Malta will be no vacation for EliGE and co. as they are currently battling for a spot in Cologne
While North America's attention is on the Americas Minor North America Closed Qualifier, across the pond Liquid are battling a slew of European and CIS teams to try and claim the final spot at ESL One Cologne.
Liquid's event run began with them taking on CIS team Spirit on Nuke. On their CT-side, Spirit were able to pick up the initial pistol round before Liquid were able to win the anti-eco, converting the win into six rounds to place themselves comfortably in the lead. Spirit would answer back with a round of their own before Liquid claimed four more rounds to put the scoreline up to 10-2. Before the half came to an end Spirit found two more rounds though Liquid took the last round to end the half with a very comfortable 11-4 lead.
Switching sides, Spirit started off the half with a 1v3 pistol clutch by former Vega Squadron member Leonid "chopper" Vishnyakov. Following this they would win the next four rounds in a row to close the gap with Liquid. During their CT-side Liquid continued to look lost against Spirit as they were unable to close out the map, with Spirit pulling off the comeback to take the action into overtime. In overtime, Liquid found the first overtime round before Spirit tied things up. Liquid would claim one more round after this as Spirit found the next three to find the 19-17 upset over Liquid. During Nuke, Viktor "somedieyoung" Orudjev carried his team to the win, with a 1.44 rating and 34 frags.
|17 - 19||
|de_nuke||17 - 19||de_nuke|
With elimination on the line, Liquid faced off against NoChance, a squad which recently made the European Minor, in a best of three series on Mirage and Nuke.
On Mirage, Liquid started the series off by nullifying NoChance's T-side, winning the first six rounds in a row before NoChance were able to get on the board. After this, Liquid tidied up by taking six out of the next nine rounds to close out the half with another 11-4 lead. Switching sides, NoChance found the first two rounds of the half off the back of a 4k by Jesse "zehN" Linjala, though Liquid quickly regained control following a 1v3 by Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski. NoChance would answer back once more with two rounds, however Liquid closed out Mirage immediately afterwards winning map one 16-8.
Moving onto Nuke, Liquid decimated NoChance's CT-side side claiming thirteen rounds to put the team within striking distance of closing the series out. Upon switching sides, Liquid would quickly secure match point by winning the pistol round and the following round before NoChance were able to put two rounds on the board. After this though, Liquid closed out the series by find the next round, claiming a dominant 16-4 win over NoChance.
|0 - 2||
|de_mirage||8 - 16||de_mirage|
|de_nuke||4 - 16||de_nuke|
Liquid will be re-matching Spirit on Saturday at 11 AM EDT to determine which team is set to advance out of the group stage.