Team Liquid were crowned DreamHack Master Dallas 2019 champions on Sunday, June 2, after defeating ENCE in a match worthy of being called a final.
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Team Liquid entered the clash on a hot streak that started in the group stage, where they convincingly defeated Lucid Dream (16-7) before beating North 2-0 and FaZe Clan 2-1. That got them a direct promotion into the playoff semi-finals, where they maintained their momentum with a 2-0 win over FURIA Esports.
ENCE were similarly impressive in the group stage, defeating Isurus Gaming (16-4), G2 Esports (2-1) and FURIA Esports (2-1) to set up a date with FaZe Clan in the semis. Despite starting at long odds in the CS:GO betting markets, ENCE won 2-0 to advance to the DreamHack Masters Dallas 2019 grand finals.
The title match started off on Mirage, where Team Liquid showed no mercy and completely crushed their opponents with an 8-1 blitz in the second half. ENCE entered the second map with a terrible 33% win rate on Overpass in the last three years, so few were expecting the fireworks that followed.
The opening rounds belonged to Team Liquid, but ENCE woke up and went on a dominant run which got them an 8-7 lead at half-time. They came out strong in the second period and won five more rounds, but Team liquid rallied late to force the map into overtime. Aleksi “allu” Jalli was the hero for ENCE, pulling off a clutch play in a 1v3 situation to send to the series to a third and final map.
The drama of Overpass led us to expect something similar on Inferno, but instead we saw just how powerful Team Liquid really are. Entering the match all guns blazing, the NA powerhouse blasted out to a 10-1 lead and went into the break five rounds up. The last half was once again a close one that tested Liquid’s mettle under pressure, but they pushed through to win 16-13 and claim a $100,000 payday.
The two best players of the finals were Russel “Twistzz” Van Dulken (1.24 HLTV rating) and Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski (1.22 HLTV rating), but we cannot forget to mention Jake “Stewie2K” Yip, who won his team a crucial round with a defuse in a 1v1 situation.