Spanish CS rides into the history books: Movistar Riders defeat Team Liquid in IEM Cologne quarterfinals

Movistar Riders are carrying their country's flag high.

Photo by Helena Kristiansson via ESL Gaming

Today marked the first day an all-Spanish CS:GO lineup played at the LANXESS Arena, the Cathedral of Counter-Strike and stage of the IEM Cologne playoffs, and it couldn’t haven’t gone much better for the Spaniards. Movistar Riders eliminated Team Liquid in the quarterfinals of IEM Cologne, and kept their Cinderella run alive.

Movistar Riders made quick work out of Liquid on Ancient (16-9) off the back of a convincing 11-4 CT side in the first half. The action moved to Inferno, the Spaniards’ map pick, putting the pressure on Liquid’s shoulders. While it wasn’t clean, and the map could have gone either way, the North Americans clinched a 16-14 victory thanks to YEKINDAR’s triple kill in the 30th and last round of regulation.

The final map of the series was Vertigo, and Movistar Riders enjoyed a great CT side once again, posting a 10-5 advantage. Liquid showed signs that they would pull off a comeback and complete the reverse sweep, but ultimately, it was the Spanish side who prevailed 16-12 after they won a crucial round in the second half on just a half buy, which put Liquid’s economy in jeopardy for the rest of the map.

Best player in the series

The MVP of Movistar Riders vs. Liquid was clearly Spanish AWPer SunPayus. The 23-year-old had a massive impact throughout all three maps, finishing with 71 frags and just 46 deaths. He delivered his best performance on Ancient, where he managed a 27-10 K/D and 113.8 ADR.

After the game was over, SunPayus let the world know that he’s not scared of FaZe, one of the best CS:GO teams in the world and PGL Antwerp Major winners. “I want to say to FaZe [to] be careful,” SunPayus said to IEM Cologne’s stage reporter James Banks.

The semifinals of IEM Cologne

The action in the Cathedral of Counter-Strike will resume tomorrow at 8:30am CT with Natus Vincere vs. Astralis. The second game, FaZe and Movistar Riders, will kick off at 12pm CT if there are no delays.