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Radu M. | 2. October 2022

Liquid and Vitality are about to meet in the Grand Final of ESL Pro League S16

It’s been a long time since we’ve had the opportunity to experience a CS:GO Grand Final of this nature. We’ve gotten used to teams like Natus Vincere and FaZe Clan winning every single tournament, and have forgotten what it’s like to cheer for a French or a North American squad.

Mathiew “ZywOo” Herbaut fully deserves this chance. But so does Nicholas “nitr0” Cannella. Less than a year after his return to CS:GO from Valorant, he is back to fighting for big trophies. He’s already won and lost many of them, but this one must feel special.

Esports, just like traditional sports, have a tendency to demand that you live in the moment and forget about the past. You’re only as good as your last tournament result. Or at least, that’s how you feel and that’s how the community sees it. So this Grand Final will be a huge moment for Team Liquid and Team Vitality.

After such an epic race, the disappointment of losing the final match is extremely painful. Every player knows this, but only one team can be the winner.

Liquid’s chances

Liquid started the tournament with modest results: 3 W – 2 L in the group stage. They lost against FURIA Esports and Eternal Fire and nearly got eliminated. But as soon as the playoffs began, Liquid transformed into a world-beating team. They won tough matches against Fnatic, MOUZ, and Cloud9.

All three opponents posed their own challenges but Keith “NAF” Markovic and his crew found the right solution each time. Now it’s time to face an even greater opponent. With only one day of analysis available, Liquid’s task looks extremely difficult. The match will be a best-of-five series, so their versatility will be thoroughly tested.

No doubt, Liquid will start this match as the underdogs.

Vitality’s chances

Vitality have had a flawless run so far. They finished the group stage with five consecutive wins, even though they had to play against Natus Vincere, Fnatic, Team Spirit, and Ninjas in Pyjamas.

Then, in the playoffs, they added two more world-class competitors to their list of defeated opponents: Outsiders and G2 Esports. In both cases, they won without losing a single map.

The battle against G2 in the semifinals was particularly important because G2, at the moment, are in the best shape we’ve seen them in a long time. The fact that Vitality won in just two maps against a team that finished the group stage with five consecutive victories is quite impressive and it’s a clear indicator that ZywOo will most likely win his first trophy in 2022 today.

Header: ESL