Credit: ESL and Adela Sznajder
Elimination was on the cards when Team Liquid faced 9z in a crucial Bo3. While the South Americans were one of the underdogs coming into the Challengers Stage, it was a massive surprise that the North American superpower might be done after only two days.
The do-or-die match started on Liquid's pick of Ancient where 9z delivered a somewhat disappointing CT side. The South Americans won the pistol round and managed to convert the following two. But even with the three early rounds the underdogs only managed to take eight rounds before the break, which is definitely not enough on a map that favors the CTs so heavily.
Liquid did what their opponents could not and delivered a dominant half on the defense. Especially Mr. consistent "NAF" was having a great game and made sure that the North Americans won their own map pick without too much trouble.
Down one map, 9z had their backs against the wall as they concrete of Overpass. Fortunately for them, they had a great start on the T-side even though “shox” was a constant threat. Luckily, they had their own threat in “dgt” who was breaking the skulls of Liquid. The North Americans recovered nicely from the rough start and could at the half be happy with a one-round deficit.
9z was now on the favored side and had the lead and it was looking like a third map was going to be needed. But Liquid who had the momentum coming into the second half capitalized on it and with more experience and firepower the favorites seized Overpass.
This was the last chance for 9z who now unfortunately were out of the tournament. Team Liquid will play to survive once again tomorrow.
Liquid - 9z 2-0 | PGL Major Antwerp Challengers Stage
16-11 (Ancient) | NAF - 1.39 Rating / 26-14 K-D / 93.9 ADR
16-11 (Overpass) | EliGE - 1.47 Rating / 25-14 K-D / 91.8 ADR
MVP: Richard "shox" Papillon - 1.32 Rating / 43-35 K-D / 93.9 ADR