Credit: Adela Sznajder, ESL
Spirit are through to the Champions Stage after taking down the North American squad from Team Liquid, who now are eliminated from the event. The Russian side will see themselves in yet another Major playoff appearance, where they will be taking upon cadiaN’s men from Heroic on Friday at 18:00 (CET).
Spirit’s map pick of Vertigo was where the series kicked off. Here, it was the North Americans who got off to the best start by snatching the pistol, before they added three of the following four rounds to go 4-1 up on the scoreboard. From that point, it was a Spirit show for the rest of the half. The Russian squad put up a strong defense on the CT-side, which Liquid had no answers for as we saw the North Americans only being able to add one single round before Spirit’s wonder boy, Igor “w0nderful” Zhdanov sent his team into the offense with a five-round lead on the back of an impressive 1v3 clutch.
That gave Spirit the right energy going into the second half, in which they grabbed the first two rounds of play. Team Liquid looked to find a way into the game, but it got a way too late as Spirit were already sitting on match point as Liquid hit their tenth round on the scoreboard after stringing together three rounds in a row. With money in their pocket once again, Spirit didn’t face any struggles as they went on to close their map pick with a 16-10 scoreline.
The action between the two teams moved to Mirage, where we saw a Team Liquid on fire in the first half. YEKINDAR and company lost the pistol, but bounced back right away and continued on to dominate the first half, leaving Spirit’s CT-side looking useless. With a 5 rounds advantage going into the CT-side, Liquid didn’t capitalize on the momentum straight away, instead, we saw Spirit nearly catching up with the North Americans. But despite their best efforts, they never got dangerous enough when it mattered the most, resulting in Team Liquid securing their own map pick and sending the series to the decider of Ancient.
On the decider of Ancient, we saw magixx and company clinch the victory with a 16-13 scoreline after a hard-fought battle against the North Americans from Liquid. 19-year-old magixx finished on top of the scoreboard with the highest number of kills (26) and a 1.42 Rating.
IEM Rio Major – Legends Stage 2022 | Spirit vs. Liquid 2-1
Keith “NAF” Markovic – 1.21 Rating | 58-49 K/D | 83.7 ADR | 84.3% KAST