Team Liquid: The Push for #1
Team Liquid, for the past year, have consistently been the second-best team in the world. The team has faltered many times at the final hurdle of events, with Liquid placing second becoming somewhat expected among fans. However, with the recent win at IEM Sydney, the team is finally within striking distance of Astralis, and look poised to have a chance at finally taking the mantle of best team in the world.
Team Liquid slowly built their terrifying lineup through slowly swapping players as well as attending a slew of events to build team cohesion. The trio of star players Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski , Keith "NAF" Markovic and Russel "Twistzz" Van Dulken quickly became the best trio of stars in North America. It was this trio that the foundation of Liquid was built upon, with in-game leader Nicholas "nitr0" Cannella and support player Epitácio "TACO" de Melo rounding out the lineup.
While the team consistently made second place at large events, the team decided to take a risk. The organization swapped TACO for Jake "Stewie2K" Yip, a legendary North American player and former Major champion.
This change saw the team going for a more firepower-based approach as opposed to a well-rounded team composition. This swap pushed the team over the top, as the team quickly took first place in the iBUYPOWER Masters 2019 championship and ESL Pro League Season 9 Americas, with the former having the team defeat rivals Astralis to take the championship.
Along with the star-studded change in the roster, young upstart Twistzz stepped up his playing to become the teams clear-cut superstar, hitting a 1.59 rating at the ESL Pro League Season 9 Americas championship after playing seven games. These numbers are completely astounding, as no team had any answer for the lurker.
When IEM Sydney rolled around, the team was determined to impress on a large event stage, and impress they did. The team cruised through the first round of the tournament, not dropping a single map to any team they faced.
In the semi-finals, they 2-0’d Brazilian powerhouse MIBR, and only saw resistance in the finals against Fnatic. Although it was a hard-fought series, Liquid took home first place.
With this victory, the conversation should begin on whether or not Astralis still reign supreme. Liquid have begun carving out a legacy for themselves.