OG Wins The Manila Major
By: Kurt Lozano
OG become the first team to win two Majors after they defeated Team Liquid 3-1 in the Grand Finals of the Manila Major.
Liquid struck hard and fast in Game 1, shutting down Johan ‘n0tail’ Sundstein on Alchemist with a counterpick Timbersaw for Adrian ‘FATA-‘ Trinks and a Riki for Kuro ‘Kuroky’ Takhesomi. FATA- played masterfully on Timbersaw, repeatedly scoring kills on n0tail and even overtaking him in net worth, giving space for Lasse ‘MATUMBAMAN’ Urpalainen on Ursa to accrue enough farm to counter Amer ‘Miracle-‘ Barqawi on Lifestealer. With an extremely tanky lineup, Liquid took teamfight after teamfight, allowing them to shred OG’s base and force the GG.
In Game 2, Liquid drafted a heavy-push lineup with Dragon Knight for FATA-, Lycan for MATUMBAMAN, and a jungling Beastmaster for Kuroky. Meanwhile, OG, picked up a midlane Juggernaut for Miracle and safelane carry Faceless Void for n0tail, supported by a Phoenix by Tai ‘Fly’ Azik. Some key rotations by Andreas ‘Cr1t-‘ Nielsen on Earth Spirit allowed OG to secure crucial pickoffs and a dominant lead over Liquid. An unconventional Linken’s Sphere pickup by Notail allowed OG to win key teamfights and encroach on Liquid’s base. Eventually, OG got to even up the series 1-1 as they forced Liquid to call GG 37 minutes in.
Game 3’s draft saw both teams running almost similar lineups as they did in the previous game. OG picked up the Juggernaut, Faceless Void, and Phoenix again, but mixed in a Lion for Cr1t- and a safelane Sven for n0tail. Meanwhile, Liquid ran the same Dragon Knight, Lycan, and Slardar tri-core lineup with a Vengeful Spirit for Kuroky and a signature Earth Spirit for Jesse ‘JerAx’ Vainikka.
Both teams were content to trade a few kills and in the early game, but a quick Blink Dagger pickup for Cr1t’s Lion gave OG the initiation edge they needed to take the lead. A clutch silence by JerAx on an initiating Void allowed Liquid to win a teamfight at OG’s top tier 3 tower and force early buybacks, but OG retaliated by dominating in the next few teamfights for control of the Roshan pit. Cr1t on Lion’s expert evasion of Liquid’s initiation gave OG the opening to win crucial clashes and clear Liquid’s top lane barracks. Crucial Chronospheres by David ‘Moonmeander’ Tan’s Faceless Void allowed n0tail’s Sven to destroy Liquid during teamfights, paving the way for OG to take a 2-1 advantage.
Both teams pulled out surprise last picks in Game 4, with OG picking up the Wraith King for n0tail along with a signature Templar Assassin for Miracle against Liquid’s FATA on Lone Druid and MATUMBAMAN on Weaver. A relatively quiet had both teams make multiple failed gank attempts on each other, which allowed FATA- to pick up an early Hand of Midas and outfarm the opposing carries. Once the Lone Druid picked up his Radiance, Liquid teamwiped OG at the bottom lane and transitioned into multiple tower pushes. Both teams however were content to just farm, look for quick pickoffs, and trade towers for most of the game. However, OG repeatedly controlled the Roshan pit to ensure two lives for both of their carries, allowing them to take Liquid’s top melee barracks around the 46 minute mark. Despite a farmed Lone Druid, OG’s carries overwhelmed Liquid to force the final GG.
With their win, OG take home the Reaver trophy and $1,110,000. As both the Frankfurt and Manila Major champions, OG are the first team to ever win two majors and Valve-sponsored events. Team Liquid will go home with second place, $405,000, and as back-to-back Major finalists.
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