ESL Pro League Season 5 - Team Liquid secure semi-final spot
Team Liquid outperformed Team EnVyUs in the quarter-finals, securing the last semi-final placement.
de_Cobblestone - 16:14 (4:11, 12:3)
The Frenchmen kick off on the CT side, where they fail to secure the pistol round in a post-plant situation, despite a clean up USP-S 2k by Vincent "Happy" Cervoni. The bomb went off, with the entire Team Liquid roster dead. Largely thanks to the bomb plant, the Americans were able to secure a decent anti-eco buy, and in said anti-eco the team was able to develop their economy with the infamous UMP45, losing but a single member to the disadvantaged Frenchmen. This theme continued till EnVyUs' gun round, where the team managed to secure their first round victory at 1:3. This proved to be one of very few victories on the CT side for the French, as Team Liquid kept dominating round after round, consistently pushing EnVyUs to their limit. This continued all the way to an 8:1 lead for the US representatives. EnVyUs were finally able to secure a second round in the half, after Vincent "Happy" Cervoni, Cédric "RpK" Guipouy and Christophe "SIXER" Xia dispatched the enemy team. Inspired by the performance of his teammates, Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom followed up the next round with a 3k onto Liquid, slightly closing the deficit to 3:8. By the end of the initial half the team managed to secure but another round, concluding the initial half at 11:4 in favour of Liquid.
Christophe "SIXER" Xia kicked off the offensive side with a 3k and a bomb plant, securing a much needed early lead for his team. This was a demonstration of things to come, as the Frenchmen started snowballing rounds, crushing the opposition one after another. Round eighteen saw a fantastic 4k from none other than Alexandre "XMS" Forté, shutting down Team Liquid not only physically, but mentally. Consistent success lead to an equaliser at 11:11, placing the Americans in quite the predicament. In an attempt to weigh the match their way, Team Liquid re-focused and grabbed two rounds in their favour, contributing to this was a strong showing from Nick "nitr0" Cannella, where the American managed to dispatch three members of the opposition, extending his team's lead to 13:11. EnVyUs shortly caught back up with their escaping opponents, with all five members stepping up and bringing the fight to Team Liquid. The score line kept equalising, all the way to a 14:14 stalemate, following which Team EnVyUs proved to be the stronger team, closing out two consecutive rounds and consequently the match at an ever-so-close 16:14.
de_Train - 10:16 (7:8, 3:8)
A T side start for EnVyUs end in a victory, as only a single member of the offense fell to the hands of Nick "nitr0" Cannella. The Frenchmen keep the performance up for the next couple of rounds, securing a 3:0 lead prior to the Americans' first full buy. Aforementioned full buy saw Team Liquid secure their first digit of the map through a team ace. The Liquid boys didn't stop there, running away with further rounds through superior aim and teamwork, extending the score to a 4:3 lead. The surplus was not sustained for long as Team EnVyUs managed to equalise at 4:4 after all members of the defence were dealt with. Reciprocating motion ensued between the two teams, culminating in a slight lead for Team Liquid at 8:7.
Switching over to the offense, Liquid found it within them to start leading the match. In the opening round a bomb plant followed by an astonishing 3k by In-Game Leader, Peter "stanislaw" Jarguz cemented the teams early lead. Two more rounds fell in favour of the Americans, sporting an 11:7 score line. The losses gave Team EnVyUs the motivation needed to bring themselves back into the game, with a whopping three consecutive rounds accrued by the Frenchmen, closing the difference to a single round at 10:11. Whilst the effort from EnVyUs was valiant, Team Liquid had other things in mind, and this was demonstrated by an astonishing six round domination in the remainder of the map, culminating map two at 16:10 in favour of the Americans.
de_Nuke - 4:16 (1:14, 3:2)
Team Liquid kicked off on the CT side of affairs and see a successful start to them. Nick "nitr0" Cannella steps up once again, dispatching three members of the French team, giving teammate Josh "jdm" Marzano the opportunity to defuse the bomb. Things were looking up for EnVyUs as bomb plant was secured, however round two saw a crippling loss to the Americans, as an anti-eco buy demolished the entire economy of the Ts, without the defence losing a single member, and as a consequence, a device. This development seemed to give Liquid the boost needed to continue dominating, as the team proceeded to pummel the Frenchmen round after round. EnVyUs conceded a heart-breaking twelve rounds in a row before the team could get a break, even then it came down to a 1v2 clutch from Christophe "SIXER" Xia, landing his team their first round at 1:12. One round was all she wrote for the Frenchmen, facing a bleak 1:14 reality come half time.
Team EnVyUs hang in there after a pistol round victory, where Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom and Alexandre "XMS" Forté manage to out-duel the duo of Jonathan "EliGE" Jablanowski and Russel "Twistszz" Van Dulken, securing their second round of the map. An rifle buy from the Frenchmen secured the following round as well, leading to a 3:14 score line. Round 18 saw Team Liquid secure series point, as the team managed to dispatch the opposition with a single casualty. Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom was not willing to give up, as he was single-handedly able to keep his team in the game after out-playing Russel "Twistszz" Van Dulken and subsequently defusing the bomb at 4:15. This performance was not sustained for long, as in round 20 Team Liquid finally managed to close out after winning in a 2v1 post-plant situation, one that saw the "King of One-taps" try his utmost best to keep EnVyUs in the race. Benrlitom was silenced and the Americans proceeded to the semi-finals after a 16:4 victory over Team EnVyUs.
Image courtesy of ESL