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Radu M. | 23. September 2022

Liquid suffer their first defeat in ESL Pro League S16

It seems that Team Liquid’s tough match against Movistar Riders on the first day of group D of ESL Pro League Season 16 was a good indicator of what would happen in their fight against FURIA Esports, a team that defeated Riders with relative ease on day two.

It’s a bit too early to tell if Liquid aren’t as strong as we hoped or if FURIA are simply very strong these days. For a top-3 team to lose against an opponent that’s ranked 13th globally is a bit unusual. And it also suggests that Liquid might lose against Cloud9 too. Because so far, they’ve been the strongest in group D.

What happened between Liquid and FURIA

The main reason why Liquid lost against FURIA was Kaike “KSCERATO” Cerato. His performance was superb and he ended the match with a K-D score of +21, by far the highest on the server. Meanwhile, one of Liquid’s most important players (Nick “nitr0” Cannella) finished with a score of -15.

The poor performance was caused in part by FURIA’s decision to utilize tactics that put serious pressure on him and his side of the map. Against the Brazilian team’s surprising playstyle, Liquid had no answer.

Three maps were played in total and all three of them were stomps. The first (Mirage) was won by FURIA with a score of 16-10, even though it represented Liquid’s pick.

On the second one, Liquid played with a lot of determination and didn’t give FURIA a chance. The final score was 7-16 and the best player on the server was Keith “NAF” Markovic, who finished with a rating 2.0 of 1.70 and a K-D score of 23-8.

The third map, Vertigo, was supposed to be challenging for both sides because their records on it were very similar. What happened was the exact opposite. FURIA won with a score of 16-4 and practically annihilated Liquid in the first half.

Liquid’s next match

If Liquid win their match against Eternal Fire, and they should, their qualification for the playoffs is pretty much guaranteed regardless of what happens in the last match of the group stage. But if they lose, their odds of qualifying are low because they probably can’t beat Cloud9 in their current form.

Another way in which Liquid could secure their qualification spot ahead of the fifth match of the group would be for Evil Geniuses to lose against Movistar Riders. That would instantly mean that Liquid might even advance with just two victories, the same way Natus Vincere did.

Header: Team Liquid