This is One of The Most Anticipated EU vs NA Matchups
In Dota, while we get to see Europe face North America way more often than in many other esports, it’s always really fun to see these two regions battle it out. Now, what makes this matchup more exciting than any other is that this is TSM’s first Dota major appearance. The North American organization picked up the Team Undying roster back in January, and while the roster has made multiple international appearances, this is a first for the TSM brand.
On the other hand, Team Liquid is one of the oldest organizations in the Dota 2 scene, and even though they started with an NA roster, a couple of years after they started to go for European lineups. Now Team Liquid comes into the major as Western Europe’s 3rd seed, and against the dota odds, they didn’t have the best start.
They had a tough time against the South American representative Thunder Awaken as they didn’t get a single win in their series. Even though they managed to get a draw against Fnatic, we are all expecting a much better performance from the European squad. The only win they have on their score is the one against Mind Games, the team that got disqualified due to ongoing visa issues.
Even with a stand-in, TSM will try to get their first big win in the tournament by taking down Team Liquid. If they manage to do so, we might see TSM getting a top-4 finish in their group and advance into the upper bracket of the playoffs.
Team Liquid Lost Their Opening Match Against a Crazy Thunder Awaken
The European squad opened up the tournament against Thunder Awaken, the strongest South American team we have seen in a while. It all started in the first game with Team Liquid going for an early Mars pick that was later accompanied by an Io pick. But the Necro pick that came later was going to be a key part for TL as they had won 5 out of 6 games they picked it in the DPC.
Thunder Awaken responded early with their Sacred’s signature Snapfire pick, which has been a huge factor in recent Thunder Awaken wins in the last couple of months. The draft ended up being in favor of TA as they had a solid composition, maybe it wasn’t the best fit for early game fights, but they had a really strong late game.
The game was leaning to TL’s side for the first 40 minutes of the game until they tried to bite than they could chew. Team Liquid was pushing the enemy base, took down a couple of barracks, then Thunder Awaken made a highlight-worthy play. Using Tiny plus Batrider’s Lasso, they pulled Matumbaman’s SK all the way from the barracks to the fountain, securing an easy fight for TA.
This was the beginning of the end for Team Liquid as they started to struggle in multiple teamfights. They tried to break down TA’s base a few more times, but their efforts were futile and Thunder Awaken closed out the first game with a win. This gave the South American team enough momentum to roll over TL in the second game.
TSM Scored Two Draws Against Some of Europe’s Best Teams
This first major appearance is looking out great for TSM. Even if they haven’t managed to score a 2-0 win over any team, it’s still good to see them capable of taking games off teams like Gaimin Gladiators and Team Spirit. Now the worrying thing is how they took two big losses against Fnatic on the opening day of the event.
Although it might look like the games were close on paper, they really weren’t. During the first game of the series, TSM struggled to get ahold of an early lead because Armel was taking total control over the map with his KotL pick. And this was a really bad sign for TSM because Fnatic had really strong late-game potential in Raven’s Undying and KotL mostly because of how big of a lead he got early on in the game.
Fnatic didn’t have an explosive performance but they won rather in a very controlled way and closed the first game of the series before the 45-minute mark. TSM could’ve brushed off the first game as just having a bad early game because that’s what it looked like. But the second game demonstrated that it wasn’t just because of a bad early game.
Now in the second game, TSM had a much stronger early game composition with picks like Nyx and Lina. And it worked out for them, by the 25-minute mark, TSM had a solid gold lead of almost 10k, and things were looking great for them. But they couldn’t capitalize on their lead as Fnatic did a great job at slowing down the game as absolutely nothing happened for about 10 minutes and it only took Fnatic one teamfight to swing the game in their favor and close out the game 50 minutes in.
Many dota betting experts believe this might be due to them not having one of their main players as SabeRLight is unable to play due to ongoing health issues. This change will last during the Group Stage, according to the TSM official statement.
Team Liquid vs TSM Game Information
- Date: Saturday, May 14th
- Time: 11:20am ET
- Live Stream: ESL_Dota2b – Twitch
Team Liquid vs TSM Predictions
This would be the first time these two teams face up in the major, but hopefully, it won’t be the last. Just by looking at their recent matches, these two teams for sure know how to deliver banger games. TSM showed they can have an explosive early game while Team Liquid can execute well-orchestrated teamfights.
If TSM manages to get ahold of their comfort picks, their chances of winning go up by a lot, at least compared to other teams. Team Liquid is more dependent on how their early game goes, and their series against Fnatic was a clear example.
Team Liquid is one of those teams that need to get a few games of warm-up to start performing their best. I think that after these recent games, TL is now ready to take on the rest of group B. While TSM had a decent performance, they won’t be ready for Team Liquid’s teamfight potential and the dota odds indicate this. I think that Team Liquid will be able to score their first 2-0 of the event against TSM and put them in a good spot for the top-4 finish they want.
PICK: Team Liquid to win at +127