Team Liquid wins iBP Masters IV
January 24 2019
We’ve seen this scenario play out countless times in 2018. We’re up against Astralis in the grand finals of another CS:GO event with our backs to the wall, Astralis takes a 7-0 lead on the final map and it looks like we may once again go home with another 2nd place finish at the hands of the Danish super squad. However it is no longer 2018; it’s a new year and we’ve got a new player, a new coach, and a renewed determination to take down Astralis and not let 2019 be a repeat of the same old story.
However we’re getting ahead of ourselves a little bit. The iBuyPower Masters IV was our first opportunity to showcase our new roster and we were extremely excited to see them play. The addition of Stewie2K has turned our already lethal squad into a new beast entirely and adreN brings a fresh perspective to the coaching role. With the two of them now on board, we went into our backyard of LA for our first tournament together as a team. The group stage went great as EliGE started off the tournament dropping a 30 bomb right out of the gate against LG, followed up by Twistzz and NAF both getting kills into the high 20’s in the follow up game against Ghost. In a flash we were moving on to the semi-finals against Fnatic.
The series against Fnatic went extremely well, a 2-1 win with a minor blip in a very closely contested Mirage, 19-17. Up to this point Stewie had remained consistent but rather quiet on the in-game scoreboard. His AWP shots were on point and he had been crucial in winning critical rounds but you could see the team still had room to grow together. However, we wouldn’t have to wait long to see Stewie have an explosive performance.
In the finals we faced a familiar foe in Astralis, and for anyone who has followed us throughout the past year, Inferno going 16-4 in their favor may have immediately brought you back to any one of the previous finals we had played against them. Stewie2k wasn’t about to let that happen though. Out of the 27 kills he got on Dust 2, 14 of them were with the AWP. If Astralis ever tried to challenge Stewie’s defense they were quickly halted with a man down with the rest of the CTs closing in on them. EliGE, nitr0, NAF, and Twistzz all came to life as well and we pushed Astralis to a third map, winning Dust 2 16-11.
As previously mentioned, we started Overpass by dropping the first 7 rounds and it looked like despite our players brilliant efforts on Dust 2, Astralis would continue their reign over the CS:GO scene. With the score at 9-2 the first half was looking like a rout but the tenacity of our players brought it back to a 9-6 half. With momentum behind us and everybody landing their shots and feeling confident we went on to win 10 of the next 12 rounds and closed out the finals 16-11. Team Liquid fans could hardly believe it, yet it had surely happened. Champions over Astralis in a grand final.
Winning a tournament is always a great feeling but beating Astralis, finally getting the monkey off our back, and doing it after making some pretty large changes to our team feels even better. What better way for Stewie2k and adreN to join us officially than by dispatching the #1 rank team in the world. 2019 promises to be one hell of a year for our boys in CS:GO and we can’t wait to see them at IEM Katowice, the first Valve Major of the new year.