M3 Champions playoff hopes could be in jeopardy after succumbing to Team Liquid’s much more disciplined play style.
Team Liquid beat M3 Champions in their final match in Group B in EMEA Challengers Stage 2. Their 2 - 0 win has solidified their spot in the playoffs and taken M3C's fate out of their hands.
M3 Champions, who currently sit in third place in Group B, had a lot riding on this match. A win would have guaranteed them a playoff spot. However, due to a string of lackluster performances from the once feared squad, M3C now find themselves in a situation where they could very well miss out on the playoffs.
Team Liquid show off a much more disciplined style of play
While there wasn't as much at stake for Team Liquid going into this match, there were still doubts floating around about how effective this team could be going forward. Especially with a new player on their roster. Despite the lack of pressure, we still got to see a much more disciplined performance from Team Liquid. And this is something that they have been looking to build on recently; as Nivera noted in his post-match interview
"To be honest we didn't really have a lot of pressure on us because we were already qualified [for playoffs] and I think that is really important. We just played our game and we played with more discipline."
This match also enabled them to experiment with different hero compositions and enable their recent pick up Dreamas some more experience playing alongside his new teammates. And he proved to be a key part in their match against M3C; with Nivera quick to heap loads of praise on his new teammate.
"I think Dreamas is an amazing player. We asked him to join us one day randomly and he was not ready for that. He has to play a new role, with a new team and in a new environment. Everything is new for him and I think that he is doing a really good job."
M3 Champions vs Team Liquid Full Match Recap:
Liquid inflict a slow burn onto M3C on Icebox
The pair headed to Icebox for the first map of the series. Questions were already being raised given that M3C allowed the map to get through the veto stage. Particularly since this has been Liquid's best map throughout Stage 2. And Liquid were not afraid to show how confident they were on this map when Jamppi opted to use Chamber for the first time in competitive play.
The first six rounds turned into a grueling contest of patience as both sides struggled to gain an early foothold. However from the seventh round on, Liquid began to distance themselves from their Russian counterparts; with ScreaM and Jamppi proving to be quite the handful. M3C were able to put up some semblance of a fight, but still found themselves down 8 - 4 going into halftime.
Unfortunately the situation began to get worse for M3C as Liquid won the first three rounds of the second half to extend their lead to 11 - 4. M3C managed to find their feet again with three round wins of their own, but Liquid did not seem fazed in the slightest. Which was evident as they eventually managed to take Icebox 13 - 8 to go up 1 - 0 in the match, while putting M3C under even more pressure to perform.
Map 2: Dreamas takes center stage on Fracture
Things were looking truly dire for M3C going into Fracture. Liquid were one map away from putting M3C's playoff hopes in jeopardy. If they had any hope of getting back into this match they were going to need their two main duelists, Chronicle and Deffo, to turn up the hear. Especially after a poor showing from both of them in the prior map.
Team Liquid took the opening two rounds of the first half in what appeared to be a close run affair. M3C managed to win two rounds of their own. Yet from that point on things began to spiral even further out of their control as Team Liquid just seemed to choke the life out of them. And surprisingly it was new boy Dreamas who was proving to be the most difficult to manage with his highly effective Breach play.
Team Liquid went to halftime with an astounding 9 - 3 lead over M3. With M3C needing a miracle if they were ever going to get back in this contest. But what transpired in the second half was similar to that of M3C's performance on Map 1. Team Liquid won the opening two rounds of the second half, only for M3C to win the next three rounds in a row; desperately trying to hang on. But despite their last ditch attempt, Team Liquid's highly disciplined approach proved to be too much for M3C to handle. Liquid won Fracture 13 - 7 to take the match 2 - 0 overall and secure second in Group B of EMEA Challengers Stage 2.