Trophy and curse lifted?
Liquid have emerged victorious from a grueling series with Fnatic to claim victory at IEM Sydney. It is the team's second tournament win of the year, along with two second-place finishes at BLAST Pro Series São Paulo and Miami.
After more or less breezing their way to the grand final without dropping a map, Liquid were quickly put on notice by the Swedish side — who had a much more torturous path to the final series — with a 16-10 loss on Cache.
Liquid bounced back with a close 16-14 win on Overpass, and then a Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski-powered 16-8 stomp on Mirage. With their pick of Dust2 up next, the North Americans looked poised to claim the series then and there, but it was not to be, as the Swedes responded with a lopsided 16-6 win of their own, despite the best efforts of Russel "Twistzz" Van Dulken.
Last up was Inferno, and a warmed-up Twistzz helped Liquid take full-control of the match, with an 11-4 CT-side. When the North Americans picked up the second-half pistol, it looked like they had finally done it, but Fnatic had one final five-round gasp left in their lungs before they ultimately succumbed, leaving Liquid the victors.
|3 - 2||
|de_cache||10 - 16||de_cache|
|de_overpass||16 - 14||de_overpass|
|de_mirage||16 - 8||de_mirage|
|de_dust2||6 - 16||de_dust2|
|de_inferno||16 - 9||de_inferno|
Overall, the event was a success for North America-based teams, with NRG and MIBR joining Liquid in the top four. Renegades and eUnited were less fortunate, with the former perhaps a bit off-balance due to Sean "Gratisfaction" Kaiwai's ongoing visa issues, and the latter continuing to fail to make an impact at international events.
The final standings of IEM Sydney 2019 are as follows:
1. Liquid - $100,000 + Intel Grand Slam point
2. Fnatic - $42,000
3-4. NRG - $20,000
3-4. MIBR - $20,000
5-6. NiP - $10,000
5-6. mousesports - $10,000
7-8. BIG - $6,000
7-8. Grayhound - $6,000
9-12. MVP PK - $5,000
9-12. Chiefs - $5,000
9-12. Renegades - $5,000
9-12. FaZe - $5,000
13-16. eUnited - $4,000
13-16. Heroic - $4,000
13-16. BOOT-d[S] - $4,000
13-16. ViCi - $4,000
After the event had concluded, Twistzz was named the HLTV x betway MVP of the tournament, due to the Canadian "stepp[ing] up big time at least once in every series, including the deciding map of the event ."
Liquid won't have long to relax and savor their victory, as IEM Sydney was only the beginning of a long May for the team. Next up for them will be cs_summit 4, immediately followed by DreamHack Masters Dallas.