Written By ArmandVanHelden - 2022-04-09
Here is the third representative of EMEA, Team Liquid. After FunPlus Phoenix’s unfortunate situation regarding international travel restrictions, TL got their ticket to Iceland to represent the region as they were the fourth team of VCT 2022 - EMEA - Stage 1 - Challengers - Main Event. We have seen surprising performances from them before and we might see more at VCT 2022 - Stage 1 - Masters Reykjavík!
After reaching the semi finals of VCT 2021 - VALORANT Champions 2021, Team Liquid dodged the qualifiers stage and went directly to VCT 2022 - EMEA - Stage 1 - Challengers - Main Event. They didn't have the best start to the tournament after getting swept by M3 Champions in their opening game in the big league. Despite losing both maps, Team Liquid showed resistance throughout the series and managed to grab more than a couple of rounds to show their potential. Secondly, they got their first win over Natus Vincere after three close maps. With Dom "soulcas" Sulcas stepping up, no one could have stopped them. Liquid got a winning streak by defeating OG LDN Utd in their third game of the groups. LDN Utd were the biggest surprises of the qualifiers but Elias "Jamppi" Olkkonen and his teammates didn’t make any huge mistakes and grabbed their second win. However, Team Liquid failed to keep their form up against FunPlus Phoenix as they got swept. Their last group game was against BIG, the lowest-seeded team in the group, and without any surprises, Liquid’s group stage run ended with another win. What was more important than seeing them get third place was that they have done this by trying many different strategies and agent selections. We have seen Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom with different agents, providing utility for his teammates and more. In the end, it worked for them as they advanced to the playoffs stage with three wins and two losses.
In the first round of the playoffs stage, Team Liquid took down G2 Esports after three maps. They showed supremacy throughout the series and even forced overtime on G2 Esports’ map pick, Icebox. However, Liquid failed to show their dominance over FunPlus Phoenix, getting their second loss against the CIS team in the tournament. FPX managed to sweep their opponent and send them to the lower bracket. Fortunately, Guild Esports’s efforts weren’t enough and Liquid reached the lower bracket semi finals after a 2-0 sweep. Guild Esports had great performances in the first half of the group stage but their performance decreased as their opponents got better and they failed to keep up with them. Liquid took advantage of that and executed their strategies perfectly, also with ScreaM’s great individual performance. Lastly, G2 Esports took revenge and demolished TL in two games, both ending 13-4. Liquid players failed to impress their fans, especially Elias "Jamppi" Olkkonen’s overall performance was below expected.
During VCT 2022 - EMEA - Stage 1 - Challengers - Main Event, Team Liquid’s most picked map was Split. The European team picked the map five times and grabbed three wins, even though two of those wins were against the underdogs of the group, LDN Utd and BIG. Interestingly, TL picked four different maps in their first four games. They have probably improved different strategies on different maps and we will see them execute those strategies on the battlefield.
Who else could have been the “player to watch” on this roster? Of course, the “one-tap god” has made it here by carrying his team even with agents like Sage and KAY/O. The ex-CS:GO player has been holding a 1.05 rating for the past two months and he is sitting at a solid 1.30 rating from the beginning of his career. The Belgian player had Jett three times in his hands in the past two months and held a 1.42 rating with the agent. Besides, he was a trusted last man standing as he was sitting at 25% 1vX clutch situations on top of the 300.33 ACS. We might see him with Jett again but it is hard to predict Team Liquid’s agent choices so anything is possible.
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