Thunder Awaken, one of the most explosive teams at TI11, proved to be a worthy opponent for WEU’s more methodical team, as the two teams were not only evenly matched, but ended up trading blows in multiple bouts in each game that could have easily settled a lesser series.
Although the series turned out to be TA’s last appearance in TI11, they still made history, as they achieved the best result in a TI for any team out of South America. In addition to breaking a record, both TA and Liquid delivered magical performances that could have encouraged fans to line up for a game of Dota 2 after they slowed down for the epic conclusion.
Given the hectic nature of the game and both teams’ drafts, there was a match basically every three minutes, with each one taking place in a different part of the map. Victory was so close, yet TA could not keep Liquid contained long enough to finish the game. This led to multiple leadership changes and the EU team setting the stage for a Mega Creeps comeback to pressure TA’s high ground.
However, Liquid’s flawless execution would bring its own undoing, as TA turned around an epic team fight right after Boxi trapped three heroes on TA’s side with an Avalanche and a Lifestealer infestation bomb ready to go with it. Despite that move, Liquid didn’t have the damage to take down any of them, which set the stage for a two-person Black Hole on Lifestealer and Tiny, two important targets that TA had to take care of to swing the game.
The second match of the series was rather less exciting, as Liquid took the early lead and smothered TA by claiming all the resources on the map with the help of zai’s Broodmother. That lull didn’t last long, however, as the water bottle throwing action returned for game three.
Although TA wasn’t able to take the gold lead until the 37th minute, the SA side was able to shut down everyone except zai on Liquid’s side, and all the team fights went TA’s way. At least until Liquid’s Pangolier got a Skull Basher that would change the fate of the game. That didn’t stop TA, however, as he got a key push on Liquid’s base, and DarkMago was able to pull off the seventh Rampage kill streak in the history of TI’s main stage.
Unfortunately for TA, that onslaught was the last glimpse they had of Liquid’s Ancient, as Matu secured a buyback just in time to get back in with the rest of Liquid and wipe out the opposition. With no hero re-builds for at least a minute, Liquid fought their way through the mid lane to take the game as SA’s last hope prepared for their final battle, giving us 50 minutes of exciting Dota.
Finishing in a tie for fifth place, this AT roster leaves TI11 having gone further than any team in the region before them, beating the previous record of seventh place set by the current beastcoast roster at TI9 when they played for Infamous.
Not only that, but TI11 marks another historic turn for South America, as it was the first time three teams from the region made it to the main stage of the event. Hokori, beastcoast and TA may not lift the Aegis of Champions this year, but they all fought with everything they had and proved how powerful SA has become since it was officially named a region in 2017. Even though Thunder Awaken is no longer playing at TI11, the tournament still has plenty of exciting series to offer. If you are interested in Dota 2 betting, make sure to check out our page where there are odds for you to enjoy!