Liquid and Secret win Last Chance Qualifier – 6 WEU teams at Dota 2 Ti11
It’s a year for the Western European teams, six to be exact. Alongside the International 11 (TI11) direct invites, OG, Tundra Esports, Gaimin Gladiators, and Entity, lets welcome Team Secret and Team Liquid as Europe’s representatives at TI11.
Most analysts expected Chinese teams to dominate the LCQ and the main event, but it was Europe that came out strongest in the end.
Puppey remains the International all-timer
Clement “Puppey” Ivanov has outdone himself again! Team Secret was the first team to win the TI11 LCQ over Virtus.pro. They countered VP’s terrifying draft of Beastmaster and Luna combo with well-made decisions and synergy. For instance, despite losing their Batrider early, Team Secret baited VP into overextending their welcome, enabling Batrider to buyback and clean up VP’s core heroes.
VP played a relatively similar draft again, which is still very strong on paper. Yet, Team Secret’s Baqyt “Zayac” Emiljanov on Nyx Assassin offered valuable map presence and vision, enabling them to pull off accurate initiations.
Despite the terrible DPC 2022 season Team Secret had, Puppey’s roster change decision to pick up Roman “Resolut1on” Fomynok absolutely paid off. However, if there’s one outstanding yet consistent player in Team Secret, it’s none other than Michał “Nisha” Jankowski. Frankly, Nisha has always been a shining star in the pro scene but having the right synergy with Zayac and Resolut1on absolutely enabled him to play in his element.
Team Liquid are the lower bracket kings
Liquid came into TI11 LCQ with relatively mediocre start, which they eventually looked like a laughingstock for losing to VP in the upper bracket. Little did anyone anticipated that this was Liquid’s lower bracket journey to securing the second TI11 LCQ slot.
Lasse “MATUMBAMAN” Urpalainen recently announced that TI11 will be his last hurrah as a pro player. Hence, there was a lot at stake for the former TI Champion to make this TI count in his legacy. While the TI11 LCQ is considered a last resort for many teams, the competition is intense for the couple of LCQ days.
Vici Gaming and Virtus.pro, which were the last opponents Liquid faced, were phenomenal candidates. VG showcased their confidence in overwhelming Liquid’s last-pick Slark, which the latter expected to be their gamechanger. Despite that, Liquid always had a trick up their sleeves in tiebreakers, which is Matu’s Lone Druid.
Team Liquid played Lone Druid plus Shadow Fiend in two occasions, of which these are decisive rounds that won Liquid their series.
What doesn’t beat you in LCQ makes you stronger
We often hail underdogs in TI, which in this case, are Team Liquid and Secret qualifying for TI11. However, Aydin “iNSaNiA” Sarkohi shared that these teams will surely make it into top 7 in TI. Of course, there is data to back the claim up, which was EHOME winning fifth at TI6 and MVP Phoenix winning seventh at TI5, both hailing from the Wild Cards qualifier. This time around, considering the stacked competition we witnessed in TI11 LCQ, this might strike close to home. We would even go as far to say that Secret and Liquid could easily rival Tundra and Gaimin at TI11.
With six WEU teams attending TI11 this year, this might just be a big year for Western Europe Dota.