Liquid beat Vitality to win ESL One Cologne and Intel Grand Slam Season 2
Liquid have won the second season of the Intel Grand Slam Challenge after defeating the French side of Vitality 3-1 in the grand finals of ESL One Cologne, making themselves the second team to attain the $1,000,000 title following Astralis' win in the first season last year.
Astralis' path to the first Intel Grand Slam title saw the dominant Danish team fight for 18 months and nine events to claim their prize, whereas Liquid's run has taken just nine weeks to reach its end. Notably, Liquid went up against Astralis repeatedly in those grand finals, but were never able to notch a win.
In what is sure to be a historic feat, Liquid's Season 2 win also saw them pick up wins in four consecutive IGS-eligible events, with their first win coming from a 3-2 victory over fnatic at IEM Sydney. A loss to Vitality at cs_summit 4, although not an IGS event, would set up the two teams' eventual rematch this week at ESL One Cologne.
Following their second place finish at cs_summit, Liquid's second IGS title came from a win over ENCE at DreamHack Masters Dallas. Just two weeks later, Liquid had already notched their third event win, defeating G2 3-1 at ESL Pro League Season 9 Finals. Their third title also saw them take down their old rivals, Astralis, on their road to the grand finals.
Finally, and perhaps most fittingly, ESL One Cologne was the fourth and final tournament that Liquid added to their record. In an event that saw the most competitive pool of teams in attendance so far this year, Liquid went undefeated as they notched wins over MVP PK, Na`Vi, and NRG in the group stage. A rematch against Na`Vi in the semifinals saw the North American side continue in their winning ways as they secured a 2-0 victory, with their final win coming over Vitality in the grand finals.
|Vitality||K - D||+/-||ADR||KAST||Rating 2.0|
|Mathieu 'ZywOo' Herbaut||87 - 73||+14||77.0||63.0%||1.10|
|Cédric 'RpK' Guipouy||73 - 78||-5||68.8||63.9%||0.90|
|Nathan 'NBK-' Schmitt||59 - 84||-25||67.2||57.4%||0.84|
|Alex 'ALEX' McMeekin||56 - 85||-29||65.7||56.5%||0.76|
|Dan 'apEX' Madesclaire||49 - 85||-36||64.9||64.8%||0.72|
|Liquid||K - D||+/-||ADR||KAST||Rating 2.0|
|Keith 'NAF' Markovic||84 - 71||+13||92.1||75.9%||1.33|
|Russel 'Twistzz' Van Dulken||89 - 57||+32||85.2||84.3%||1.31|
|Jonathan 'EliGE' Jablonowski||90 - 69||+21||89.4||71.3%||1.23|
|Nick 'nitr0' Cannella||77 - 57||+20||70.7||70.4%||1.15|
|Jake 'Stewie2K' Yip||65 - 70||-5||70.0||72.2%||1.07|
Liquid have won five of the eight grand finals they have made it to thus far this year, and will look to continue adding trophies to their cabinet as they make their way to IEM Chicago and BLAST Pro Series Los Angeles later this month.