Liquid Takes Second at ESL One Cologne 2016

July 10 2016

We weren't favored to beat SK Gaming but us Team Liquid fans believed there was a chance. That's actually a good way to describe being a fan of this team. Rarely are the Liquid boys a favorite, but they can never be ruled out.

We may have fallen in the finals against the best team in the world, but the team proved much on their way there. And looking back it was quite the run to the finals. It was very much a run which embodied the "can't be ruled out" aspect of this team.

Starting in the group stages, some analysts didn't even predict we'd make it out. When we started down 0-5 against Team EnvyUs, it looked like they may be right. Then things started to turn around. By winning nine of the next ten rounds it looked like Liquid may be on to something. We went on to take the map 16-7 but still there were doubts. EnvyUs has been slumping and destroyed their economy through numerous failed force-buys. Surely this was more Envy losing than Liquid winning.

The match against Virtus.Pro highlighted more doubts. With some poor anti-ecos and sloppy buys, it looked again that maybe map one was a fluke. This then set up the deciding match against mousesports. This series was a strange one because Liquid actually were favored barring NiKo going insane. This series went our way and Legend Status was maintained.

The quarter finals saw us paired against NaVi. The back-to-back Major finalists an top four team was no easy pairing. This was another match where you couldn't be blamed for thinking "maybe, but probably not."

Instead, another Liquid upset gave fans another reason to believe.

Next up was Fnatic. This was the team we famously beat at the previous Major; that match has had an asterisk placed next to it since then. After that game, we learned that Olof was playing injured and he then proceeded to take an extended break post-Major.

Fnatic was now back at full strength and had just crushed Gambit in the quarters. Maybe Liquid had a chance here after beating NaVi, but come on, it's Fnatic.

Two maps and a descent from Heaven later, Liquid were off to the finals.

Jussi Jääskeläinen from

Team Liquid were in the grand finals of a Major. Once again we were the underdogs. Once again thoughts of "but what if" persisted. Ultimately the clock struck midnight and our run had ended. SK Gaming convinced the world why they are the best team in the world; Liquid lost in two. Looking back at this Major, it truly was an incredible run. We were able to upset multiple top teams and did so through the hard work from players and management alike.

This was also the first Major Finals appearance by a North American team. But has Hiko has often said, that's not good enough. This was the first Major Finals appearance by Team Liquid and the next time we'll win it.

Writer // Hayl
Graphics // Shiroiusagi
Photo Credit: // thehexhaven
Editor: // amazingxkcd