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OG defeats Ad Finem at Boston Major for its third Major title

Rich Messina for ESPN

Sweeps and Cinderella stories set the stage for the final day of the Boston Major, as two European Dota 2 teams rocketed toward a climactic clash in the grand finals. Of the last four teams remaining, only one would leave with the $1 million top prize and the first major title of the 2016-17 season.

In the first semifinal, Evil Geniuses and OG clashed yet again, two top teams who had both defeated their share of opponents on the way to the top. Game 1 saw EG turn to the Shadow Demon/Luna strategy that has permeated the tournament, but OG responded with a Clockwork for Gustav "s4" Magnusson, an aggressive ganker that secured several huge kills and secured the game for OG before EG could kick off its illusion siege. For the second match, EG turned to strong carry picks for Sumail "Suma1L" Hassan and Artour "Arteezy" Babaev, but the cores of OG were simply stronger; Anathan "ana" Pham's Outworld Devourer and Johan "n0tail" Sundstein's Alchemist skyrocketed in net worth, assisted by Jesse "JerAx" Vainikka's roaming Slardar. OG took the series 2-0, and would advance to the first spot in the grand finals.

Underdog Ad Finem of Greece, meanwhile, would face its greatest challenge yet in Digital Chaos, a team that was yet-undefeated in the playoffs. Ad Finem's draft in Game 1 took quick aggression to DC though, with Omar "Madara" Dabachach's Lifestealer snowballing out of control in the mid-game. Digital Chaos stalled it out but could not hold, and soon found itself on elimination point against the Greek squad. Game 2 put a quick exclamation point on the series, with Dabachach's Timbersaw getting online very early and Verros "Maybe Next Time" Apostolos participating in 26 of Ad Finem's 30 kills in its 27-minute rout of DC. Ad Finem secured the upset 2-0, and would advance to face OG for a shot at the title in its first Valve major.

The spartans came in headstrong in Game 1 of the grand finals against OG, with an aggressive draft of Drow Ranger and a support Weaver for Apostolos that secured a significant lead in the early game. OG stalled out the game though, and Sundstein's clever itemization on Luna and some critical plays made by Vainikka's signature Earth Spirit swung the advantage back, securing 25 unanswered kills for OG and the first game of the best-of-five grand finals. Game 2 was more of the same, with an early game AF draft centered around Apostolos' Bounty Hunter and Kharis "SkyLark" Zafiriou's Nyx Assassin, and OG responding with durable, strong lanes supported by Tal "Fly" Aizik's Dazzle and a dominating performance from Magnusson on Slardar. OG took the victory and put Ad Finem on match point, 2-0.

If the theme of the grand finals was Ad Finem's wave of aggression being dashed against the rocks of OG, game three was where the Greek underdogs started to erode away OG's defenses. A shaky early game gave way to explosive mid-game fights, spearheaded by Apostolos' Earthshaker and Zafiriou's Legion Commander. The game dragged on to over an hour, each team trading blows with Dabachach even purchasing a Divine Rapier in attempt to tilt the game in Ad Finem's favor, securing mega creeps but not yet the game. After countless back and forths in a mentally exhausting stalemate, a last-ditch run at OG's ancient finally did it in, and Ad Finem denied the sweep, pushing the series to Game 4.

Still alive and still one game from elimination, Ad Finem drafted a Templar Assassin for Dimirtis "ThuG" Plivouris to combat OG's Invoker mid. Though the teams kept pace for a while, a series of teamfights went to OG's advantage, leading to a 27-minute barracks taken for OG in the mid lane. Sundstein's Sven was unstoppable, with Ad Finem's cores unable to deal with his armor-heavy build, and the Greek squad fell further into a deficit, soon losing another barracks in the bottom lane. At 37 minutes in, Ad Finem tapped out and called "good game." OG took the grand finals 3-1, winning the team's third major and successfully defending the Eaglesong trophy.

After the closing ceremonies, PGL and Valve presented one final video, teasing the rumored new patch for Dota 2. Announced as launching on the test client Sunday, patch 7.00 is significant because the change in major numeral from the current version, 6.88f, signifies sweeping changes to the game.