OG looked like they’d finally returned to form in a decisive win against Team Liquid. Team Liquid are now out of ESL One Summer while OG will face Team Nigma next.

TI10 qualifiers may still be a month a way, but tuning into ESL One Summer 2021 you could catch a preview as OG took on Team Liquid. In a highly anticipated Lower Bracket clash, these two TI hopefuls went all out to try and prove they had what it takes to represent Europe.

But beyond that, pride was on the line. Team Liquid have been branded a team that can win in regional competition, but struggles internationally. Now, at ESL One Summer, they’ve not proved they can win in Europe either. Against Tundra Esports on June 16th, the squad suffered a major loss as Oliver "skiter" Lepko popped off on them in two straight games. And having a stand-in for this tournament hasn’t helped with Milan "MiLAN" Kozomara standing in for Michael "miCKe" Vu on Wednesday, and Ilya "Illidan" Pivcaev stepping in against OG.

OG has not fared much better. Despite signing Syed Sumail "SumaiL" Hassan just a few days ago, OG had not benefited from a power-level increase. The team looked flat against AS Monaco Gambit, who handed a 2-0 to OG. Headed into their match against TL, tensions were clearly high.

Out-drafted and Outplayed

OG opening with the popular Puck pick, and tried to limit Liquid’s carry potential. TL on the other hand, opted for Broodmother, clearly hoping they could scale out of control on OG. The Hoodwink, also for Liquid, made sure they had some utility for their cores.

The game would start off with even lanes for both teams. But Liquid’s aggression was too much for OG early on, as Topias Miikka "Topson" Taavitsainen was bullied by a roaming Brood, and TL’s supports. Ultimately OG would have to sit back and try and build up their carries.

OG’s indecision and willingness to wait, would lead to a dramatic lead for Team Liquid 10 kills up and with a reasonable gold lead, OG’s ability to get back in the game was waning at the 20-minute mark. But if they felt comfortable, they shouldn’t have, as OG effortlessly turned a series of fights and took control, thanks to SumaiL. Despite an unfavorable matchup, the Chaos Knight had scaled into an unstoppable monster.

Ultimately, things quickly scaled to a point where Team Liquid couldn’t do anything to stop OG. And without a prolonged siege on the high ground, TL called GG after 34 minutes, tapping out and going next. An incredibly impressive display by OG to understand the timings of their compositions and take advantage when they were strong.

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More of the Same for Team Liquid

Looking to completely shut down TL, OG banned out Broodmother, the only effective hero on their opponent’s team last game. However, TL clearly had different ideas. Farming up their lanes and once again grabbing kills by roaming. With a 3k lead and healthy amount of kills on their triple core picks, TL were poised to take this match to three games.

But just like last match, OG were just biding their time. And another series of fights swung the momentum. All the effort put in to keep the Templar Assassin down had backfired and and OG was in control even earlier than last match.

In a critical fight that began off a huge engagement by Sébastien "Ceb" Debs, OG went in on TL and looked to kill them off before Roshan. But as TL bought back, they flipped the script on OG and grabbed a number of return kills.

But even as the buy-backs came in, OG kept fighting, ultimately handing TL a series of die-backs, and securing Roshan. Leveraging this victory into farming up the map and pushing lanes, OG were able to push into TL’s highground and wrap things up.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, Team Liquid find themselves eliminated after a brutal pair of losses. The squad struggled to shut down OG’s carries in both games, allowing them to scale into monsters. In contrast, their own plans to snowball fell flat in each game. The results are an ill-omen for a stack that will face OG again in the Wester European Qualifiers for TI10.

OG move on and will continue their run at ESL One Summer 2021. Their next match will take place on June 18th, facing another European rival in either Team Nigma or Team Secret.

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