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    Dota 2 – Entering The Final Day Of The Manila Major, Three Teams Remain

    The 16 team main event has now whittled down to 3: Newbee, Liquid, and upper bracket finalist, OG. Over the past two days, rising SEA teams Fnatic (5th-6th) and MVP.Phoenix (5th-6th) were ousted, along with fan favorite Na`Vi, who posted their most successful tournament result (7th-8th) in recent memory. After falling to the lower bracket in the first round, LGD (4th) had a strong run, knocking out VG.Reborn (7th-8th) on Friday before getting swept by Team Liquid.

    Team Liquid’s 2nd Chance

    After getting swept by MVP.Phoenix in the first round, Team Liquid has yet to lose a game. They’ve swept every opponent, including LGD, who also had a great run through the lower bracket. Mindcontrol has been stellar on his Slardar, a hero that has been highly picked—3rd in the main event—but rarely banned. Team Liquid is currently 5-0 with Slardar in the main event.

    After falling short at Shanghai, Team Liquid will have another shot at winning a major. First, they’ll have to go through Newbee in the lower bracket finals. It’ll be interesting to see whether Newbee lets Liquid pick Lifestealer or Slardar, after they’ve had so much success with it throughout the tournament. LGD’s xiao8 gave up Lifestealer against Liquid, which is sometimes an acceptable strategy if you intend to bait your opponent into a draft you’re prepared to beat. The difference with Newbee is that they’re a team that’s also dangerous when Lifestealer is in the hands of their star, carry player, Hao.

    Lifestealer Meta

    The cycle of meta heroes continue, and Lifestealer is now the top contested hero at Manila, when less than a year ago he held the crown for one of the worst carries in the game. He has received incremental, under-the-radar buffs since 6.83, and in this meta he has incredible synergy with Slardar. Lifestealer’s rise comes as a consequence to these changes and general buffs to strength heroes, but he is also a counter to those very same heroes. He is currently 13-2 (Team Fnatic accounting for both of the losses) in the playoffs—a 87% win rate. He’ll be a definite first phase ban in the final day, especially with the success Liquid and Newbee has had throughout the main event.

    Miracle Finally Dies, OG Advances To Grand Finals

    It finally happened, as OG’s Miracle recorded his first death of the main event, and OG’s first loss, in their upper bracket finals match against Newbee. OG didn’t do Miracle any favors in the next game either, when they picked Templar Assassin into Newbee’s Phoenix. Despite sacrificing the midlane, it worked out in OG’s favor. One of Miracle’s strengths, aside from his laning mechanics, is his ability to use the space he does have, however little, to comeback through the mid game. OG’s collective trust in their players and the draft brought them back from their 0-1 deficit to win out the series against Newbee. Miracle may be the breakout rookie player of the year, but OG is stacked with talent at every position.

    OG has a chance to be the first two-time Major winners in the tournament’s opening year, but they’ll be facing stiff competition from whoever comes out the winner between Liquid and Newbee. These were the consensus top three teams entering the tournament, and they’ve lived up to that expectation with their play over the past week. With Secret and EG out of the first round, and the rise of Liquid, Newbee, and OG, we’re witnessing the new powerhouses of Dota in the final days of the Manila Major.

    As seen on Dotabuff

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