While question marks were still placed around Team Liquid’s status as the best team in the world several weeks ago, it seems those who wish to devalue the team’s title are waning.
Liquid overthrew Astralis and the Danish hold on the top spot in Counter-Strike in such a way that many gave more credit to Astralis’ inactivity than to Liquids own improvement. While that may have been a valid thought a while back, Liquid have shown this isn’t the case and even Astralis’ own players have accepted it.
Liquid most recently took home the trophy at the ESL Pro League season 9 finals and the path to victory wasn’t an easy one. Liquid dispatched Tyloo, HellRaisers, MIBR, Astralis, mousesports, and G2 in order to hoist the trophy. That victory puts the North American side just one event away from an extra $1 million thanks to the Intel Grand Slam.
Prior to the team’s victory at the season 9 finals, Liquid took home the trophy at DreamHack Masters Dallas 2019, finished runner-up at cs_summit 4, and won IEM Sydney 2019. A great start to 2019 is an understatement.
Grabbing the top spot is monumental, however, the next and often times harder part is keeping a grip on it. Establishing an era is next on the list for Liquid and they’ll get the opportunity to cement such a move soon. ESL One Cologne is just days away and is followed by the StarLadder Major in Berlin shortly after.
A victory at ESL One Cologne will put Liquid on the cusp of an era at the very least and if they managed to follow it up with a Major victory, it would be one for the history books joining Cloud9 as the only other North American Major winner.
Liquid has an opportunity and looks poised to claim it. Their main threats remain the same and recent results tell us they can handle them. The Cathedral of Counter-Strike and Majors bring out a whole different breed of play, however, and if Liquid doesn’t show us their best Counter-Strike they may find themselves dethroned at the gate to an era.