Team Liquid faced the resurrected G2 in the ESL Pro League Season 9 Finals in Montpellier. Hopes were high for the French G2 to win on home turf, and they did put up quite the show in France. It was not enough, however, to overcome the current #1 team in the world.
Dust2 goes back and forth
The opening map of the bo5 encounter took the finalists to Dust2. It looked like G2 would make this map their own after getting an initial lead of 7-1 on their counter-terrorist side. That was not the case, though! Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski and co. finally woke up and brought the half to 8-7 for the Frenchmen. The second half showed counter-terrorists also having a good time, this time masked as Team Liquid players. The American side brought things dangerously close to 14-9 in their favor. Things were looking bleak for G2. Kenny “kennyS” Schrub, however, would step up with his AWPing and force overtime.
Team Liquid quickly dealt with overtime as things ended 19-15. G2 couldn’t even put up one round on the boards. The French side failed to cope with a stellar performance from EliGE, who got 32 frags on the map. Meanwhile, Richard “shox” Papillon was perhaps the missing element from a victory on Dust2 for his side.
Team Liquid show expertise on Overpass
Team Liquid has shown just how dangerous they can be on Overpass. Despite G2 securing the initial two rounds on their ct-side, the rest of the match was a pure disaster for them. When the American side got hold of rifles, G2 looked helpless on all sides of the map. Things had flipped upside down for them, as this time kennyS had a hard time in opening battles, winning only one of seven and bottom fragging for his side. However, shox was the only body fighting, ending the match with 17 frags.
Team Liquid ended the half at a 12-3 scoreline in their favor. The second half started in their favor yet again, with Russel “Twistzz” Van Dulken getting a 3k in the pistol, continuing the mojo. G2 looked helpless in entering bombsites, so Liquid had an easy time on ct-side. They closed out Overpass in dominant fashion, 16-3.
It’s hard to pinpoint who was the most impressive player, as everyone was doing their part expertly. Nicholas “nitr0” Cannella had a fun time AWPing and being statistically the most impactful player. In the end, though, it was a team effort that really shined.
G2 retaliate on Nuke
Nuke finally brought kennyS back to business, and alongside him were his teammates. Starting off on t-side, G2 showed some teeth by relentlessly entering bombsites and messing with their opponent’s head by using some unorthodox methods for things to go their way. Team Liquid, however, held their ground by getting a few scattered rounds and the final three to make a scoreline of 7-8, ending with a powerful 3k by EliGE.
The second half led to an upset in the making, as the Americans clinched the initial two rounds, including the pistol, before G2 got two of their own on the defense. Hope was slowly decaying as kennyS’s outstanding outside holds combined with a fantastic rifling effort brought mostly by François “AmaNEk” Delaunay and Audric “JaCkz” Jug. It all proved too much for the Team Liquid terrorist side. In the end, the Nuke went in favor of G2, 16-12.
All hell breaks loose on Inferno
Inferno is known for being a hectic match. One example that comes to mind is last year’s Cloud9 victory at the Boston ELEAGUE Major against FaZe, where Cloud9 finally clinched a victory after a crazy match. This time around, it was no different.
The first half was an extremely back and forth match; neither team could pull away. Fantastic retakes from Team Liquid as well as great site entry denials were key for them to barely snatch the half at 8-7. The second half saw G2 grab the first two rounds, including the pistol. Finally, we saw shox get some action. He was joined by kennyS, who once again gave a great showing of his insane AWPing skills. Team Liquid eventually pulled away to 13-10, but their attack crumbled after a series of amazing banana and apps holds. It all led to G2 going to 15-14, needing 1 point to square things up at 2-2 in series. Unfortunately, Twistzz had other plans. In a 1v2 situation, he somehow managed to plant the bomb and defend b-site too, forcing overtime.
Overtime was, yet again, hectic. Neither team wanted to let go, and amazing clutch situations erupted. For example, check out this one by shox, who managed to get a last-second defuse at the second overtime at 20-20.
In the end, however, shox and kennyS’s performances were not enough. The trio of Jake “Stewie2K” Yip, Twistzz, and EliGE just proved too much for the French side. Team Liquid pulled ahead to close things out at 25:22.
In the end, Team Liquid defeated G2 3-1 in maps to lift the ESL Pro League Season 9 trophy. They are just one more victory away from winning the Intel Grand Slam.
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