Team Liquid zai secures almost $1m with insane backdoor at Dota 2 Riyadh Masters 2023

Carver Fisher

Team Liquid seemed to have been beaten by Talon Esports at Dota 2 Riyadh Masters 2023, but a Broodmother backdoor from zai combined with TL’s other members interrupting teleports led to a victory possibly worth millions.

Dota 2 is the kind of game where ingenuity trumps all, and having an eye for the right opportunity to win games can turn even the most bleak circumstances into a win.

Team Liquid’s Ludwig ‘zai’ Wåhlberg showcased this with an insane backdoor as Broodmother, one that took their opponent, Talon Esports, by such surprise that they thought they had beaten TL before the game was turned on its head.

In a victory that secured Team Liquid a spot in the upper final at Dota 2 Riyadh Masters 2023, zai managed to win a game that looked to be, by all metrics, a win for Talon.

zai’s backdoor secures Team Liquid’s upper finals spot

Dota 2 has over 120 heroes to choose from, with each one having their fair share of benefits. But when it comes to sheer pushing power, Broodmother is one of the strongest. She’s an S-tier pick in the current meta as a right-click carry, and Team Liquid’s zai showed everyone why at Riyadh Masters.

Her spiderlings allow her to effectively dominate sidelanes and push through structures with ease, to the point where she can out-DPS most other heroes in the game if left alone.

With zai’s Broodmother in Talon Esports’ base, there was a very real threat of him ending the game despite Talon’s entire team working on destroying Team Liquid’s Ancient. And, with TL’s supports stopping Talon’s players from teleporting to defend their base, zai brought back what seemed to be a lost game.

Despite all 5 Talon members hitting TL’s base at once, zai managed to out-DPS them all and win the base race by himself.

Not only did this play come as a surprise to viewers who thought the game was practically over, but to the surprise of the players themselves. Talon’s Nuengnara ’23savage’ Teeramahanon got up from his chair and started jumping for joy before realizing the game was lost, resulting in a heartbreaking emotional slingshot.

After the win, zai simply tweeted “Top 3 nice” with a thumbs up. A man of few words and big plays. Securing Top 3 means Team Liquid will take home at least $1.7 million, with the potential to win $5 million if they win the Grand Finals.

Talon Esports isn’t out of the competition yet and have the chance to make a lower bracket run. If they can claw their way back to the top, there’s potential they can get a rematch against Team Liquid and settle the score at Dota 2 Riyadh Masters 2023.