The Liquid Review - August 2023
Happy Thursday folks,
Welcome to another month of The Liquid Review, your favorite (and only) monthly periodical cataloging all things Team Liquid. World Championship Season™ has begun, and Liquid has two more titles to add to the collection! Plus, we’ve got a semifinal appearance for Rocket League, and World Championship qualifications for Fortnite, LoL and TFT. It’s starting to look like a pretty great month!
Early last month, Liquid announced its return to Tekken by welcoming Shadow 20z! Shadow joins new TFTer rereplay in the Cavalry as well! Unfortunately, we also said goodbye to a couple players, including Japanese Smash player Atelier and Clash Royale player Surgical Goblin.
Quake // Results:
- Quake World Championship - 1st!!!
- 2-0 vs dandaking
- 16-7 on Corrupted Keep
- 8-1 on Blood Covenant
- 2-0 vs nosfa
- 11-5 on Blood Covenant
- 17-2 on Corrupted Keep
- 3-0 vs k1llsen
- 7-2 on Awoken
- 8-2 on Corrupted Keep
- 3-2 on Blood Covenant
- 3-0 vs RAISY
- 11-3 on Vale of Pnath
- 6-2 on Corrupted Keep
- 5-1 on Molten Falls
- 4-1 vs RAISY
- (Upper Bracket Winner Advantage)
- 6-9 on Vale of Pnath
- 8-7 on Corrupted Keep
- 17-4 on Ruins of Sarnath
- 5-4 on Awoken
Liquid`rapha is the greatest FPS player of all time, and he is your 2023 Quake World Champion.
This is the fifth QuakeCon title of rapha’s career, and his second belt since the advent of the modern Quake Pro League system. He tore through the upper bracket without dropping a single map, beating both k1llsen and RAISY, two of the best players in the world. RAISY met rapha again in the grand finals, and spoiled rapha’s perfect tournament with good prep and flawless clutch play in their Vale of Pnath rematch. rapha took the lead back with a close win in game three, and secured championship point with a 17-4 blowout on Ruins of Sarnath.
On Awoken, rapha jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, but RAISY clawed back from the deficit, and the players were even at 4-4 with less than thirty seconds to go. RAISY began the final engagement with a health advantage, but rapha had set a trap. Reading RAISY’s map movements, rapha predicted his opponent would jump across an open space towards a heavy armor. rapha sprung the trap with his dual-wield ability, bursting down RAISY while he was exposed in the air, and earned the championship-winning frag.
World of WarCraft:
World of WarCraft // Results:
- Arena World Championship Season 2 - 1st!!!
- 3-1 vs Dukamified
- 3-1 vs Luminosity Gaming
- 4-3 vs Luminosity Gaming
Team Liquid have won the North American AWC Season 2! In the region’s most prestigious Arena tournament, Cdew, Mes, Samiyam, and Trill brought a championship trophy home for the cavalry, rounding out an extremely successful season. Liquid breezed through the upper bracket, defeating the gauntlet winner Dukamified and perennial championship contender Luminosity 3-1 to take the first spot in the grand finals.
Liquid faced off with Luminosity again in a rematch for the title, a match that wasn’t nearly as easy as the earlier climb. Liquid lost an intense game one that went for almost ten minutes, and Luminosity jumped on the momentum, winning the next two games as well. Even in the face of an 0-3 deficit, Liquid would not be deterred. The team battled back to complete the reverse sweep, taking home the gold and bringing us a Cdew pop-off for the ages.
Rocket League // Results:
- RLCS 2022-23 - World Championship - Top 4!
- Group Stage
- Complexity - 4-3
- KRÜ - 4-2
- Spacestation - 4-2
- BDS - 0-4
Team Liquid’s Rocket League Squad journeyed to Düsseldorf for its first ever Rocket League World Championship. Thanks to our consistent high finishes in regional and international tournaments throughout the year, Liquid earned a spot directly in the group stage of the main event. The team’s opening match against Complexity went to all 7 games, and apart from an unfortunate 1-5 loss in game 3, every single game was decided by just one goal. But the clutch gene pulled through for Liquid, and with just four seconds left in game 7, Oski put away the game-winning goal.
Throughout the whole tournament, Atow was a demo machine, finishing four games with six or more demos, and a grand total of 78 booms. He had the tournament’s highest average demos inflicted per game with a whopping 3.41 per game.
Atow’s destructive tendencies helped Liquid make a great run through our first World Championship. With comfortable wins over both KRÜ and Spacestation, Liquid earned a semifinal appearance against Team BDS. The French side got the better of us, however, and Liquid fell 0-4 in the semifinal.
Still, a top 4 finish is a remarkable achievement for an incredibly young Liquid roster. AcroniK, Atow, and Oski have all proven that they have long careers ahead of them. And though this year didn’t end with gold, there’s always next year.
Valorant // Results:
- VALORANT Champions 2023 (EU):
- Na’Vi - 0-2
- 11-13 on Fracture
- 15-17 on Bind
- LOUD - 0-2
- 2-13 on Haven
- 8-13 on Split
- Na’Vi - 0-2
- VCT 2023: Game Changers Brazil Series 2 - Qualifier 3 - Top 4
- EVILCHILE - 2-0
- 13-0 on Split
- 13-1 on Bind
- Looking for org 2.0 - 2-0
- 13-6 on Ascent
- 13-7 on Bind
- Fake Natty - 1-2
- 3-13 on Ascent
- 13-6 on Split
- 8-13 on Lotus
- EVILCHILE - 2-0
Valorant // Ahead:
- VCT 2023: Game Changers Brazil Series 2 - Main Event - September 24 - October 1
Well, that was embarrassing.
After an invigorating 3-1 victory over a FNATIC that was widely considered the best team in the world, Liquid’s top 6 finish at Tokyo gave fans good reason to hope for a strong finish to the year at Champions. But four maps in, the Squad was packing their bags. Liquid was able to keep things close against Na’Vi in the first game, but got completely obliterated by LOUD in the next. It was the team’s worst performance since LOCK//IN, and it leaves a bitter aftertaste to an otherwise solid season. At least the music video was cool!
With the season now in the books, all we can do is look forward to next year. Riot has announced that 2024’s international Masters tournaments will be held in Madrid in March, and Shanghai in May, with the full details here.
Over in Brazil, things have taken an odd turn. Liquid didn’t win any of the three qualifier tournaments to Brazil Series 2 of the VCT Game Changers. This is odd because before Series 2 began in June, Liquid won every single Brazilian Game Changers tournament … period. Liquid still easily qualified for the main event of Series 2 at the end of this month, but now we’re on notice that the other teams are catching up. Liquid will need to bring its absolute best to qualify to the Game Changers Championship in São Paulo this November. The only safe way to make it is to win the whole tournament.
League of Legends:
League of Legends // Results:
- LCS Summer 2023 - Playoffs - 3rd
- NRG -1-3
- 100T - 3-1
- EG - 3-1
- GGS - 3-2
- NRG - 2-3
Team Liquid Honda finished the regular season in fourth place with a 10-8 record. The Squad faced off against NRG in the first round of playoffs, and got rocked. I mean completely destroyed. We appeared fixated on a composition that simply wasn’t working, and NRG completely outplayed us. Among a sea of lowlights, Summit’s impeccable Jax play solo carried Game 3 in Liquid’s only win of the series. And when I say solo carry, I mean solo.
The series was a wake-up call for Liquid, and the Cavalry answered. Liquid rallied through the lower bracket, comfortably beating both 100 Thieves and EG to meet Golden Guardians in the lower semi final, with a spot at Worlds on the line. The series started well, with incredible carry performances from Pyosik on Viego. But Golden Guardians struck back in game three, and the Kindred-Ashe-Milio comp flopped in game four. Suddenly, we were staring down the barrel of Silver Scrapes, on the verge of getting reverse swept. With Worlds on the line, Liquid saved last pick for Summit’s Gwen, which was able to take over the deciding fight and win the series. The win meant LCS Finals Weekend in New Jersey, and the World Championship in Seoul.
It also meant a rematch in the lower final against NRG. The teams traded even blows the entire series, ending in yet another game 5. With LCS Grand Finals on the line, Liquid once again saved the last pick for Summit, and…
Look, it’s obvious to anyone who watches Liquid’s games that Gnar is a comfort pick for Summit. He knows the champion, and pilots him well. But in all of its stage games, Team Liquid has not played well with that champion. The team is 2-8 with Gnar, and we didn’t look any better with it against NRG. Gnar ended the game 0/6 compared to Dhokla’s 7/2 Rumble, and NRG took the series, eliminating Team Liquid.
So the LCS Championship trophy eludes Team Liquid once again. But after last year’s catastrophic failure to make worlds, it seems okay. We’re going to Worlds, folks, let’s get hyped!
- Runeterra Reforged: NA Mid-Set Finale
- Kurumx - 1st!!!
- Rereplay - 6th
- Noxus Cup - September 30 - October 8
KURUM IS GOING TO WORLDS!!!
With an absolutely dominant performance at the Mid-Set Finale, Liquid`Kurumx snatched North America’s first seed to the TFT World Championship coming this November. At the Mid-Set Finale, Kurum had a stellar average placement of 3.33, and never finished below 6th. Combined with his win in the Freljord Cup back in July, this is the second tournament Kurum has won this year, a feat no other TFT player has accomplished in NA.
But let’s not forget about Team Liquid’s newest TFT player, the defending world champion rereplay!
rereplay did the Cavalry proud at his first tournament in a Team Liquid jersey, making it to the final lobby and finishing the tournament 6th overall. The performance earns him a spot in the Noxus Cup at the end of the month, where he’ll look to earn a spot at the Regional Finals in October and fight for one of the remaining four spots at Worlds.
For anyone who might not be aware, TFT Esports is extremely simple and easy to follow. There’s no possible way to be confused, making it the perfect spectator sport.
The long and short of it is that rereplay still has three paths to make it to the Regional Finals, where the last four NA tickets to World reside:
- Finish top 4 at the Noxus Cup
- Finish top 2 at NA LCQ, or
- Finish top 2 in the Set 9.5 Leaderboard.
Once he makes the Regional Finals, rereplay will need to finish in the top 4 to join Kurumx at Worlds.
Fortnite // Results:
- FNCS 2023 - Major 3: Brazil - Grand Finals
- Pulga - 12th
- Persa - 13th
- EdRoadToGlory - 25th
- FNCS 2023 - Last Chance Major - Brazil
- Persa - 2nd - Qualified!
- EdRoadToGlory - 10th
- Pulga - 29th
Persa has qualified for the Global Championship!!!
Fortnite is a brutal, cutthroat title. For the first two Majors, only the winners of the 50-duo tournaments earned a spot at the international final in October. Persa and his duo Diguera placed 3rd in the first major, and 2nd in the second major – close, but no cigar.
In the third major, the top three teams qualified for the Global Championship, but unfortunately, Persa had an off day, and landed in 13th. That meant he and Diguera had only one more chance to qualify to the biggest Fortnite tournament of the year through the Last Chance Major. The top 50 duos in Brazil who hadn’t already qualified competed for the three last spots at the FNCS Global Championship, and Persa snatched one of them with a second place finish! He and Diguera will head to Copenhagen to compete in the Royal Arena for a share of the whopping $4 million prize pool.
Counter-Strike // Results:
- BLAST Premier: Fall Groups 2023
- G2 - 2-1
- 16-9 on Ancient
- 17-19 on Mirage
- 16-14 on Vertigo
- FaZe - 2-1
- 11-16 on Inferno
- 16-14 on Mirage
- 16-8 on Ancient
- FaZe - 0-2
- 7-16 on Overpass
- 11-16 on Ancient
- Astralis - 0-2
- 11-16 on Overpass
- 9-16 on Inferno
- G2 - 2-1
- IEM Cologne 2023
- 10-16 vs Astralis on Ancient
- 2-1 vs BIG
- 16-13 on Vertigo
- 17-19 on Mirage
- 16-9 on Overpass
- 1-2 vs 9INE
- 16-10 on Ancient
- 6-16 on Vertigo
- 12-16 on Overpass
With a couple of tournaments under our belt, it’s clear that Liquid’s new roster has some growing pains. The new team was running hot right out of the gate, beating both G2 and FaZe in best of threes. This is no mean feat, as the two teams are ranked 3rd and 5th in the world, respectively. But the Squad quickly fell back down to earth, failing to qualify for the BLAST Fall Final from groups, and not even making it out of play-ins at IEM Cologne.
Still, the team has only been together now for three months, and there’s plenty of time for growth. Liquid has one more shot to make it to the BLAST Finals through the Fall Showdown in October. Despite Liquid switching to a European team, BLAST assigned Liquid to the American group, though Liquid didn’t want it that way.
Rainbow 6: Siege:
Rainbow 6: Siege // Ahead:
- Brazil League 2023 - Stage 2
- E1 - September 9 at 13:00 EDT
- VKS - September 10 at 13:00 EDT
- w7m - September 16 at 14:00 EDT
- mibr - September 24 at 14:00 EDT
Rainbow 6: Siege is finally back after a four-month hiatus since Copenhagen (we got 2nd, remember?) Now Liquid is back to Brazil, and fighting for one of three spots to the Atlanta Major in October. Liquid and the other 9 Brazilian teams have split into two groups, and the Cavalry will need to finish in the top 3 to make the playoffs. However, if Liquid manage to top the group overall, we’ll get a bye into the upper bracket semifinals, just one series away from Atlanta. Liquid’s group includes w7m, the team that beat us in the finals at Copenhagen. Tune in on September 16th for the rematch!
Smash // Results:
- Super Smash Con 2023
- Hungrybox in Melee - 2nd
- Dabuz in Ultimate - 2nd
- Riddles in Ultimate - top 12
Smash // Ahead:
- Hungrybox in The Off-Season 2 - September 23-24
Liquid picked up another couple silver medals in Chantilly, Virginia last month as Dabuz and Hbox both took second place at Super Smash Con 2023 in their respective games. (Dang, we’re really in our silver era.) In Melee, although Hungrybox took a round 3 loss to Canadian Fox moky, he battled his way through the lower bracket, eliminating the likes of lloD and Mang0 before facing moky again in the lower semifinal. Hbox prevailed this time, then beat out Cody Schwab in a tight 3-2 lower final. Hbox was able to take the first two games of the Grand Finals against Zain, but the Marth king proved too strong and reverse swept Hbox.
Meanwhile, Dabuz went all the way to the upper bracket finals before he got Steve’d twice in a row by Acola. Still, his campaign included two wins against Miya, and wins against Marss and KEN. Riddles also fell victim to two different Steves, once to Acola, and again to DDee.
Apart from Super Smash Con, there hasn’t been too much else going on. The last couple months have been a literal beach episode for Hbox, who took a vacation last month.
Later this month, Hbox heads to Arlington, Texas for The Off-Season 2, a charity event raising money for Movember. While September is a chill month for Smash, it’s all building to a busy October, that might just shape how every player ranks at the end of the year. Hungrybox, Riddles, and Dabuz will all be heading to Florida for Let’s Make Moves Miami and to Michigan for The Big House 11. But that’s all a teaser for the next TLR!
Tekken // Results:
- Summer Jam 2023 - 1st!!!
Tekken // Ahead:
- Only The Best V - September 8-10
Shadow 20z has already begun September with a bang, winning Summer Jam 2023 without dropping a single game! Shadow’s impressive undefeated run included wins over Joey Fury, iVesperX, and Geghis D0n (twice)! The win earned Liquid’s newest fighter 220 points in the Tekken World Tour, a year-long season of tournaments awarding players points for placing high in tournaments all over the world. The top 19 players at the end of the season will qualify for the Tekken World Tour Finals 2023 next January. Shadow 20z’s win now puts him in 18th place. He’ll have another opportunity to win more points this weekend in Napoli, Italy at Only the Best V. The Italian event will really test Shadow’s mettle, putting him up against some of the best from NA, EU, and Korea.