Graphics by shiroiusagi
Liquid's run through The Defense has had the highest ups and the lowest downs of our existence as a team. While other tournaments like the D2L and Premier League have moved through large round robin formats, or weekly cups like Bigpoint and the BTS Weekender have rushed through an elimination bracket, The Defense has been consistently moving along, and now only four teams remain.
And besides ourselves, what four teams they are. Virtus.Pro has tenaciously fought through the bracket, defeating Empire, EG, and Dignitas in impressive fashion to make the grand finals. Our North American rivals Dignitas have played strong dota as well, bringing back several unusual picks en route to the LB Finals. And across us in the LBR5, Fnatic.EU have established a reputation as the best team in western Europe right now. In The Defense, they've beaten Na'vi and NTH in their last two matches to reach this point.
Today, it comes to a boil, as we meet Fnatic.EU for the fifth time. All four of our previous meetings have gone to a third game, with Liquid`Dota winning three of those encounters, but dropping in DotaHut. Each of these meetings has been a tremendous battle to watch, and with today's match being the most high stakes yet, it will certainly not disappoint.
Team Liquid vs Fnatic
—The Defense Lower Bracket—
17:30 EDT, March 11[local]
The Defense on Wiki
It's not a surprise for anyone who follows the Dota 2 scene to sing the praises of Fnatic.EU. They have been a powerful team since the tail end of 2012, but recently it's been more obvious than ever. This is a team that has truly come into their own in Dota 2, playing an aggressive global strategy that has long since stopped relying on heroes like wisp to remain effective. Each of their players are individually talented and have a number of heroes up their sleeve. And while we may not get a chance to challenge the fireworks of n0tail's Meepo or see H4nn1 pick Pudge as he did yesterday, it should still be very interesting to see what Fnatic has in store.
Fnatic does come into this match off of a 0-2 loss to Dignitas, where they played a more uncoordinated and short sighted series than we're accustomed to, perhaps because the match did not have significant stakes for them. But this one does. It doesn't seem a safe bet to expect them to make that mistake twice.
Fnatic.EU: H4nn1, Era, Trixi, N0tail, Fly
Every Liquid-Fnatic match has been a barnburner so far, and with this match being the most important one yet, you won't want to miss this!