Today’s ESL Pro League season 14 quarterfinal series between Team Liquid and Heroic was seemingly done after the latter’s rifler, Ismail “refrezh” Ali, was left in a one-vs-five situation on Inferno, the last map of the series, with Liquid leading 15-14. Brazilian streamer Alexandre “Gaules” Borba even played the beginning of “Tema da vitória,” a classic Brazilian song for winning moments, to start celebrating the victory of Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo and crew.
But a Counter-Strike round is only over when all of the players on one side are dead and refrezh did the impossible. He kept his cool and dealt with every Liquid player one by one, ending the round with just three HP after he completed the ace clutch against Michael “Grim” Wince to keep his team alive in the competition and push the map to overtime.
Refrezh jumped out of his chair to celebrate his miraculous clutch with the rest of his team and Heroic’s captain Casper “cadiaN” Møller threw his chair to the ground and destroyed the backdrop in elation. Everyone watching from home could see they had all the momentum in the world going into overtime. Liquid knew they wasted their opportunity to win the game and Heroic steamrolled the extra rounds, taking three in a row and then closing out the series after losing only one.
The other maps in this series, Overpass (16-12 to Liquid) and Nuke (16-12 to Heroic), were great as well. This Inferno match, though, is one that will enter the Counter-Strike history books, especially refrezh’s play—an ace clutch worthy of earning an in-game graffiti if it had occurred at a Major.
This is a painful loss for Liquid, especially because FalleN almost killed refrezh at the beginning of the 30th round. But CS:GO fans wouldn’t have gotten to experience this magical moment if the Brazilian AWPer had landed the killing blow.
Moving forward, Heroic will face Natus Vincere, the best CS:GO team in the world, in the semifinals of ESL Pro League season 14 tomorrow at 12:15pm CT.