Team Liquid finally took home a Tier-1 trophy at IEM Sydney, but have they broke their finals curse?
For a long time, Team Liquid shone during group stages and in matches that ended up meaning almost nothing simply because they often failed in Grand Finals. Due to this, the squad had a tendency to “throw” many key games, simply forfeiting playoff matches and allowing their opponents to either win outright or pull off a reverse sweep. The final of IEM Sydney didn’t go smoothly for Liquid, but that difficulty was the best way to make them stronger mentally.
But there’s one problem. A single win, even at such a large tournament, might bring changes in mentality, but also it might mean nothing.
Let’s take a look at some recent tournaments in which Liquid participated.
Fact #1: Liquid won only 3 out of 10 last finals
Liquid have won 3 out of 10 finals if we include their most recent trophy at IEM Sydney. The Boys in Blue rotated and transferred out players several times, lost zews to MIBR, and still, nothing really helped their penchant for choking when it really mattered.
There are two perfect examples of this happening to TL:
- FACEIT London Major, Liquid looked incredibly strong the group stage. Unfortunately,they lose to Astralis in the group stage. That said, Astralis were untouchable in London, but a reminder: Liquid defeated the Danes in the group stage.
- At ESL One New York, Liquid progressed easily to the final. They led the series against Mousesports 2:0 in a best-of-five and then it seemed as though they forgot how to play Counterstrike. Mousesports won 3:2.
Fact #2: Groundhog Day
And this is the reason why win in Sydney might mean nothing for Liquid. Liquid has had these big cycles that last few months: TL win 1 tournament without top teams, followed by a string of consistent losses in the following events.
- Liquid won cs_summit2. While cs_summit is usually more like a party than a real tournament, they won it nonetheless. Next up, though, Liquid lost badly in the semifinal of Katowice, then lost to NRG at IBP Spring 2018, and then lost to… oh yes, Gambit in Marseille and booked a 9th-12th place.
- During the summer of 2018, Liquid played decently but lost three Grand Finals vs. Astralis. After that, fans saw their rough runs at the London Major and ESL One New York.
- In November, Liquid won SuperNova Malta, but over the next few months, they showed nothing that impressed in Katowice playoffs.
Now, Liquid have won IEM Sydney. Imagine where this goes from here. There will always be an asterisk next to this win since neither Na`Vi or Astralis were in attendance. Though Liquid stood their ground and showed patience and character in their IEM Sydney run, we can only hope that recent win will affect them positively. But it won’t be a surprise if the Team Liquid cycle continues.
We will get the answer soon, in next three tournaments: Dreamhack Masters Dallas, finals of EPL S9 and BLAST Pro Series LA.
Images VIA: Blast Pro Series