Team Liquid have always been a squad filled with true passion and undeniable talent in Dota 2 but we never really saw a lot of that until the latter parts of the season and, for the first time in a long time, they would also change up their roster – yet still make it to Shanghai, China.
Liquid begun the Dota 2 Pro Circuit season extremely far off from the performances we have come to expect from the team – not even making it through qualifiers for the Kuala Lumpur Major. In fact, Liquid were eliminated by Team Lithium, a squad which later went on to become Vega Squadron for a very brief period. The team then went on into the DreamLeague Season 10 qualifier – and this was the moment we first witnessed a brief leave-of-absence for star player Lasse ‘MATUMBAMAN’ Urpalainen. While the team made it to the Minor, they eventually withdrew and their terrible start to the season continued. The Chongqing Major saw another issue for the team as Amer ‘Miracle-‘ Al-barkawi could not attend and the team stumbled into a seventh/eight place finish – dismal for Liquid standards. The Stockholm Major was even worse as they were sent packing in essentially last place and it seemed as though the Liquid we knew were suffering. But then came the Paris Major.
Team Liquid finally seemed to come to life at Disneyland® with a lower bracket run that we all loved to see. They sent; paiN Gaming, Vici Gaming, OG, PSG.LGD and Evil Geniuses all packing from the event before being stumped by one of their biggest rivals in the grand finals, Team Secret. But a second-place finish was all that was needed to show that Liquid were not gone yet. However, even with this top flight finish, something changed at Liquid, something that hadn’t been done in many years – a roster change. MATUMBAMAN would take his leave from the roster, a roster that had not been change since early 2017 and in his place would come Aliwi ‘W33’ Omar.
- Amer ‘Miracle-‘ Al-Barkawi
- Aliwi ‘w33’ Omar
- Ivan ‘MinD_ContRoL’ Ivanov
- Maroun ‘GH’ Merhej
- Kuro ‘KuroKy’ Salehi Takhasomi
With a squad that has the TI7 title under their belt, alongside their latest addition who placed second at his best attempt at the Aegis of Champions, Liquid are always considered favourites. Over and above this, KuroKy is highly considered as one of the greatest and best captains in the Dota 2 scene and is a drafting mastermind in all situations. Having been part of a strong Natus Vincere as well as an amazing Team Secret, Kuro is almost the backbone of the team – however, it’s made up of a full force of strength. We can’t forget Miracle, the player who held the #1 MMR player in the world spot for quite some time as well as reaching 9000 MMR first back in the day. But, as said before, there is not a single player that does not contribute to the brilliance of Liquid – and it is clear that w33 brings in just as much talent to a squad stocked to the brim with it.
When it comes to rivals, Liquid definitely have a few – but this season has created what could be what is one of the biggest that we’ve yet to see, Chaos Esports Club. With w33 and Matu basically directly swapping places on teams, it is almost definitely going to create a massive rivalry between the two teams as both players will have a lot to prove. Beyond this, Team Secret is another great rivalry after Kuro spent some time alongside Clement ‘Puppey’ Ivanov within the team and at Na’Vi. With such an entangled history, Liquid versus Secret has become known as the “El Classico” of the Dota 2 world. While there is definitely a massive mutual respect between the two captains, having constantly gone up against each other has driven this competition – in which Secret have oddly come out ahead most of the time, even though Liquid have a TI under their belts. After the domination of Secret during the DPC this season, if these two teams meet, it’s sure to create the fireworks that we always expect.
While we have recently seen this “new” Team Liquid roster at EPICENTER XL, The International 2019 is a completely different battleground and while Liquid will be hoping to give their latest addition his own Aegis (and claim their second), it is set to be a fierce competition and they’ll be hoping that they can continue their recent form – avoiding any memory of the rest of the season.
TI9 team profiles:
Infamous, the ever Morphling roster
Na’Vi, the rejuvenated Ancient Apparition
Virtus.pro, the Storm Spirit of CIS
Fnatic – The Troll Warlord with a twist
TNC Predator, the Undying hope of SEA
Mineski, the rising Phoenix of Southeast Asia
Evil Geniuses, Sven on a cliff