Team Liquid towered valiantly as they lifted the ESL One Cologne 2019 trophy defeating Team Vitality 3:1 at the LANXESS arena on German turf.
The prestigious victory at the Cathedral of Counter-Strike, where Liquid claimed the lion’s share of $300,000 and the title of ESL One Cologne 2019 also augmented the notion that they are definitively the world’s No. 1 team. Their commanding lead in the ESL CS:GO World Ranking, with over twice the points of second-placed Astralis, bolsters this argument even further.
The American/Canadian mix also wrote the next chapter of Counter-Strike history as they claimed not only the ESL One Cologne 2019 title, but also Season 2 of the Intel®️ Grand Slam, earning themselves a weighty $1,000,000 and their respective glistening gold bars. Team Liquid successfully completed 4 of 4 premier event wins back-to-back within 2019 claiming the golden shrine of the Intel®️ Grand Slam within 63 days. For contrast, it took Astralis 232 days with 4 victories within 7 competitions to confirm their Season 1 victory of the IGS.
The Turbulence of Team Liquid
Leveraging momentum from their three recent 1st place finishes at premier events during 2019, Team Liquid maintained formidable discipline and healthy attitudes. The cohesive squad surged past the world-class competition which possessed every Top 10 team in the world. Liquid won 10 of their 12 total maps during the tournament, only suffering single map losses to Natus Vincere (14:16 on Overpass) and Team Vitality (17:19 on Dust II) where they recovered and secured the series victories regardless.
To better shed light on the improvement Liquid have seen this year, let the numbers do the talking
Team Liquid’s statistics in 2019:
LAN: 75 wins of 102 matches (74%)
Big events: 55 wins of 73 matches (75%)
Major events: 4 wins of 6 matches (67%)
Pistol rounds on LAN: 102 wins of 204 pistol rounds (50%)
Team Liquid’s statistics in 2018:
LAN: 111 wins of 189 matches (59%)
Big events: 87 wins of 157 matches (55%)
Major events: 6 wins of 12 matches (50%)
Pistol rounds on LAN: 200 wins of 378 pistol rounds (53%)
The Viciousness of Vitality
Flourishing as the most prominent threat to the tyranny of Team Liquid, the French connection of Team Vitality attracted the attention of eyes around the world and with the clinic Vitality brought to the table, the spotlight was seemingly stuck on young rising star ZywOo who deservingly earned the HLTV.org MVP medal in Cologne. Lead by NBK-, Vitality eviscerated the lower bracket after losing their opening matchup to Ninjas In Pyjamas 10:16. The French performed well under pressure winning 11 of 17 (65%) total maps whilst dropping 48% of total rounds.
Although ZywOo garnered the most engagement, Vitality’s IGL “ALEX” flourished on the world stage as the 2nd Brit to have ever competed in the Grand Finals of ESL One Cologne. Many criticised Vitality for simply being carried by ZywOo, however, statistics and frags don’t depict the whole story regarding the squad’s contribution.
With Liquid binding their page in the history of modern Counter-Strike, the competitive landscape trembles as the American/Canadian side stride from tournament to tournament. Both Team Liquid and Team Vitality will set their sights to IEM Chicago where 8 top class squads compete for $250,000 at the United Center in Chicago. Be sure to check out the event information and secure your tickets here.