Liquid send FURIA packing to make IEM Cologne playoffs
Both Liquid and FURIA lost their opening matches in Cologne and rode the lower bracket all the way. They faced each other, the only two remaining American teams, to take one of six playoff spots.
The first map was chosen by Liquid with the two teams heading to Ancient to kick off their final group stage battle. Liquid immediately got off to a rip-roaring start taking their T-side pistol and several gun rounds to bound ahead to a quick 7-2 lead. FURIA was no slouch and wasn't ready to concede the opening map so quickly.
The Brazilians rebounded and finished their defending side with just one round deficit, bringing the scoreline all the way back to 8-7 in favor of Liquid. FURIA then continued their momentum, taking the pistol and the following few rounds to take the advantage for the first time that game.
FURIA took that lead and ran away with it, securing round after round until a heroic Josh "oSee" Ohm clutch began to give a glimmer of hope to the Americans. Immediately though the Brazilians answered back with an eco win, only to be foiled again by yet another oSee clutch. The AWPer's heroics lit a fire under Liquid and the Americans began to give FURIA a fight for their money.
Both teams had individuals popping off back and forth until the score read 14-14, going the full distance. Yet another courageous play from oSee gave Liquid their 15th, and although a Yuri "yuurih" Santos lurk gave Liquid fans a scare in round 30, the Americans held firm and won Ancient in the 30th round.
Moving onto the second map, FURIA's pick of Mirage, Liquid jumped right in and sped off with momentum from the first map win. Claiming the pistol and converting the following round, it seemed that there was no stopping them. However, FURIA did manage to hold Liquid back from claiming the third as well with stand-out round by Kaike "KSCERATO" Cerato.
Despite the third round win for the Brazilians, once Liquid were back on a full rifle buy, they went right back to their momentum fueled spree securing another further five rounds. With Andrei "arT" Piovezan and André "drop" Abreu both having a stand out round of their own, FURIA moved up to a 3-7 scoreline. The first half concluded with Liquid winning four of the five remaining rounds to book a 11-4 lead.
Opening the second half, KSCERATO and Rafael "saffee" Costa decided it was time to step up for more than a single round, dominating the pistol and the next six rounds in a row. The score tied at 11-11, Liquid finally were able to stop the seemingly endless comeback from FURIA, but only for two rounds. Trading two rounds back and forth each, the scoreline crept up to 15-13 for Liquid who were desperately trying to close out the map by that point.
An amazing 29th round by saffee where his lurk denied Liquid an easy 16th round put FURIA just one round away from overtime. Everything was now on the line for both teams and unfortunately for the Americans, the pressure was just too much for them and FURIA took it to overtime despite a clutch attempt from last man standing oSee on the AWP.
Starting overtime with 33 kills for Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski and 30 for KSCERATO, it was a tough fight for both teams to end the map first. Finally stepping up on the third round of overtime, Mareks "YEKINDAR" Gaļinskis helped Liquid start off on a 2-1 scoreline. Despite a confident overtime T-side round from FURIA, Liquid were able to win two rounds on the CT-side and close out the map 19-17.
Ending the series 2-0, EliGE posted 41 kills and 113.1 ADR on Mirage with NAF, second on the team, only having 20 kills. Despite a 1.08 rating on Ancient, his 1.80 rating turn around has sent Liquid into the quarterfinals and eliminated FURIA from IEM Cologne.
|Liquid||K - D||+/-||ADR||KAST||Rating 2.0|
|Jonathan 'EliGE' Jablonowski||57 - 38||+19||102.2||77.3%||1.45|
|Keith 'NAF' Markovic||43 - 41||+2||76.1||69.7%||1.04|
|Josh 'oSee' Ohm||46 - 43||+3||64.1||62.1%||0.97|
|Nick 'nitr0' Cannella||40 - 43||-3||59.9||69.7%||0.96|
|Mareks 'YEKINDAR' Gaļinskis||38 - 46||-8||66.3||62.1%||0.87|
|FURIA||K - D||+/-||ADR||KAST||Rating 2.0|
|Rafael 'saffee' Costa||55 - 42||+13||84.1||69.7%||1.22|
|Kaike 'KSCERATO' Cerato||48 - 45||+3||81.7||66.7%||1.06|
|Andrei 'arT' Piovezan||41 - 52||-11||67.4||62.1%||0.88|
|Yuri 'yuurih' Santos||36 - 43||-7||65.0||66.7%||0.86|
|André 'drop' Abreu||31 - 45||-14||67.0||57.6%||0.83|
Liquid will be playing against Movistar Riders, who surprised everyone with their Group A performance — even taking it to three maps versus Natus Vincere. The match is scheduled for Friday at Friday 01:00PM, where the winner will proceed to play Group A winners FaZe Clan in the semifinals.