Some insane plays from Jaamppi and Nivera helped Team Liquid over the line against Kru Esports in their first match of VCT Masters 1 in Reykjavik. ScreaM believes Liquid are out of the slump and ready to dominate.
Team Liquid triumphed over Kru Esports in their opening match at VCT Masters 1 in Reykjavik.
Liquid, who replaced FPX in the tournament due to a crucial roster issue, looked to make a statement in their first match and to prove that they belong in this competition. They had been struggling to maintain a good run of form in Stage 1 of EMEA Challengers.
On the other side of proceedings lay a Kru Esports which was in formidable form, having won the LATAM Playoffs to secure their spot here at Masters 1. However, they had never beaten Team Liquid in their last two encounters on LAN and were eager to put an end to their winless record against them.
Team Liquid are “Kru’s Kryptonite”
This is the third time that Team Liquid have faced off against Kru Esports on LAN, with both of their previous ties ending in 2-0 fashion as well. When asked why that has been the case against the LATAM team, Team Liquid’s Adil “ScreaM” Benrlitom gave the following response in his post-match interview:
“I think they [Kru] have a hard time against us because they respect us a bit too much. But I think we analyzed them pretty well, especially in the fracture. I don’t think they expected that kind of comp.”
The unusual compositions combined with their high clutch abilities certainly allowed for Team Liquid to claim victory in, what turned out to be, a very close run affair between the two teams. And it would seem that Liquid’s confidence is soaring after their win, as emphasized by ScreaM.
True fans know what Liquid is capable of. We were in a slump recently, but I think we can beat everyone in this tournament. We have showed it in the past and today we showed up.ScreaM in his post-match interview following Team Liquid’s win over Kru Esports
Jaamppi rips Kru apart on Fracture
Coming into Map 1 Team Liquid were already dipping into their bag of tricks when they opted to run a Neon instead of the standard Sage in their composition. A choice that indicated Liquid were more than prepared to scrap it out against Kru on Fracture.
The teams traded blows in the first few rounds, with Kru edging out a slight advantage. But that didn’t last long as Liquid seemed to grow into the game. And thanks to some special moments from Elias “Jaamppi” Olkkonen, who lead the lobby in kills, Team Liquid went into half-time with a narrow 7 – 5 lead.
The lead continued to grow and grow, with little to no response on the side of Kru Esports who just failed to match the pace of Team Liquid, as the EMEA team took Fracture 13 – 5.
Liquid take Ascent in quadruple OT
Things were looking dire for Kru after they were thoroughly trounced on their map pick. They were now down 0-1 in the series and were heading into Ascent for Map 2; a map which Liquid boast an impressive 75% win-rate on.
Much like as on Fracture, map 2 got off to a scrappy start from both teams. Kru once again managing to edge out a narrow lead. But once again Liquid managed to match the pace being set by the LATAM team. The first half of the map ended with both sides level at 6 – 6, but this time it felt as though Kru might be able to get across the line, with Angelo “keznit” Mori proving to be a thorn in Liquid’s side.
Following the side swap, the game continued to be scrappy, with Kru once again managing to construct an early lead. Things continued in this vein for quite some time, with Liquid continuing to make life difficult for their LATAM opponents.
As we approached the end of the map, Kru were up 12 – 11 and looked as though they might be able to tie the series. But thanks to an insane ace from Nabil “Nivera” Benrlitom, Team Liquid were able to force the map into overtime and seal the victory.
What’s next for Team Liquid and Kru Esports?
The Team Liquid VCT Masters run will be facing off against Xerxia Esports in the Winner’s match of Group B on April 11. Kru Esports on the other hand will be hoping they can regain quickly as they will be going up against OpTic Gaming in the first elimination match of Group B on April 12.