The dream is over for Liquid as they were bested 16-8 on Inferno, 22-19 on Mirage, Russel “Twistzz” Van Dulken getting a victory over his old teammates to keep FaZe‘s Major hopes alive. Liquid only have themselves to blame after putting up a weak performance on their own map pick.
Liquid kicked off their map of Inferno on the offensive side, and they were in for a struggle in the first half. We started with an explosive 1v4 clutch in the pistol round for Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski, only for Olof “olofmeister” Kajbjer to produce a stellar 1v2 clutch of his own with the deagle to peg the NA squad back, and it seemed we might be in for a barnburner.
It wasn’t to be as Liquid struggled to find many openings, particularly on banana, and suffered economically due to not stringing rounds together, leading us to a comfortable 11-4 half in FaZe‘s favour.
FaZe started their T side with a pistol and second round victory to get to 13 rounds, and it was always going to be a tough ask for Liquid at this point. Despite the fact they did manage to keep FaZe‘s economy in check, Liquid simply didn’t put up a dominant enough defence to deal with the lead the EU squad had built, and they traded rounds to a 16-8 final score. It was too comfortable for Finn “karrigan” Andersen and co. on Liquid‘s map, making it hard to see how the NA side were going to make it a competitive series.
Moving onto FaZe‘s pick of Mirage, Liquid started on the defensive side. After losing the pistol and a second round Liquid took the game by the scruff of the neck, winning eight of the next nine rounds as FaZe struggled to find any traction on the offense. Despite the streak Liquid didn’t build up the economy you might expect, and FaZe managed to break them towards to end of the half to recover to a 7-8 score.
The second half was almost a mirror image of the first, FaZe picking up the pistol and second round on CT before Liquid regained control, their well-coordinated site takes picking FaZe apart to bring them to a 14-10.
Again, as with the first half, FaZe eventually crept back into the game and managed to break the NA squad’s economy, getting back to a 13-14 score, before Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo and EliGE combined in an impressive 2v5 to put Liquid on match point. FaZe put together a shoddy buy but it was enough to win them a round, and they converted to overtime off the back of Liquid‘s rough economy.
Overtime was a wild affair, with many back and forth rounds hinging on individual plays being traded between the teams. Liquid got themselves another two match points getting to 18 quickly in the first OT, but they again squandered chances to end the game as FaZe relied on karrigan and Helvijs “broky” Saukants to bring them to another OT.
FaZe came into the second portion of overtime hot, and they earned themselves two match points. Unlike Liquid, FaZe did not throw away their opportunity, ending the game at the first time of asking, 22-19, to send the NA squad home.
“It came a little bit closer than we wanted,” Håvard “rain” Nygaard said in a post-match interview:
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