Following their title-winning performances at IEM Sydney 2019, DreamHack Masters Dallas 2019 and ESL Pro League Season 9 Finals, Team Liquid reached new heights on July 7 when they took down Team Vitality to win ESL One Cologne 2019 and secure the Intel Grand Slam Season 2 crown.
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Entering the tournament as the second favourites after Astralis, Liquid fought their way to the finals with a streak of dominant performances. The North American giants took down MVP PK, NRG, and NaVi twice to set up a date with Vitality in the finals.
The deciding series stretched out over four maps, but it was Team Liquid who triumphed with wins on Overpass (16-6), Inferno (16-10) and Mirage (16-7). While the whole Liquid team played well throughout, it was Vitality’s Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut who took home the ESL One Cologne MVP thanks to an average rating of 1.33 across 17 maps and a high watermark of 1.87 against NRG in the playoffs.
By winning the event, Liquid not only took home $125,000 prize money but also managed to win the Intel Grand Slam and its $1,000,000 reward after only five events. To put it into a perspective, the first IGS season lasted over 500 days and featured 15 events, which shows how good Team Liquid are compared to all other CS:GO esports teams in the world right now.
How exactly Team Liquid found their winning rhythm is up to debate, but there is no denying they have been on a roll since they won IEM Sydney in May. The North American powerhouse seems to get better and better with each passing event, so it seems clear that ‘Astralis era’ is over and ‘Liquid era’ has begun.