Team Liquid has defeated the French Vitality to not only win ESL One Cologne but also the elusive Intel Grand Slam. The best-of-five CSGO matchup went Team Liquid’s way as Vitality put up a fight but was only able to take one map. Meanwhile, the Americans sealed the deal with a 3-1 score in their favor.
Even though Vitality looked strong in their semi-final against Astralis, Team Liquid seemed like it was in a whole different league. Coming from a very solid semi-final where they blew out Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev and his Na’Vi 2-0, there simply was no way of stopping the blue American horse in the final of ESL One Cologne.
The show started on Overpass, a map that is typically known to be Liquid’s pick. After amounting a 9-6 lead in halftime on their terrorist side, the counter-terrorist side would show just how proficient Team Liquid is on this map. Vitality did not even get a round on their t-side, leading to a blowout score of 16-6 for the Americans. Everyone looked solid, with Russel “Twistzz” Van Dulken slightly leading the charge to get off to a phenomenal start.
Map two, Dust2, was an entirely different story. A very back and forth encounter emerged as Cédric “RpK” Guipouy and Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut cranked up the pressure on Vitality’s side. Vitality got the initial 14-12 lead, but they fell short to close things out as Liquid went up to 14-15. In the end, Vitality forced overtime, so a double-overtime performance was born. In the end, in a 1v3 situation, ZywOo won the map for his team, closing out the second overtime 19-17.
Inferno, map three, left ZywOo trying to drag his team to victory against Jake “Stewie2K” Yip and co. Team Liquid cranked up the heat as at the half, they amounted an 11-4 lead. Vitality caught up to 15-10, but one last round sealed the deal for Team Liquid as they grabbed their second map victory at 16-10.
The last, win-or-die map for Vitality was Mirage. It did not exactly go their way despite their being quite confident on the map looking at previous statistics. On their terrorist side, Vitality strung together seven rounds, but Liquid punched back with five in a row to close out the half 8-7 in their favor. On Team Liquid’s terrorist side, the dominance started to show prominently. We finally saw Keith “NAF” Markovic and Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski pull off some crazy plays to close out the match relatively quickly. A fantastic performance led to Team Liquid winning the map 16-8 and lifting the trophy at ESL One Cologne.
The victory at ESL One Cologne guaranteed the Americans $1,000,000. Last year, Astralis took home the prize after incidentally defeating Team Liquid.
The prize comes off of four straight tournament victories: Intel Extreme Masters Sydney, DreamHack Masters Dallas, ESL Pro League Season 9, and ESL One Cologne. Team Liquid could have taken home the prize if they found success at this year’s Katowice Major, where Astralis still reigned supreme.
What do you think of Team Liquid’s performance? Is this the era of Team Liquid or just a temporary stride of victory? Let us know down in the comments below, and as always follow us for all the latest news in the esports world.
I like to give out free AK-47 headshots in CS: GO, spend some quality time in the kitchen marinating a tender chicken breast and approximately 3 times a week I lift some relatively heavy metal stuff at the gym. Oh, and I also like to write about e-sports and everything related to gaming. Who knew one could have such contrasting interests?