Liquid win a nailbiter
The first match of playoff week begins with American favorites Liquid facing off against the European international team of Fnatic. Liquid come into this game on shaky footing after a concerning loss to Eternal Fire and needing to beat a Cloud9 that had nothing left to play for. In this matchup, Liquid were hoping to cement themselves as they come back from a big summer break needing momentum as they head to Stockholm next to play in the Americas RMR.
The match began on Liquid's pick of Inferno, which is the Americans favorite with a 67% win rate, while Fnatic has played it three times and each time felt the sting of defeat. Liquid started out on their T-side where they would lose the opening pistol, but recover and solidify a 7-3 lead thanks to Josh "oSee" Ohm returning to form after a tough group stage. The lead would slip to 8-7 at the half thanks to strong CT-side performances from the British organization.
With the sides switched, Liquid would start the half in the right way with a pistol win, but would not be bale to continue their momentum and feel behind 12-10. With backs slowly getting pushed against the wall, Liquid were able to rally thanks to some incredible performances by Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski. Liquid would eventually win the next six of seven rounds to take Inferno by 16-13.
Fnatic were certainly happy to get to their pick of Overpass after losing out on the 12-10 lead on Inferno. Despite losing the opening pistol, Fnatic immediately responded and took a 5-2 lead on their T-side. While Liquid tried to keep it close, it was Fnatic that took the slight 8-7 advantage at the half.
As the sides switched it was nervy for Liquid as they would have to go on their T-side, while down, and on Fnatic's map pick. It was clear that the game was not going to be theirs, despite winning the second half pistol. Fnatic would look unstoppable as they cleaned up the second half, only allowing Liquid to get two rounds en-route to a 16-9 victory.
The final decider forced us to go to Ancient where Fnatic were the slight favorites due to play history. The map started with Fnatic winning their CT-side pistol, but Liquid would not go quietly. In a back and forth half, Liquid would earn an incredibly strong seven rounds to Fnatic's eight on their T-side. With Ancient so CT sided in the current meta, this set up Liquid to run away with the second half.
Liquid would start the second half the right way with a miracle pistol round with a full, 10 second defuse re-take. Liquid's luck would continue as they built up a solid lead and just never let go of their advantage as they take map three 16-10.
Liquid are set to face off against MOUZ on Thursday at 08:30AM.