Cover Image Courtesy: Intel Extreme Masters
The Grand Finale of the IEM Chicago 2019 concluded today with Team Liquid walking away as the Champions, lifting the trophy in front of their home crowd who showed some mad support for the boys in blue.
Liquid defeated ENCE in the five-match series by taking the shortest possible route, a straight-up ‘3-0’. This is Liquid’s fifth win this year since their victory at IEM Sydney 2019, as they walk away with a cash prize of $125,000 USD along with declaring that NA was the better region amongst the two involved.
Team Liquid - Ruthlessly Dominant
Liquid started off on their home map, Overpass. Though they were expected on this particular map, no one had expected it to be a total beatdown for the Finnish side.
ENCE were successful in claiming the opening pistol round but after losing the next round to Liquid, it was all downhill for the Finns, who despite using an early timeout were not able to turn things around for themselves, crashing hard with the scoreboard reading ‘14-1’ in favour of Liquid at the halftime mark.
Despite claiming the second pistol round, they were in no position to make a comeback after having their morale destroyed by that heavily disappointing first half. Team Liquid wrapped it up in the following rounds to take a ‘16-2’ victory and take the lead in a five-game series.
Next up was Nuke, ENCE looked pumped and ready to come back into the series but they were in for a shock as Liquid once again ran away with the game in the first half itself. Securing 13 rounds, leaving ENCE high and dry.
It was a huge lead for the NA boys but it still seemed possible for ENCE to make a comeback as this particular map had previously seen a good amount of epic CT-sided comebacks. But the thought was dismissed as soon a Liquid won their first pistol round of the series, taking the game shortly by a score of ‘16-3’.
At this point ENCE were shattered, they had only managed to win a total of five rounds in two games, in the finals of a tournament. Walking in to face Liquid on their second pick Inferno, the expectations were at an all-time low.
For the third time, Liquid enjoyed a fantastic first half playing T-sided and securing a total of ten rounds for themselves. And though they did go on to win the second half by a score of ‘16-14’, ENCE put up a great last stand to steal a few bits of applause from everyone watching.
It was a terrible night for the Finns as they got absolutely wrecked by none other than the best team in the world, Liquid.
It was the duo of EliGE and Nitr0 who were on fire tonight, both of them lead the attack for Liquid attaining an overall HLTV rating of an insane 1.62 & 1.44, respectively. Even NAF & Twistzz were right behind their captain, with Stewie2K left to play catch-up.
Image Credit: HLTV
EliGE - Third times the charm
EliGE was nominated as the MVP for IEM Chicago 2019 as he finished with an overall rating of 1.41, his highest ever in a premier Counter-Strike LAN tournament, beating his earlier record of 1.30 from ELEAGUE Major Atlanta last year.
He has contributed the most to Liquid's recent success and that is a fact set in stone. It can be highlighted by the fact that he won the third MVP award of his career today with the first being won at DreamHack Masters Dallas 2019 followed by another at the ESL Pro League Season 9 - Finals, all part of the seven-event win streak that Liquid is on currently.
With this, NA seemed to have won the battle between the two best CS regions in the world. It is time for ENCE to get themselves in order and maybe reevaluate their strategy going ahead into the Berlin Major. Now there is only one thing left to be seen, will Liquid win their first-ever Counter-Strike Major in Berlin or not?