Team Liquid will not be adding a major title to their resumes quite yet.
The North American squad lost to rivals Astralis 2-0 in the quarterfinals to the StarLadder Berlin Major. The loss ends their run in the event, landing them in 5th-8th place.
It’s also a victory that reestablishes Astralis as a strong candidate to win the event after a rocky stretch where they were unseated as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s best team.
Astralis surprise pick Vertigo
The first half of the map was on a knife’s edge with both teams offering up quality Counter-Strike to fans. Astralis would pull away to an early 7-4 lead, but Team Liquid revised its approach after a tactical pause to close the gap to 8-7 by halftime.
Astralis started the second half well, with their aggressive approach on the CT side allowing Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen to savage Liquid’s economy with multi-kill rounds. This created some distance between the two sides for the first time as Astralis pulled out to a 11-7 lead.
Astralis had clearly analyzed Team Liquid’s T-side on Vertigo and identified a weakness to being flanked. On Liquid’s next rifle round, they were obliterated by Emil “Magisk” Reif who put them into a pincer as they tried to push up the A-side ramp. This strategic victory, combined with Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz hitting his AWP shots, meant that Team Liquid were unable to get a foothold in the second half and lost the first map 16-8.
Astralis kick Liquid’s doors down
The first half of Overpass began fairly well for Team Liquid as they took a 4-0 lead, but Astralis made every win expensive. Two huge quadra-kills from Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander and Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen savaged their economy and allowed Astralis to take control.
Team Liquid were unable to break the Astralis economy until round 12 when they got Astralis to bite on a cheeky fake, finally forcing the Danes to eco. That swung the momentum and combined with an amazing clutch from Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski to create a 9-6 score at halftime for Team Liquid.
While Astralis brought some creative tactics to their Vertigo map pick, Liquid didn’t do the same on Overpass. Strong teamwork was accelerated by big rounds from Dev1ce and Magisk, which allowed Astralis to creep into the lead and crack Liquid’s psyche. Once the Danish team got out ahead, they choked Team Liquid out of the match and finished the series with a 16-13 win.
Astralis progress to the semifinals of the tournament to face NRG Esports.