Team Liquid have secured their seventh title of the year after defeating ENCE in the final of IEM Chicago
Team Liquid have secured their seventh title of the year after defeating ENCE in the final of IEM Chicago. Read on as we recap one of the most dominant showings we have seen all year.
Team Liquid have defeated ENCE in the final of IEM Chicago, claiming their seventh title of the year. The North American side has been dominant all throughout 2019 and this tournament was no exception. The opening match against Envy was a shutout with Liquid defeating their North American counterparts 16–1 and 16–4 to advance to the winners match against G2. The French side proved to be Team Liquid’s biggest challenge of the tournament, as they were able to shock Team Liquid on Dust2. However, Team Liquid were able to come back strong with a win of their own on Overpass and they eventually closed out the series in comfortable fashion on Inferno to advance to the semi-finals.
Vitality faced far more difficulties in Group B, losing their opening match against Danish team Heroic. The loss meant that Liquid and Vitality, the two favorites for the title, would face off in the semi-finals. Team Liquid lost to Vitality in the final of cs_summit 4 earlier in the year, but they answered straight back by winning against the French side at ESL Cologne. This match would not be any different, as Team Liquid was able to make short work of the French team, closing out the series 2–0 after comfortable wins on Dust2 and Overpass.
On the other side of the bracket, ENCE were able to beat MIBR who had surprisingly made it to playoffs despite playing with their coach zews, after their star player coldzera had requested to be transfer listed earlier in the month. The Finns were able to put up a fight against Team Liquid in the final of DreamHack Dallas last month, however, this was a different story altogether as Team Liquid absolutely annihilated ENCE 16–2 and 16–3 on both Dust2 and Overpass to put them at match point in the best-of-five series. ENCE were able to make things closer on Inferno after mounting a comeback on their T-side. However, the Finns came up just short as Team Liquid were able to close out the map 16–14 in regulation to win their fifth consecutive title.
This was a dominant tournament victory from Team Liquid and they made things look easy. However, there was one team that was able to test the North American side and that was G2. Much like Liquid, G2 has an abundance of skill on their roster and we saw a great display of individual skill in this match, with excellent performances from the likes of EliGE, shox and kennyS. Both Dust2 and Overpass were close affairs, with both sides picking up a map win after mirrored 16–13 victories. It looked like Team Liquid would win Inferno in dominant fashion, however, the French team was able to mount a comeback after being down 12–0. In the end, Team Liquid proved to be too strong for G2, but this was a superb match to watch with great clutches and montage worthy highlights from both sides.
If there is one player that stands above the rest right now, it is EliGE. The American has been on fire throughout 2019, with MVP performances at DreamHack Masters Dallas, ESL Pro League Finals, ESL One Cologne and now IEM Chicago. EliGE’s impact on the server has been immense for Liquid and we have become accustomed to seeing stunning multi-kills on a regular basis from EliGE. His aggressive style of play has been a key to Liquid’s success and it seems as if he has benefitted greatly from Stewie2k’s addition to the team, as they both form a deadly entry duo. EliGE consistently leads the chart in ADR (Average Damage / Round) and this tournament was no exception, as he led all players with 93.9 ADR. Many thought that EliGE would have a drop off in performance with the recent changes made to the AUG, but he has proven that he is able to perform just as well without his favorite scoped rifles.
Team Liquid proved that they deserved to be big favorites, taking it down at odds of 1.60. However, there was more money to be made in other markets. Believers in ENCE cashed in at roughly twice that number in the Top 2 market. There were also big upsets in the group stage despite the best-of-three format and those who believed in MIBR, in particular, was able to cash in big this weekend.