Team Liquid is moving on to face FaZe Clan, after taking down Team LDLC in the quarterfinals of IEM Chicago.
.@TeamLiquid take @TeamLDLC down in the third map and win the series 2:1 #IEM https://t.co/fTBRGvbUbv pic.twitter.com/6Y83Wayv3h
— Intel®ExtremeMasters (@IEM) November 9, 2018
Team Liquid are coming from a pretty impressive group stage. The North American powerhouse would only drop one game to Fnatic, in the third round of the upper bracket. Besides that one hiccup, they were seemingly the best team from North America once again. Taking down teams like Luminosity and Mousesports would give many fans plenty of confidence. The final hopes for the region lay in their hands, as they approached their matchup against Team LDLC.
Meanwhile, French-based LDLC would stun multiple teams in the group stage. Although they would drop to FaZe Clan in a close match, they would manage to reach the playoffs. With some great wins against Renegades, North and NRG Esports, many people would wonder if Team LDLC’s luck would run out. However, from the way they were playing, the roster was ready to prove that they were not just flukes in the tournament.
Team LDLC jumps to an early lead
Things would look dire for Team Liquid early, as Overpass would be all Team LDLC. The underdogs would manage to keep Team Liquid on the backfoot for the majority of the game. LDLC’s CT side would be locked down, as their opponents could not break their stalwart defense. The North Americans would have trouble throughout the map, making uncharacteristic mistakes as a team. At the same time, individually, players were also having problems. The only bright spot for Team Liquid would be Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski.
The amount of trigger discipline @EliGE has is DISGUSTING 😳 He finds all five kills in the round with the AUG 👌 #IEM https://t.co/JCaCtOvQYi pic.twitter.com/plSMR2LmGU
— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) November 9, 2018
Unfortunately, his efforts would be in vain, as the rest of his team would not show up. Players like Russel “Twistzz” Van Dulken and Epitácio “TACO” de Melo were missing important shots, and Team LDLC would capitalize. Meanwhile, LDLC’s Alex “ALEX” McMeekin and Antoine “to1nou” Pirard would have great games. As a result, Team LDLC would come into the next map with plenty of momentum.
Cache tips the scales for Team Liquid
As Team Liquid’s best map, many fans and analysts would expect them to dominate. Even ALEX would state that this game would be an uphill battle for his team. However, for half of the match, it was the complete opposite. Team LDLC would hop to an early 6-0 lead, not letting up on the gas. Whenever Team Liquid would win a round, Team LDLC would trade it right back to maintain economic control.
.@TeamLiquid are stacking up the rounds, Cache isn't over yet 🙏 #IEM https://t.co/JCaCtOvQYi pic.twitter.com/3Sj9p6se8X
— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) November 9, 2018
When the situation would look almost unwinnable for Liquid, they would suddenly wake up. Like a waking giant, Team Liquid would storm back from an 11-4 deficit. Led by a 30-bomb from star fragger Twistzz, the team would look rejuvenated as they would take Cache, and the momentum back from Team LDLC. This momentum would carry right into their last map, Mirage, as it wouldn’t be even close. The rest of the team would begin playing like the Team Liquid of old, and they would hop to a dominant 12-3 lead. LDLC just could not hold any defense against the firepower of Team Liquid once they got going. The French would manage to scrounge up one more win, but it would be Team Liquid advancing to the semifinals of IEM Chicago.
For Team LDLC, they can leave with their heads held high. For the majority of IEM Chicago, many analysts would underestimate them, and for good reason. They were undoubtedly the underdogs in many of their matches. However, they would beat out the odds and secure themselves a playoff berth at the tournament. They would even push Team Liquid to the brink, a team that many people were considering a favorite at IEM Chicago. Hopefully, they can continue their improvements and maybe they can reach further in the next tournament they are in.
As for Team Liquid, although they did show some weaknesses early, they would pick up their play later on in the match. Players like TACO would start off slow but would turn up the heat in the final map. They just need to stay consistent in their performances. If they are to ever play like this against any of the other teams in the playoffs, they wouldn’t let up as Team LDLC did. However, they will have the American crowd on their side against FaZe Clan, so that should help them a ton.
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