Sumail "SumaiL" Hassan made his return to the pro scene with Team Liquid
this week, competing against Brame in the EU Upper Division DPC while Samuel "Boxi" Svahn takes some personal leave away from the team.
SumaiL has been off the radar since his short-lived Just Error venture last year with the ex-Virtus Pro titans. Having struggled to find success with OG nor Just Error, SumaiL has been in limbo for a long period of time and fully missed the first DPC season of this year. With the chance to show he’s still got it alongside a promising EU team, how could he resist? Let’s see how the King fared in his surprise return to pro dota.
Liquid’s first series with SumaiL was against Brame, a team who have already had the pleasure of acting as the punching bag of a returning TI champ – OG’s Ana “Humblegod” Pham.
In game one, SumaiL went with one of his finest heroes: Leshrac. While not as iconic as his Storm Spirit, his Leshrac is just as successful with a terrifying 73% win rate. Brame set their king-slaying efforts into motion early, heavily directing the attention of their supports to the mid lane. Even so, SumaiL survived their many attempts on his life. By dedicating so much time to SumaiL, Michael "miCKe" Vu was left to quietly farm away with the help of his Magnus’ Empower. With no need for a Battlefury, Micke’s Phantom Assassin emerged from the jungle with almost 800 GPM, quickly obliterating anyone in dagger range.
Brame tapped out before Liquid even approached their high ground.
In game two, however, Brame rose to the challenge, even as SumaiL's Leshrac returned for a second game. Relying on the safety of an Io-Gyro combo, not only did Brame hold out against Liquid, but they steadily seized map control and a modest gold advantage.
Despite their lead, Brame were unable to close the game out; as the clock passed 40 minutes it looked like Micke’s Spectre would soon reach its late-game power spike and reclaim control of the game. However, after continually sieging high ground, Brame managed to brute force the Ancient while Liquid watched helplessly, unable to stop them.
Game three was a true showing of SumaiL's peak performance. A Puck pick here saw the hero overtake Storm Spirit as his most played hero in the pro scene; that level of familiarity became very clear as SumaiL stomped his lane, ending the lane phase with a full Witch Blade and a 1000 gold lead over his opponent. Not to mention, he even found time to gank a side lane alongside all that. Even with such as masterful performance, SumaiL’s new allies were not left on the sideline. His fellow cores, Micke and Max "qojqva" Bröcker, rained down just as much terror on Brame as SumaiL did, claiming an ultra kill each before ending the series victorious.
Liquid’s defeat of Brame looked convincing but wasn’t without its hiccups. Liquid adapted to their new member well, although it’s not necessarily hard to win games with SumaiL on your side. They have a relatively easy set of matchups upcoming; Hellbear Smashers followed by Tundra esports. This gives them plenty of time to fully mesh with SumaiL before they reach OG and the final boss of the EU region; Team Secret.
Keep a close eye on Liquid’s performance for the rest of this season — will they continue to flourish under the rule of their new king or was their win a freebie against one of the weaker teams in the league? As always you can follow the action using our event page