Team Liquid drop out of IEM Beijing, ENCE will replace them

Liquid want to prepare better for tournaments.

Photo via DreamHack

Team Liquid have decided against attending two consecutive CS:GO events in November.

The North Americans won’t compete at IEM Beijing, which starts on Nov. 7. That event begins just five days after BLAST Pro Series Copenhagen, a tournament that they will attend. ENCE will take Liquid’s spot in China, ESL announced today.

Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski, Liquid’s star rifler, said that Liquid are skipping IEM Beijing because traveling to events has taken a toll on them. “We’re almost at 200 days total traveled this year, so it’s been really hard on us mentally,” EliGE said.

Liquid dominated other teams in the first part of the year, winning six events in a row and the Intel Grand Slam. But the North Americans didn’t live up to expectations at the StarLadder Berlin Major in August, being eliminated by Astralis in the quarterfinals.

They played two more tournaments after that, including a third-place finish at ESL One New York in September where they witnessed Evil Geniuses, their North American rivals, win the tournament. EliGE and crew played at DreamHack Masters Malmö right after and failed to reach the playoffs.

This strategy of skipping events has been used by Astralis since star player Nicolai “device” Reedtz was diagnosed with a stomach stress disease in 2017 that can get worse with all the traveling and jet lag. The strategy paid off for Astralis last year when they became the best team in the world following the addition of Emil “Magisk” Reif in February 2018.

Liquid will seemingly try to replicate Astralis’ formula and better prepare themselves for upcoming tournaments. But IEM Beijing is a tough tournament to miss since Astralis and EG will participate and they can gain an Intel Grand Slam point if one of them win it.