to-wall Dota 2 action for Liquid! Monday featured a powerful 2-0 performance in our Dotahut Invitational Ro8 match against 4FC. Today the hits keep coming as the boys in blue meet Empire in the Dota 2 League.
Last week, we went blow for blow against Na'Vi, the most famous and decorated non-Chinese Dota team in the world, eventually losing 1-2. But it's not always clear that Na'Vi the best team outside of China, or even the best team from Russia and Ukraine. That's because of Empire. We made half a statement against Na'Vi. We can complete that message with a huge win here.
Ever since they formed, Empire has been among the most fearsome in the world. In recent competitions, they have only lost in a meaningful match to Na'Vi. They recently finished second to their rivals in the fourth Starladder, but without Na'Vi in the picture, they smashed the field in The Premier League Season 3 finals with a 6-1 combined game score. On most of the prominent team rankings in the Dota 2 community, they are placed as the best team outside of China. They've gone 6-1 in their Defense groupstage, and sit with a 3-1 record so far in the D2L.
Empire: Goblak , blowyourbrain , Scandal , Funn1k , Silent
Empire is loaded with talent, but their playmaker is often Funn1k in the third slot. Shutting Funn1k down must be a priority for Liquid here. Their mid player, Scandal is among the best mids in the western scene, he also must be denied a good start. And while he's not as heralded as his teammates, Empire's carry potential with blowyourbrain is huge. We just don't get to see him dominate as much because Empire's heavy aggression and pressure often end the game before he has the chance to 1v5.
Na'Vi's name is huge, but this match ought to be the toughest challenge that Liquid has faced so far from a pure Dota skill perspective. We're on a good run recently, easily handling several challenges in The Defense and taking a fairly sure handed victory in Dotahut. But Empire is a step above all but a couple of the teams that we've beaten so far. They're near the level that we've got our eyes set on. This is a crucial moment for Liquid`Dota. Don't miss it.