In their biggest tournament appearance since acquiring Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo, Team Liquid have assured themselves a playoff spot at the Intel Extreme Masters CS:GO World Championships.
This comes after a 2-1 series victory against Team Vitality today in which Liquid found themselves down one map to start after a heartbreaking 19-16 OT loss on Nuke. FalleN's AWP was the key to a Liquid victory on map two, Vertigo. Fourteen of his 22 kills came with the sniper rifle and his 22 frags led all players on the server.
The series was sent to a pivotal third map on Mirage, where Liquid risked squandering a 10-5 halftime lead. Vitality came out swinging on their T-side with seven of the first eight rounds of the second half, taking a 12-11 lead. But Liquid hit the emergency button in the form of Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski, who notched 10 kills across five-straight rounds for his team to push them over the edge, 16-12.
Liquid have yet to lose a series during their IEM Katowice run. After beating MIBR in a best-of-one, they've now won best-of-three series against OG, FaZe, and Vitality. Their swift 2-0 against FaZe likely felt good for Liquid after losing to their former teammate Russel "Twistzz" Van Dulken and his new team twice in the BLAST Spring groups. Both of those losses were in a 2-0 fashion.
Liquid have secured one of six playoff spots at IEM Katowice and could secure a bye to the semifinals with a win over either Na'Vi or FURIA. Vitality, on the other hand, fall to the lower bracket and now have to beat a dangerous Virtus Pro team and then win another series to make the playoffs.