Liquid are through to the upper bracket semi-finals of cs_summit 8 following a 2-1 series win against EXTREMUM, a match in which the North American roster initially looked like a revitalized side from their first two showings against Extra Salt and Bad News Bears, but failed to close out a dominant lead on Mirage and needed a Vertigo decider to edge out the victory.
“Calling on this team has been a bit of a test,” Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo stated in an interview after the match. The Brazilian also said that Liquid already had a good structure when he arrived on the team, and pointed towards Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski and Jake “Stewie2K” Yip often taking the initiative to call and make plays in rounds.
“We might try and have Stewie back [to calling] just because it’s gonna be easier for me,” FalleN went on to say, explaining that the team had protocols and rules he had not thought of deeply prior to joining them. He also revealed that Stewie2K had been in-game leading with his help in their last series, and stated that Eric “adreN” Hoag was brought on to help evolve some gaps that may exist as a result of the change so the team can reach the next level.
Although EXTREMUM got a head start on their pick, Inferno, their lead quickly dwindled as Stewie2K came to life on the secondary AWP for his side. The initial 1-5 deficit was nowhere in Liquid‘s minds as their demeanor bore a stark difference to their earlier matches, where they had struggled to close out early leads, with smiles all around on the player cams as they conceded just two additional rounds en route to a map win.
Liquid‘s good spirits continued into Mirage, where they opened the proceedings with another one-sided scoreline, heading up an 11-4 lead at the break. However, a resurgence from EXTREMUM and an entirely uninspired defense from Liquid led to the Oceanic side claiming match point first, and although Liquid were able to fight into overtime, AZR‘s men were able to even the series score by edging out a map win.
A similar scenario seemed set to unfold on Vertigo, where EliGE hit his stride in a 10-5 opening half for Liquid before a comeback from EXTREMUM got underway, with Hansel “BnTeT” Ferdinand leading the way to tie the scoreline at 12-12. Multi-kill rounds from EliGE finally put a halt to EXTREMUM‘s efforts, allowing Liquid four final rounds to take the series.
The double-elimination playoff bracket looks as follows:
Wednesday, May 26 (Upper Bracket)
Thursday, May 27 (Lower Bracket)