Within two weeks of wearing the team jersey, SK Gaming’s new roster has won their first major trophy after they picked Team Liquid apart by 2-0 for victory ESL Cologne.
In the grand final held at the Lanxess Arena, both teams opened on de_train and fought to a stalemate in the first half. Both teams had great shots as well as stunning clutches, before SK went into the break by 8 to 7. But lack in concentration or skill on Liquid’s part allowed the Brazilians to walk all over their opponents by half time, earning the latter a stomping win of the map by 16 to 7.
The same thing seemed to happen in the second map, de_cobblestone. Team Liquid won the pistol round, and both teams fought equally before SK suddenly closes it down by 10 to 5 by half-time. After the break, Liquid were able to only win one more round before SK hunted them down in six other rounds, closing the round, series and match and winning the title.
The unquestionable star in the series was SK’s Marcelo “coldzera” David; he went 44-20 in kill-death ratio and averaged a HLTV rating of 1.58, a whole 0.64 more than Team Liquid’s top performer Josh “jdm64” Marzano, who had a total of 29-35 in kills/deaths.
Earlier this year, the players had already won the previous Counter Strike: Global Offensive major event as Luminosity Gaming, after they came up on top against Natus Vincere in MLG Columbus. It was almost unimaginable for the team to not win here in Cologne, but that does not quite dull Team Liquid’s achievement.
The North American team had to play with a backup roster after their most recent signing Jacob “pimp” Winneche was ruled ineligible. They promptly brought in controversial former superstar Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev as a stand-in for the duration of the even.
However, they managed to claw their way into the finals, beating the likes of mouseports, Na’ Vi and even Fnatic. It was, in fact, a considerable disappointment that they succumbed to SK after becoming the first ever North American team to become the grand finalists of a Major.
But as every sport goes, with the right tactics and teamwork, any team can bounce back; and should Team Liquid be able keep up (and improve) their performances, sooner or later they could look forward to a major trophy.