With the MDL Chendu Major title already in its pocket, TNC is the current top seed in the Dota Pro Circuit rankings. The Southeast Asian powerhouse has likely secured a golden ticket to The International 2020 but like any other team, they want more.
Despite that, TNC didn’t look like much of a threat in the DreamLeague Leipzig Major. After a poor group stage showing, they managed to stay alive for a time with wins over Fnatic and Reality Rift in the lower bracket. Ultimately their run ended at the hands of Team Liquid, with TNC absorbing a 2-1 loss.
The elimination series showcased exceptional plays from both teams. Though TNC captain Park “March” Tae-won showed that he is one of Dota 2’s greatest tacticians, his team wasn’t able to execute on strategies as well as Liquid did.
Team Liquid opted for a classic right click combo of Drow Ranger and Viper in game one. The damage output was insane and TNC couldn’t create a space for Kim “Gabbi” Villafuerte’s Slark. Samuel “Boxi” Svahn forced TNC into conflicts with perfect initiations as Slardar.
The finishing blow was soon delivered after Team Liquid easily invaded the enemy base.
TNC started strong in the second game. The team asserted its dominance in all three lanes, which translated into uncontested farming for TNC’s cores, in particular Armel Paul “Armel” Tabios and his Templar Assassin.
Team Liquid tried to drag the game longer but TNC was having none of it. Armel quickly scaled into a huge threat with his perfect item timings. Alongside some big plays by Timothy John “Tims” Randrup with Disruptor, TNC was able to even the series and force a third game.
Team Liquid showed its full strength in the decider. The players thrived under pressure and they kept their morale intact.
The team fights were complete chaos. The game swung back and forth, with neither team backing down. Gabbi’s Slark was a constant thorn for Liquid as he engaged and disengaged multiple times in every fight, finding the opportunities to safely deal damage and stack agility. Tims’ Fissure blocks and Echo Slams were spot on.
Despite that, Tommy “Taiga” Le’s Enigma was the difference-maker for Liquid. Playing as Enigma, he nailed perfect Black Holes to set up team fight wins around Max “qojqva” Bröcker’s Razor
Team Liquid stays alive in the tournament for the time being and will face Alliance for a spot in the top four. , so expect an intense, competitive series.