Team Liquid Earns 16th Spot in The International 2014
The world’s biggest eSports tournament kicks off round robin play today. Before the sixteen-team round robin began, the 16th team had to qualify for The International. After a four-team playoff among regional qualifier runners-up, it was Team Liquid who reigned supreme and earned the final entry to The International.
The first day of The International started with Asian Qualifier runner-up MVP Phoenix battling European runner-up Virtus.Pro in a best-of-three battle. The first match was a 46-minute back-and-forth battle. VP took the lead early over the underdog MVP squad but couldn’t close out the Korean squad. Instead, MVP climbed back into the game and were able to push into VP’s base which was answered with a quick GG.
In the second game, VP tried to gain an edge by banning a pair of MVP’s heroes from the previous match. However, the result didn’t change. Virtus wasn’t able to snowball their early advantage and let MVP back into the game. A bad team fight at the midpoint of the game for VP handed the lead to MVP who carried the advantage to the win in the game and series.
The other Phase One semi-final saw Chinese runner-up CIS take on Americas qualifier second-best Team Liquid. The first battle saw CIS go with a champion selection that favoured the late-game but Liquid never let them get there. TL got kills early and often to put CIS in a hole they could never crawl out of. In the 32-minute game, TL outkilled CIS by 26-6 before getting the GG.
The second game started out much better for CIS as they were able to keep level for the first 15 minutes of the duel. At the 15-minute mark, Liquid turned it around with a four-for-one exchange and quickly followed with a three-for-none confrontation in their favour. This quickly snowballed to a TL 2-0 sweep for a trip to the Phase One final.
That left MVP Phoenix and Team Liquid in the best-of-three battle for the 16th and final spot in The International. MVP got off to a quick start when a Team Liquid mistake allowed them to take first blood. This translated to an early lead but it turned into a replay of MVP’s semi-final series but with them playing the role of Victus.Pro. Some costly mistakes by MVP and smart play by TL allowed them to turn momentum in their favour and push MVP’s base for the win.
The second game saw no early mistake that was allowed to snowball by Team Liquid. The American team got the early lead and quickly secured a strong enough position that the win was inevitable. MVP didn’t GG because that would have instantly ended their tournament dreams but it was only delaying the inevitable as Team Liquid went 4-0 on the day to earn their way into The International.
While the prize pool for The International is over $10.5 million, getting into the tournament guarantees nothing. The prize pool breakdown awards no money to the 15th and 16th place teams. Prizes start at 14th place at 0.2% of the pool which currently sits at about $21,000. Beats a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, I suppose.