Team Liquid – Poor ESL One performance showcases the Champions downfall
Team Liquid suffers a whopping 5 losses out of 6 series at the ESL Los Angeles 2020. It’s an unsightly outcome for fans as the org’s immortalized title as the International 2017 Champions is tainted.
While ESL’s online regionals is exclusive to only EU and CIS teams, it is a known fact that the two regions are home to the strongest teams. From the two-time International champions, OG, to many strong contestants such as Team Secret, Nigma and Virtus.pro. That said, it is still unacceptable for a seasoned roster like Liquid to get stomped so heavily.
Liquid’s ESL downfall
Liquid lost all their series in the group stage, except one versus Ninjas in Pyjamas. At this state, Liquid’s elimination is confirmed as they are unable to secure enough wins. To start off, their first series is against Team Secret, where they lost both games within 35 minutes. That’s probably due to the lack of versatility in Liquid’s drafts, as they only switched up their hard carry but retain the other 4 heroes.
The first series against Secret may have been their toughest game yet, so fans still have hope for Liquid to score the other series. At least that’s what they hoped. Unfortunately, it only got rougher ever since. Facing Alliance, who were having their own conflicts in their team, Liquid still got outplayed by Alliance’s strong midgame fights.
In most series, Liquid often pull off an impressive first game, which lasts phenomenally longer than average games. These “comeback” games show how Liquid becomes a real threat during late game, and are impossible to defeat. Yet, when the enemy snowball heavily in a game, Liquid could not keep up with the momentum. They fall off and lose the game.
The Oldest DOTA2 roster
The current roster recently joined the organization after the International 2019 last year. Featuring iNSaNiA (captain), miCKe, qojqva, Boxi and Taiga, these guys have been together since 2 years ago. Formerly playing for Alliance, the roster stayed together even through the roughest season. Failure to qualify for Internationals is often the sign when most teams opt for fresh disbands and roster shuffles.
Yet, the stack stayed together and it eventually paid off as they qualify for TI9. Unfortunately, Alliance’s run didn’t last long as they fall in the lower seeds of their group stage. At the playoffs, they are placed in the lower bracket, with only one loss away from elimination.
One of the stack’s most iconic moment is during the International 2019. INSaNiA accidentally picked the wrong hero during drafting. As the stack discussed heroes to ban, iNSaNiA did not keep track of the countdown timer. This led to an automatic hero ban and he blindly selected Gyrocopter as their last hero.
Despite the team’s effort to remain optimistic at such times, it wasn’t enough and Team Royal Never Give Up punish Alliance’s mistake. Alliance leaves the International 2019 with a 16th place. As for Alliance’s coach, Lod[A], who dedicated his passion to train the 2-years-old stack, it was upsetting to say the least.
For many fans, Team Liquid may not be in their preferred state right now. But, the team have proven to be quite miraculous at times. One of their wildest achievements is when they won a clutch 2vs5 defense against Virtus.pro in Leipzig major. The best-of-one series went south after Team Liquid lost 3 heroes in a fight. VP wanted to end the game with a committed GG push. Fortunately, Boxi and Taiga were able to wipe out VP before they destroy their throne.
Moving forward, Team Liquid might want to improve their drafting and strategy as they definitely have the team coordination to execute incredible performance. But their drafts have been rather stale recently and whatever they are pulling off at ESL is obviously not working.