OG defeat Newbee for first Grand Final slot; Liquid and Newbee secure Top 3; MVP and LGD eliminated.

Day 5 of the Manila Major Main Event kicked off with a bang with MVP’s rematch against LGD. A match between arguably the most aggressive team and the most calculated team of the Major respectively had the panel hyped for the rematch. The highlight of the series had to have been Game 1, which featured very intelligently executed drafts by both teams, the result of which was a complete upheaval of traditional playstyles; MVP drafted an ultimate dependent lineup, while LGD took up the MVP mantle of “run-at-you” DotA. Ultimately, LGD took the series 2-1, and proceeded to face Team Liquid. MVP finish 5-6th, like their fellow SEA team Fnatic.

The next series was the upper bracket matchup of OG against Newbee, the two frontrunners for the trophy according to a poll on our Facebook page. Miracle-, who until then had not died a single time on the main stage, finally succumbed to the aggression of Newbee in both Games 1 and 2. After dropping the first game, OG surprised the panel with an unorthodox Naga Siren pick for N0tail, who tends to play very tanky frontliners; the Naga pick truly showcased his versatility as a carry. After winning game 2, the momentum seemed to carry into Game 3, as OG ousted Newbee to become the first Grand Finalist of the tournament.

The final series of the day showed us yet again why Liquid are a top tier team. The first game saw a 4 strength hero lineup from Liquid, which ended up being too much for LGD to handle. The second game was the real crowdpleaser though. Filled with drawn out engagements, the two teams consistently traded teamfight wins throughout the majority of the game, and despite Liquid’s eventual win with a 58k net worth advantage, LGD never really seemed out of it until the very end. With this, LGD finish 4th, and have truly overstepped what most believed was their limit. They have definitely proven themselves to be among the best of China with their performance at this Major.

The final day of the Manila Major will pit EPICENTER finalists, Liquid and Newbee, against each other for a chance to face OG in the Grand Finals. This will surely be a close series, with no clear advantage for either side. Incidentally, the only time these two teams have played each other since TI4 was in the EPICENTER finals, where Liquid emerged victorious in a 3-2 series.

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