fnatic beat Liquid 2-1 for a semi-final spot at IEM Chicago
The match to decide a semi-finalist started on Mirage, the pick of fnatic. The Swedish team was off to a good start, 5-1, with the only round Liquid took coming off the back of Keith "NAF" Markovic resolving a 2v2 retake. After a poor start, Liquid came alive in round seven, tieing two rounds together with Nick "nitr0" Cannella finding five kills in the span.
The second part of the first half was a back-and-forth brawl, but Liquid was the one forced to eco first. However, it didn't hinder them that much, as Russel "Twistzz" Van Dulken got a beautiful Deagle ace to swing things back in their favor. After retaking a 4v4 in the last round, Liquid finished the half 8-7 up.
At the beginning of the second half, Richard "Xizt" Landström and co. retook the A bombsite to win the pistol, but the North Americans were quick to win three with rifles and looked good to continue their stride as they found themselves in a 4v2. However, Jesper "JW" Wecksell and Simon "twist" Eliasson stood up strong with the AWPs and picked off their opponents to get back on the horse. After the score was tied at 11-11, Liquid won a round, but couldn't follow up on it and fnatic plowed on from there to win Mirage 16-12.
Liquid's B split worked out on the pistol on Inferno and the North American side built on that quickly, dominating their opponents as they took a 6-0 lead. fnatic didn't put up much of the fight until that point, having two players sitting on zero kills, but they finally got on the board as twist came alive with the AWP on Long, securing a hat-trick.
The Swedes were reset in the followup as they ran out of time on a 3v3 retake, but still won the next round with just pistols as they read the B push and stacked the site. After a short period in which fnatic looked competitive, Liquid got control of the game again and finished the half 12-3.
After the North American side won the pistol, it seemed like Inferno was done and dusted, but they lost the following round to an almost full eco and things started complicated for them. With a fearless, aggressive style of play, fnatic started coming back on the Terrorist side. In the end, Liquid managed to close it out and force the decider by winning a force-buy and a mixed buy late in the game, but only after fnatic reached double digits, 16-12.
Following a fumble in the CT pistol round, fnatic bounced back with the rifles and started locking down rounds, with Ludvig "Brollan" Brolin's play helping the Swedes to a 5-2 lead. After Liquid won their first full buy, they followed it up as Epitacio "TACO" de Melo and nitr0 found three fast kills on the B site entry.
fnatic's youngster Brollan shone once again as he won a round for his team with a single saved AK-47, a round that allowed his team to run up a big CT side lead, ending the first half 11-4. Liquid locked down B as their opponents tried to rush it on the pistol and went up 3-0 on the CT side after winning the first buy, however, with a mixed-bag of a buy and Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson going big, the Swedes got back to winning ways shortly. With Liquid's money in shambles, JW and co. ran over them and closed out the game, 16-7.
|fnatic||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Ludvig 'Brollan' BrolinBrollan||61 - 46||+15||73.6||1.18|
|Freddy 'KRIMZ' JohanssonKRIMZ||53 - 52||+1||88.9||1.15|
|Jesper 'JW' WecksellJW||53 - 48||+5||79.5||1.12|
|Simon 'twist' Eliassontwist||52 - 50||+2||69.5||1.04|
|Richard 'Xizt' LandströmXizt||43 - 52||-9||63.8||0.93|