How did OG manage to deal with Liquid’s Tidehunter?

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Dota 2's Tidehunter

The International 2019 was the biggest event in esports history in terms of prize-pool. It was also a tournament which Dota 2 fans will never forget, as for the first time ever, we witnessed a team win TI for two consecutive years.

OG proved themselves once again to be the best team in the world after many doubted their strength, despite the fact that they were the reigning champions before this years’ TI. They have shown everyone that the formula to success is simple – team synergy.

The Grand Final

Before Team Liquid earned their spot in the Grand Final, they relied heavily on MC’s Tidehunter. Needless to say, this hero is more than capable of carrying the game on his back, especially if he gets a good start. Kuro’s tactic seemed to work against everyone but OG, who found a way of dealing with the pesky hero.

Game One

Team Liquid picked Tidehunter in the first three games during the Grand Final. During the first match, Liquid implemented the same strategy as in their previous match against PSG.LGD. OG on the other hand, decided to pick Spectre for their star player Anathan “ana” Pham, a hero which he certainly excels at. However, Tidehunter has proven time and time again to be too strong against those specific archetypes of heroes. This led to complete lane domination from MC, which pushed ana to play defensively – resulting in the Australian prodigy needing way more time to come online, which gave the TI 7 champions enough space to finish off the game. That said, they were very close to throwing it all away after dying a couple of times for seemingly no reason. Thankfully, OG eventually returned the favor.

Game Two

OG play phenomenal Dota as a team. However, in order to unleash their full potential, ana has to have a good game. It seems OG figured this out, and in the next two games they drafted much stronger heroes to lane against Tidehunter. As a result, MC’s hero got absolutely annihilated during the laning stage. The situation was so bad that he ended the game with nearly the same net worth as Kuro, who is Liquid’s position five player.

Turns out that once Tidehunter gets crushed in lane, he has a very hard time bouncing back later. Realizing this, OG took full advantage going into their next match.

Game Three

Despite the heavy loss, Team Liquid felt comfortable picking a nearly identical draft three games in a row. However, OG were well prepared by this point, and immediately after seeing Tidehunter again they picked Void – one of the strongest heroes in the matchup.

Together with n0tail and JerAx, they made MC’s lane a living hell. This enabled ana to have the easiest time of his life while Liquid was trying to make something happen. To make matters worse for Liquid, Topson was putting in an career-defining performance with his Pugna.

OG needed just 24 minutes to deliver the final knockout punch.

Many still wonder why Team Liquid continued to “push” their Tidehunter, even though it obviously was not working. Until KuroKy gives us the answer, we can only guess.

The king is dead. Long live the king. OG’s players have written their names with golden letters in Dota 2’s history.

OG Winning TI9
Credit: Valve OG celebrate their victory at TI 9

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