NA needs Katowice Liquid from the FaZe game

Liquid v. Astralis, what to expect

The rivalry from 2019 is back to the servers.

Liquid and Astralis have a long head-to-head history, but the Danes have a notable advantage when it comes to winning. Astralis have won 46 series against the #1 NA team, while Liquid have only beaten the Danish team 17 times. This time there's no trophy for the winner of this series, there's only the last spot of the group for ESL Pro League Season 17 Playoffs.

The last time the two teams faced each other was during the PGL Major Antwerp in 2022, where Liquid won 2-0.

High expectations for Liquid

Liquid's EPL run has not been their best, even more so when compared to EPL S16. The North Americans started off with a historic loss versus Rare Atom, followed by a 2-0 win against ATK, only to lose the following series against Spirit, 2-0 as well. A rematch against the Chinese team had Liquid getting some revenge, but the damage was done, as the team led by Nick "nitr0" Cannella was now on the brink of elimination. For that reason, this series against Astralis has even more weight, and it's a must-win for the NA side.

  • Bounced back at the right moment, and can keep the momentum going into playoffs

  • Josh "oSee" Ohm showing good form

  • Keith "NAF" Markovic getting more confident

From the bottom to playoffs?

Astralis' run has been even tougher than Liquid's. The Danes started Pro League with two straight losses (Spirit and NAVI), falling immediately to the Last Chance stage. There, they defeated ATK and Spirit, also getting some revenge from the Russians. Their form has been strong, with only three losses in the last 14 series, but the EPL run showed some inconsistencies.

  • Nicolai "device" Reedtz is getting warmed up

  • Benjamin "blameF" Bremer has been able to keep getting a lot of frags

  • Lower bracket run brought confidence to the squad

Likely vetoes

Based on the pick/bans from ESL Pro League Season 17, this should be the probable veto.

  • Astralis ban Anubis, their perma ban during the competition

  • Liquid ban Vertigo, their perma ban

  • Astralis pick Ancient, their favorable map

  • Liquid pick Mirage, good pick for them, bad record for Astralis

  • Inferno left as the decider

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