Liquid has defeated G2 3-1 in a Best of five series right on the Frenchmen’s homeland soil. With their triumph in ESL Pro League Season 9 – Finals, Liquid took home $250,000 in prize money.

Team Liquid Esl 01
$250,000 in the bag for the North Americans

This is the third trophy in the Grand Slam series for Liquid this year. They have won Intel Extreme Masters XIV – Sydney and DreamHack Masters Dallas 2019.

Liquid has won 3 out of 4 S-tier events hosted by ESL or DreamHack Master.

6 tickets ahead

If nothing gets in the way, Liquid have 6 remaining attempts at the most luxurious title in CS:GO. Last year, Astralis won the title after winning ESL Pro League Season 8 – Finals against Team Liquid. Astralis was the first team to ever win the title ever since its release in 2018.

This year, Liquid have managed to pull off 3 S-tier events in a row to come real close to the title. Meanwhile, Astralis had to settle for their only IEM Katowice Major victory with $1,000,000 prize pool.

Team Liquid Esl 02
The luxurious prize awaits whoever makes 4 out of 10 events first

This was due to a time of inactivity by Astralis during which Team Liquid got their schedules stuffed with tournaments. They went on to win Dreamhack Master Dallas 2019 and carried on their decent performance since then.

Unlike last times where Liquid won the tournament in the absence of Astralis, ESL Pro League Season 9 turned out to be a really good showing the for North America. They finally defeated their archrival, Astralis in the playoff to punch their way until the grand final.

A great event for the North Americans

In the event, they put up a great performance, showing no real weakness for other teams to exploit. Though they had to ban Train most of the times, all of their 6 remaining maps were extremely well-rounded.

On their way to the grand final, they only lost Overpass against Astralis thanks to the stellar performance of Magisk, boasting a 1.65 rating.

The shining moment of Magisk

There were situations where they got the match really close, especially on Nuke against mousesports. With woxic scoring a 1.71 rating, the North American got quite a hard time to close out the map in overtime.

woxic's insane 1V2 clutch to get mousesports another chance

Also, the last map against G2 turned out really nail-biting. They had to force overtime with the shining moment of Twistzz in a 1V3 clutch in the crucial situation where they were down 14-15.

Twistzz's 1V3 clutch to bring it to overtime for Liquid

Team Liquid finally made it, they have defeated the former #1 team in the world and went on to win the whole tournament. They have asserted their #1 position in the world of CS:GO

The MVP

With the victory for the team, Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski also scooped the MVP trophy for himself by putting up a stable performance over the world tournament, averaging a 1.29 rating.

The only real contender for the MVP title at the event was  Kenny "kennyS" Schrub. However, the grand final victory determined the real MVP with EliGE putting up 1.23 rating over 4 maps.

Team Liquid Esl 03
Another MVP title for the most consistent performer in Liquid

After the successful match, EliGE could confidently assert “we're 100% the best team in the world”. They indeed are now. The young and energetic squad proved themselves well enough to deserve #1 team title.

What an eventful tournament

All in all, the tournament was quite satisfactory to watch with so many teams stepping up.

G2 have been in a slump for quite a while when their compatriots - Vitality - went everywhere to perform in top-level Counter-Strike.

The Baguette coming back?

Now that they have made quite a comeback, the Frenchmen finally got their hopes up for the two teams competing at the highest level of CS once again.

Team Liquid Esl 04
Though failed to win the tournament, G2 showed the world what they were capable of

This feels so nostalgic, just like in 2014 2015 where Team LDLC.com and Titans or French ENVYUS were competing at the top level of this very game.

Semi-final curse for the #2 in North America?

The event also marks the unceasing rise of the #2 team in North America, NRG Esports. Ever since the addition of tarik, NRG looked solid as a team. They put up a great performance against top teams in big tournament, mostly made their ways to playoffs in every event recently.

Team Liquid Esl 05
NRG performed well, exceeding expectations from everyone

However, tarik and Co. seemed to get into a curse in the semi-final, where they would eventually fall to whichever team got there. They never reached the grand final despite great effort putting into each match. This could be explained by the rise of other teams as well. Regardless, the team has good potential to stay at top level Counter-Strike competitions.

mousesports back in the top 10 with a new roster

The young squad as just formed recently with the addition of 3 new player. Mousesports was once listed among the top 5, just a bit lower than FaZe and Na`Vi.

However, their lineup fell apart in the early of 2019 following a disappointing run in the Minor leading to IEM Katowice Major. They would then bring in 2 young talents frozen, woxic and the Danish IGL karrigan from FaZe.

Team Liquid Esl 06
woxic put up a stellar performance on Nuke but could not win the game for mousesports

The team quickly built up their performance in the following months against top teams like MIBR and BIG in IEM Sydney 2019. In this very tournament, mousesports defeated MIBR handily 16-8 and swept FaZe 2-0.

Against Liquid, they put up a great performance on Nuke to bring it to overtime from the first half 2-13. woxic’s stellar performance alone could not win them the match as mousesports stopped their run at semi-final.

FaZe looks shaky with their poor map pool

FaZe displayed a good performance in initial matches against TyLoo and North. However, against more well-rounded teams like mousesports and G2, they got a real problem with map pool. In both matchups, they had to play Train against these 2 teams, which is their best map.

Team Liquid Esl 07
FaZe need to work on their map pool really quick to compete in high level of CS:GO again

Obviously, FaZe lost in the map pick of their opponents. However, the map picks for FaZe were questionable where FaZe decided to gamble on Vertigo against mousesports and Dust 2 against G2. They got a crushing defeat as a result.

NiKo expected them to make a deep run but failed to. He would then realize the problem with the team and will fix it before the next tournament coming up.

Astralis dethroned and no longer invincible

Astralis came to the tournament with a dominant performance over Cloud9 and Heroic. However, against more established and well-rounded teams like NRG and Liquid, they struggled hard in the map pool just like FaZe.

In the match against NRG, Astralis let Train slipped and lost to NRG in the first game. Their Nuke pick was good but Astralis was questionable in the third map where they decided to remove Overpass instead of Dust 2. The Danes had to pay it at the price of facing Team Liquid in the quarter-final.

Team Liquid Esl 08
Astralis need to work up something new to claim back their throne

Later on, in the match against Team Liquid, the map pool looked so bad for Astralis where they felt uncomfortable with Nuke after losing it too much and went for Inferno instead. That was the grave mistake for Astralis because Liquid were really good on it.

The last map was Vertigo which turned out to be a really good map for the North American. With shining performance from EliGe and stewie2k, Astralis had to accept defeat.