Liquid and Complexity match up in 1-2 elimination game
The second day of the PGL Antwerp Major has come to a close, and with the dust settled and the day three matchups drawn, North American fans were met with the tragic sight of Liquid facing off against Complexity, in an elimination match no less. It's time to evaluate these two squads before their ill-fated meeting.
Both Liquid and Complexity have had dire runs in this tournament so far. Liquid found themselves on the brink of elimination after getting thoroughly trounced by G2 in their opening game, before subsequently falling to Imperial in their 0-1 match. Liquid had to work hard in their 0-2 match to stay alive, as 9z managed to keep both maps of the series fairly close before Liquid was able to narrowly overcome the South American squad.
This event has seen the consistently high-performing trio of Keith "NAF" Markovic, Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski, and Josh "oSee" Ohm struggle to maintain the impressive ratings they usually put up, with EliGE topping the team's stats with a subpar 1.04 rating. Richard "shox" Papillon has been performing roughly the same as he has been at previous top-tier events, with his 0.96 rating at this event so far lining up closely with his 0.94 rating at EPL Season 15. IGL Nick "nitr0" Canella has been unable to maintain a respectable rating, hovering towards the bottom of the event with his 0.82 rating.
To be frank, things look pretty rough for Liquid. If Liquid want to have any chance of still moving forward, they will need to hope that their star trio can somehow find their footing. While this Liquid versus Complexity matchup may not be what fans were hoping for, this game could be enough to reinvigorate Liquid, filling up their tank just enough to roll into the Legends stage.
It would be fair to say that Liquid has had an unfortunate go of things at this event. This makes the fact that Complexity's run has managed to be somehow just as bad, if not worse, even more impressive. Complexity started their Major run by getting ripped to shreds by Vitality, before tussling with Mongolian side IHC in their 0-1 game. While Complexity edged out IHC in the end, it was an incredibly arduous affair, with the win coming down to several critical rounds that the North American squad managed to steal away.
This win over IHC eased things slightly for Complexity, temporarily keeping them away from an elimination matchup, but that was not to be the case for long. Outsiders would be Complexity's opponent in the 1-1 match, and there was little Complexity could do as the CIS squad knocked them down to the 1-2 group.
What makes Complexity's run extremely concerning is some of the individual performances of the team. Michael "Grim" Wince currently is the lowest-rated player in the whole event, with a 0.65 rating, while AWPer Paytyn "junior" Johnson is not far behind with a 0.71 rating. IGL Johnny "JT" Theodosiou finds himself also hovering near the bottom with a 0.81 rating. Justin "FaNg" Coakley is really the only hope for Complexity at the event, with a 1.06 rating despite the team's losses.
With all this in mind, it is clear that Liquid should be the favorite in this unfortunate matchup. Liquid's players, while not even close to their peak, are performing miles beyond some of the individuals on Complexity. Additionally, the two recently squared off in the IEM Dallas Closed Qualifier, where Liquid was able to 2-0 Complexity. Complexity's only map win over Liquid was a 16-14 win at the tail end of the Americas RMR Closed Qualifier, which acted purely as a seeding match.
If Liquid do end up taking down Complexity, one can only hope that they are able to use this game as a springboard to rejuvinate the squad. While Liquid's middling performances may be enough to move past Complexity, it will be a far taller order to win their 2-2 match in the same way. If the winner of this match is unable to reach the Legends stage, it would be an unprecedented tragedy, the first time the top 16 of a Major does not feature a North American squad.
Complexity and Liquid's all-important game kicks off tomorrow at 09:45AM, where each squad will be tragically hoping for the other's downfall.