The last team to lift the trophy in the LANXESS, Liquid have scaled the peak once again.
NA FANS REJOICE! Team Liquid will once again compete in the LANXESS arena as they take down Furia to lock in a Playoffs spot at IEM Cologne.
Return to the LANXESS, NA's True Champion
When the LANXESS last opened its gates, it was Liquid coming in as the favorite for the event. And they took the world by storm as they completed their Intel Grand Slam Speedrun. Now with the world going back to normal, LANXESS shall once again open its gates. And Liquid will be right there to once again compete at the Cathedral of Counter-Strike. On top of that, their journey to get there has been a grueling test. To get here they had to take out the foreign teams NA had pinned their hopes on.
Their lower bracket run began against Cloud9. Back at Dallas, Cloud9 was the home team as every single fan roared to support them, but Liquid made short work of them. Then came the Brazilians. For years now, Furia has had to carry the flag for both North and South America, so who better to take it down before you enter the Cathedral. And once again Liquid was up to the test. Even when the situations got tough, they persevered. And now NA's true Champions, led by Captain America himself, are ready for Playoffs.
Map 1 - Ancient - Josh Ohm-y God
Josh "oSee" Ohm has been the best AWPer NA has seen since Tyler "Skadoodle" Latham himself. But that isn't saying much considering the lack of NA snipers. But at this event, everybody should be paying close attention to oSee. The 23-year-old has been a pillar of Liquid's performance, consistently outperforming Keith "NAF" Markovic and Mareks "YEKINDAR" Gaļinskis. Currently ranked thirteenth at IEM Cologne, he was the key to Liquid's Ancient defense.
Starting off on the offense though, it was their pistol round momentum that powered them to a 7-2 lead. But a denied 1v3 clutch pulled Furia back into the game. The teams were neck and neck going into the second half. This time it was Furia taking the pistol round and conversions, despite Liquid taking out all their players in a lost force buy.
The Brazilians prevailed, moving ever closer to victory. That was when the big green rung through the temples of Ancient. oSee put on a stellar 3k that got Liquid back into the game. The highlight was followed up with multikill rounds from EliGE and NAF who powered the team's comeback into the game.
Tied 14-14, oSee once again pulled out a 3k to put Liquid onto match point, before they finished the map 16-14.
Map 2 - Mirage - The TLChoke controlled
Mirage started off with sheer dominance from the boys in blue. Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski was unstoppable putting up 20 kills in the half, helping the team reach an 11-4 score on the CT side. But when they moved over to the T-side, a certain AWP shot started ringing in the ears of every Liquid fan.
The infamous TLChoke can be traced all the way back to this moment from Coldzera. Mirage, IEM Cologne, a failing T-side allowing a Brazilian team to come back into the game? It all sounded too familiar. With round after round going the way of Furia's defense, the teams were tied back up at 11-11. Once again it was EliGE, breaking through the defense and finally helping his team reach match point. But they stopped just shy of taking the map home as a Rafael "saffee" Costa quad-kill forced overtime. After winning the first Overtime round, Furia faltered and Liquid took the win.
Liquid to face Movistar Riders in IEM Cologne Playoffs
With the playoffs bracket set, Liquid has drawn Movistar as their opponent for the Quarter-Finals. The Spaniards have had a massive honeymoon run in this event so far, but will it continue under the pressure of the Stage? Or will Liquid's past of dominating Cologne, fuel their present campaign?