Team Liquid took down G2 in this year’s ESL Pro League Season 9 Finals capping off their third major title since May. The highly anticipated ESL Pro League Season 9 Finals took place in Montpellier in France between the 18th and 23rd of June seeing a total of 16 teams battle it out to get their share of this year’s prize pool of over $600,000. Team Liquid proved their class once again claiming the top prize of $250,000 after defeating the resurrected G2 3 – 1 in the Bo5 Grand Finale.

On their way to the Grand Finale Team Liquid were forced to ‘use the backdoor’ after a surprising 16 – 13 loss against North in the early group stages. This result saw them facing elimination in a sudden-death gauntlet run, and facing TYLOO in the lower bracket round 1 stages where they picked up an easy 2 – 0 win. They progressed on to the next round and faced off against HellRaisers picking up a hard-earned 2 – 1 win and a game in the third round of the lower bracket against MiBR which finished with a more comfortable 2 – 0 scoreline, paving the way to the playoffs and ultimately, victory for the new best team in the world, Team Liquid.

After earning their spot in the playoff stages Team Liquid found themselves paired with tournament favourites Astralis where the North American team were able to battle it out and secure a 2 – 1 victory and a semi final spot against Mousesports. Having knocked out the clear-favourites, Team Liquid were spurned on and achieved an easy 2 – 0 win against the German powerhouse. This left them facing off against the French G2 in the Grand Finale. And despite home-field advantage the French team could not stop the eventual champions proving their worth; displaying the same good form that has accompanied them in recent months and smashing out a 3 – 1 win in the Bo5 final game in this year’s ESL Pro League Season 9 finals.

G2’s path to the Grand Finale saw them victorious in their first group stage game against Grayhound. In the upper bracket round 2 game they faced off against NRG ultimately losing 2 – 1 in the Bo3 game. This left them in the lower bracket round 2 and facing off against North American Esports giant Cloud9. However after seeing off C9 with a comfortable 2 – 0 win G2 found themselves the villains facing off against Heroic in the lower bracket round 3 game. They achieved another 2 – 0 victory in this round and their paths to the playoff rounds was secured.

G2’s first playoff game saw them take on in-form team FaZe, and resulted in their third 2 – 0 victory in a row. This earned G2 a rematch and a chance for revenge against NRG in the semi-finals; they successfully secured a 2 – 1 victory and a minimum prize of $80,000 as runners up in this highly-anticipated CS:GO event.

Ultimately it was Team Liquid’s execution that helped them defeat G2 in what turned out to be a ‘game of throws’ in the Grand Finale. After multiple overtime rounds and mistakes on both sides, some back-and-forth form, TL were able to hang on and claim their ultimate victory. According to TL rifler Stewie2k “G2 definitely played well, but it was a game of throws, and there were lots of mistakes, but that happens a lot in best-of-five series”. “The series went pretty far, and went pretty long, especially the last map. We were able to capitalise, and adapt, and then Twist was able to save us near the end with a lot of clutches. It’s never going to be easy with that many overtimes”. 

Team Liquid will need to show better form than they did in the ESL Pro League Season 9 finals according to Stewie2k. Their 3 – 1 finale win was fraught with mistakes, slip-ups and chances to fall short, something they need to keep working on if they are to remain the world’s no.1 CS:GO team. “We were the better team, and they’re [G2] the underdogs, so as the best team in the world we have to minimize those mistakes, and we’re going to come back stronger from them”.

What’s next for Team Liquid? The Intel Grand Slam Season 2 challenge is coming up in Cologne in early July. This massive CS:GO event will see 16 teams compete at the Lanxess-Arena for their share of a $300,000 prize-pool. Can TL make it a Grand Slam four-peat? CS:GO fans are going to have to wait and see. Having won 4 of the 10 major CS:GO events of 2019 so far TL now have earned themselves a massive chance at the $1,000,000 pay packet for the team who wins 4/10 ESL, DreamHack or IEM tournaments. TL now have six remaining chances to achieve this title glory. Can they match Astralis’ form of last year who achieved the grand slam prize after winning in Marseille, Chicago, Dallas and Odense last year? Let us know what you think.
If you want to see some highlights from this year’s ESL Pro League Season 9 finals check out these videos: Stewie2k vs Astralis, Twistzz vs MiBR, TACO vs Luminosity & gla1ve vs Heroic. For some less relevant Rocket League news, read about Victorious Vitality who just managed to take down the Rocket League Championship Series Season 7.