Team Liquid and Astralis have won all of their matches so far at ESL One Cologne. They’ll move directly to the semifinals of the tournament after winning against NRG and Ninjas in Pyjamas, respectively, today.
Liquid are the best team in the world at the moment and they’re on their way to winning a fourth-consecutive major tournament. They defeated MVP PK and Natus Vincere in the early stages of the competition.
Today they played an American derby against NRG, the second-best North American team. The first map was Nuke, NRG’s pick. Perhaps it wasn’t a wise choice, though, since Liquid are one of the best teams on it. Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski led the way with 25 kills and largely contributed to Liquid’s 16-12 win.
The second game was much more intense. Liquid chose Inferno, a map that consistently delivers good matches. Liquid were up 8-1 in the first half, but NRG suddenly started to hit their shots, especially on the T-side, and forced Liquid to pursue a comeback as the game was 15-13 in NRG’s favor. Liquid claimed the series after the second overtime, winning 22-20. EliGE once again was Liquid’s best player and finished with 35 kills.
Astralis faced NiP right after Liquid’s victory. The Danes won the first map, Dust II, which was NiP’s choice. The game surprisingly went to overtime despite Astralis having a 12-3 advantage after the first half. But NiP weren’t able to complete the comeback and lost 19-16. Emil “Magisk” Reif, Astralis’ star, finished with 31 kills, but NiP’s Patrik “f0rest” Lindberg had one of the best plays so far at the tournament with a beautiful one-vs-three clutch.
The series proceeded to Inferno, Astralis’ best map at the moment. The Danes had an easier game than before, too, because NiP couldn’t defend against their attacks. Astralis switched to the CT-side with a huge advantage again, 11-4. But this time, they closed out the game 16-8 and didn’t give NiP any momentum.
Astralis and Liquid will have the next day off to rest and observe their potential adversaries since they’ll skip the quarterfinals.
NRG, on the other hand, will play against Vitality tomorrow in the Lanxess Arena at 8am CT. NiP will have a tough task when they face Na’Vi at 11:50am CT. The winners will meet up with Astralis and Liquid on Saturday.