The second semi-final of ESL One Cologne brought us Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev‘s Na’Vi battling against the American powerhouse Team Liquid. Most were expecting a game comparable to that of the former semi-final of Vitality versus Astralis. That, unfortunately, was not the case. For the most part, Team Liquid dealt with Na’Vi relatively swiftly over the course of two maps in this best-of-three encounter.
Team Liquid deal with s1mple and Boombl4
Dust2, a pick by Na’Vi — which was perhaps questionable given Liquid’s winning history on that map — did not go their way whatsoever. Even though Na’Vi was trailing 9-6 at half-time and they got rolling quickly on their terrorist side after half switch, Team Liquid formed a solid defense on their counter-terrorist side. Russel “Twistzz” Van Dulken just had way too much fun and freedom against the oncoming waves of terrorists. Meanwhile, s1mple’s attempts at breaking the defense were not enough to make the Eastern Europeans catch up. And so, Team Liquid took Dust2 16-12.
Overpass, the pick of Team Liquid, saw a different beast enter the battlefield. The new member of Na’Vi, Kirill “Boombl4” Mikhailov, went absolutely rampant on ct-side of Overpass. This gave Na’Vi an initial lead of 9-6.
The lead was stretched to 12-6 before something clicked in Team Liquid. The Americans strung an impressive 10 rounds to go from a 6-12 deficit all the way to a 16-12 win. The t-side of Na’Vi looked helpless, and, however difficult it is to believe, so did s1mple. On the Liquid side, it was mostly Keith “NAF” Markovic and Jacky “Stewie2K” Yip that looked most impressive, despite a fantastic all-around effort from all the Americans.
And so, Team Liquid will face Vitality in the grand finale of ESL One Cologne in Lanxess Arena.
What did you think of Liquid’s performance? Will Na’Vi find their stride once more? Let us know down in the comments below! And remember to follow us for all the latest news in the esports world.