An amazing ending to Day 1 of the IEM Cologne group stage.

Team Liquid and Team Spirit faced off against each other in their opening group stage matches at IEM Cologne 2022. Team Liquid recently brought on Yekindar on loan from Virtus Pro. Meanwhile, Team Spirit also made a few roster changes, most recently signing wonderful to the CS: GO squad.

Team Spirit pulled out the win against Team Liquid after two relatively one-sided maps and a crazy close third map on Ancient. Team Spirit will now face the winner of FaZe Clan and 00Nation. Meanwhile, Team liquid are now in the lower bracket of Group B.

Map 1 – Dust 2: Team Liquid crush Team Spirit on Dust 2

Team Spirit started off the series with a win. The very next round, however, YEKINDAR, with his scout, managed to get four kills to turn the round in Team Liquid’s favor. The player, who is on loan from Virtus.Pro, looked extremely dominant in the early rounds of Dust 2. 

The CT dominance by Team Liquid was the theme of the first half as Team Liquid managed to reach 11 at the end of the first half. A 11-4 CT sided score on the first half is impressive enough but Liquid managed to close out Dust 2 soon after with a 16-8 score.

Map 2 – Overpass: Dominant run by Team Spirit

Not deterred by their humiliating loss on Dust 2, Team Spirit bounced back on Overpass. With 27 kills at the end of the round, Patsi was the star on the server with a 105.9 ADR. 

Team Spirit started off with a 7-1 score, a commanding lead on Overpass. Overpass is no longer the super CT sided map as it once was and the 8-1 lead was definitely a huge boost for the team. Towards the end of the first half, however, Team Liquid managed to bring back the game to a respectable 6-9 score. 


But Team Spirit’s T side was equally dominating and they did not feel out of place at all. Team Liquid failed to build any semblance of a good economy, often not having the correct weapons to hold the Team Spirit onslaught. Spirit won Overpass with a 16-9 score, a score pretty similar to the first map, but this time in Team Spirit’s favor. 

Map 3 – Ancient: As close as it gets

Team Spirit continued their dominance on Ancient. They started on the CT side, which was a big bonus on this CT-dominant map. With an 8-2 score, Team Spirit looked poised for a very strong CT side half. But Team Liquid salvaged a few more rounds to close the first half at a 5-10 disadvantage.

It was not all despair, however, as Team Liquid’s CT side was equally strong. After Team Spirit won the pistol, Liquid managed to win eight rounds in a row on their CT side. But Team Spirit seemed to have figured out the Team Liquid defense as they brough the map to overtime after winning quite a few rounds on the T-side.

In Overtime, Team Liquid started on the CT side. This was it, this was the final part of the series. All that happened in the previous regular time and the first two maps didn’t matter at all. 

Team Liquid had a dominant 3-0 start in the first half of the overtime. It was always going to be a daunting task for Team Spirit to overcome a 0-3 start. There was no room for mistakes and Team Spirit players knew that.

But Team Spirit had a fantastic CT side to bring the series to double overtime. Later though, Team Spirit pulled out a flawless T side to prevent the third overtime and ultimately won 22-20. Team Spirit are now one step closer to securing their playoffs spot at IEM Cologne 2022.

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Rohan - Content Editor

Rohan

Content Editor | Twitter: @rohan_esports | Twitch: rohan_3105

Started esports with Dota, moved to CS, then OW, back to Dota 2 and now a bit of Valorant. I love city-building games, have spent hours in Cities:Skylines only to have the traffic defeat me. Love travelling, an admirer of fine movies, writing a sci-fi novel in spare time and coding (Javascript)