Liquid do the impossible, defeat Astralis in tournament final

Steven Rondina • January 22, 21:00

Team Liquid finally scored a finals win over archrival Astralis.

The American squad took the top prize at the iBUYPOWER Masters IV event, raking in a cool $100,000 and exacting a much-needed bit of revenge on the Danes after coming up short throughout 2018. It was a strong ending to what was an excellent showing by the team.

Liquid’s tournament kicked off with a strong group stage that saw it seal a playoff berth with victories over Luminosity Gaming and Ghost Gaming. From there, Liquid advanced with a 2-1 series win over Fnatic, besting the Swedes in convincing fashion on the final map and setting up a showdown with Astralis.

The grand finals started with an inauspicious showing for Liquid, as the Americans were smashed 16-4 on Inferno. From there, however, the team rallied on Dust2 to set up a climactic showdown on Overpass. After falling behind Astralis 9-2, Liquid took the lead by breaking off ten consecutive rounds. It sealed the deal not long after, clinching first-place at the tournament with a 16-11 score on the deciding map.

Though iBUYPOWER Masters IV wasn’t the biggest tournament, this is certainly a gratifying win for both Liquid and the team’s fans. Despite firmly establishing itself as an elite squad in 2018, Liquid’s year was largely defined by finals losses to Astralis. Team Liquid repeatedly ran into the Danes in tournament finals, never quite able to get over the challenge they represented.

The victory also made for a fine debut for newcomers Jacky “Stewie2K” Yip and Eric “adreN” Hoag, the latter serving as the team’s new coach.

Taking a first-place finish at the expense of one of the winningest teams in CS:GO history is the best way to kick off 2019 for Liquid, but the side won’t have much chance to revel in that victory. Team Liquid will soon be competing along with Astralis next month at the IEM Katowice major.

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