Gambit deliver the first upset on the Arena Birmingham stage
photo by: ESL One
ESL One Birmingham reached the playoffs stage and the first day of matches in front of the live audience has finally come. Arena Birmingham is once again full of Dota 2 fans cheering for their favourites.
“Let’s go Liquid” could be heard from the thousands of fans chanting through the first series of the day where the TI7 Champions were pitted against Gambit Esports in a battle for survival. It was a rough matchup for Liquid, who were simply outclassed by Gambit in Game one. Kuro’s squad was somewhat in the lead at the end of the laning stage, they were on the verge to strangle Gambit in their own base, but to push their advantage Liquid needed to take down the first Roshan of the game. It was at the 22-minute mark when Gambit’s Vasily “AfterLife” Shishkin stepped up his game on Sand King and made the first move to save his team from losing it all with a Blink – Epicenter in the Rosh pit and an Aegis steal. From there on, Liquid lost their advantage bit by bit as Gambit played carefully around their cooldowns and took the advantageous team fights to close the game.
Game two was a different story for the CIS team. They got utterly out drafted and crushed by Amer “Miracle-” Al-Barkawi’s Morphling in under 30 minutes, during which they landed only two kills. Game three brought an interesting switch in mentality for Gambit, who were confident to play once again against the Morphling, and even against Lasse Aukusti “MATUMBAMAN” Urpalainen’s signature mid-Broodmother. The Brood was Liquid’s last pick to which Gambit responded with a Templar Assassin. The TA counter proved to be very efficient, Brood not only that couldn’t play the fast tempo she should have, but also lost her own tier one mid lane tower and was forced to more of a jungle farm to recover. Despite having an Aghanim’s Scepter, which now increases Broodmother’s Spin Web max count from 8 to 20, and movement speed bonus from 70 to 100%, Matumba still got in a lot of trouble as the entire Gambit was hunting him down continuously, up to the point where Liquid had to defend high ground, use all their buybacks, die back and watch Gambit rushing the throne.
Gambit’s victory sends Team Liquid home with only a top-eight finish in Birmingham and will pit the CIS squad against Vici Gaming later today in another battle for survival.