The second series of the first round of the playoffs at the Kiev Major was the series between Team Liquid and Newbee. Team Liquid did not look good in game one of the series, but they managed to come back and display one of the most impressive performances of Day One. Team Liquid did not have a lot of success in the group stage of the tournament, and they came to the playoffs from the sixth position which was not good. That also meant that they will be playing against some of the best teams in the group stage. Newbee has for some time now been one of the best Dota 2 teams in China but in the entire world as well and even though they had some significant success they have failed to win a major title so far, and that will not be changing after the Kiev Major.
Team Liquid did not start the game one very good at all, and after first minutes of the game, Newbee claimed the first kill of the game by eliminating Amer ‘Miracle’ Al-Barkawi. During the early game, Team Liquid was lost in the rotations in their effort to protect the lanes, and those rotations were not effective as Team Liquid wanted them to be. While defending the all three lanes, Team Liquid hoped that they were building up their efforts for the late game, but Newbee would not allow them to push hard while Newbee continued with their strong pushes and kills. In their not so effective efforts to protect the lanes, Team Liquid was losing the game, and they were aware of that. By the 30-minute mark of the game one, Newbee managed to destroy all Team Liquid’s towers, and with some really unexplainable mistakes in that period, Team Liquid provided Newbee with the opportunity to claim the win in game one, which Newbee was able to use.
Game two of this match was probably the best game that we have seen so far at the Kiev Major. The game started with Hu ‘Kaka’ Liangzhi dominating the map. During the first stages of the game two, Kaka was involved in almost all kills that his team had at that stage. During the initial stages, Newbee was gaining the advantage and it seemed that Team Liquid might be eliminated without defeating Newbee in any of the games. Additionally, during the mid game, Team Liquid was down 16-2. However, then came the team fights that turned the game two completely around. In that fight, Team Liquid managed to kill Hong ‘Faith’ Da Zeng and his Warlock and uuu9 and with that Team Liquid proved that they should not be underestimated even in that position.
After that, Team Liquid came back to the game and with Kuro ‘Kuroky’ Salehi on Takhasomi enabling Miracle to have many significant kills, Team Liquid managed to get a win in the second game, taking the series to the third game.
Game three proved to be all or nothing for both teams, and Team Liquid proved to be much more successful. From the very start of the game three, Team Liquid was very aggressive on their heroes, and they kept pushing on Newbee throughout the entire game. Game three saw Team Liquid killing all five Newbee players with what turned out to be the perfect GH Winter Curse. That provided Team Liquid with the crucial advantage that they used to defeat Newbee in game three and with that they managed to win the series and advance to the round two of the playoffs.