Can Team Liquid prove that their roster is a top contender for Masters Tokyo?
Karmine Corp and Team Liquid prepared to hit the stage as EMEA geared up for another banger series to continue VCT EMEA week 2.
Karmine Corp vs Team Liquid
For Karmine Corp, this was a match that they needed to win if they wanted to get off the starting blocks of their 1-1 scoreline so far and kick the competition up a notch. The addition of Adil 'ScreaM' Benrlitom had fans hoping the team could challenge the super roster of Team Liquid and prove that winning against FPX at LOCK//IN was no fluke.
On the other side of things, this was about proving that the super roster wasn't cursed. For Team Liquid, with Igor 'Redgar' Vlasov as the captain formerly of Gambit Esports. Once again alongside fellow former Gambit player in Ayaz 'nAts' Akhmetshin, it was time for the super roster of the season to show up. The addition of Saif 'sayf' Jibraeel as a safe pair of hands, fans wanted to see more and that the loss to Team Vitality wouldn't set the precedent for the rest of the season.
Map 1 - Ascent
What started well for KCorp did not continue in a similar fashion. While KC secured the pistol round for themselves and the second round, it was clear that this was TL's map to lose. The storyline of Nivera and ScreaM playing against their previous team ran throughout. But it was TL who were building up their util and their game as they fought to take a round off KC, and then continued on to put a four-round lead between them.
While KC did their best to shut down TL - managing a clutch end to a round as TL couldn't plant. But otherwise, this was TL's half and TL's map to lose. Soulcas dodge dodged some bullets and instead took ending clutch kills, leaving KC speechless. KC managed to secure a round at round 11, but had to invest everything into it and had not respected the util on TL's side up to that point. The half finished with Jammpi cleaning up KC to finish 8-4 in dominant style.
As the second half kicked off, nAts was in top form as he took three kills off KC who thought they had it. TL continued to abuse angles and their util to leave KC in the dust, pushing their lead further ahead to 10-4. For KC, it was critical they were able to pull it back. And pull it back they did, at round 15 they closed the round gap to five. But it did not matter, TL were simply too far ahead and pushed ahead to match point to secure the map. Oh, and Sayf was a safe pair of hands throughout.
Map 2 - Split
For KC, this was a must-win map but it didn't start off in their favor. Even with the Gekko rotation and wingmen, TL still claimed the pistol round and round two as flawless. By round three, KC looked like they were bringing it back but instead, Jamppi claimed three kills, stealing away what should have been KC's round. The desk had predicted a 13-3 to TL for this match, but with Sayf finalizing round four with a 1v1 to cruise the defuse, KC still wasn't on the board. By round six, KC fans were getting uncomfortable. Redgar deleted KC off the map with a flawless, widening the six round gap even further. Jamppi secured two aces while KC failed once more to get on the board. By round 13, it was matchpoint for TL but KC finally put themselves onto the board.
To save themselves from one of the worst records out there, KC managed to pull back another round as Nivera forgot to buy from taking out his headphones. Bringing the scoreline 12-2 and matchpoint once more for TL. This time TL didn't give KC an inch and closed out the game.
This was TL going from strength to strength and ready to head to Tokyo. For KC, this was one heck of a learning curve.