NRG send Liquid packing in Arlington
The North American showdown began on Mirage, Liquid's map pick, with Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski opening up the action with a quad kill to put his team in the lead. The IEM Chicago runners-up rode that momentum to carve out an 8-2 lead after keeping their opponents from stringing rounds together.
Vincent "Brehze" Cayonte, who had claimed his MVP medal from cs_summit prior to the match, then took matters into his own hands and pulled off multi-kills to allow NRG to finally get a foothold in the game, but Liquid bagged the final two rounds to make it a 10-5 half.
Now playing on the CT side, Liquid further added to their lead after winning the opening two rounds of the half. But all of a sudden they lost their grip on the game. A triple-kill by Ethan "Ethan" Arnold in a force-buy prevented a reset and gave NRG a lifeline, with Chet "ImAPet" Singh's troops using that opportunity to take control of proceedings.
NRG ran all over the Liquid defence, winning all aim duels, and eventually restored parity at 13-13 on the back of a trio of kills by Tsvetelin "CeRq" Dimitrov, who would also deal the finishing blow with a quad-kill in the 30th round after his team had reset the CTs.
Liquid knew they had a mountain to climb to turn the series around as they headed to Overpass, their worst map over the last three months, with just one victory in four games. They were put on the back foot early on as Jacob "FugLy" Medina handed NRG an early lead with four kills in the pistol round.
After getting their economy back in order, Liquid responded by winning four rounds in a row to take the lead, but the rest of the half was all about NRG's precise executions and crisp aim, with Damian "daps" Steele's side picking up a 9-6 lead.
The second half began with a stunning pistol round by Ethan, who picked up four kills after being brought down to just 5hp. NRG set up a very tight defence, immediately countering Liquid's win in the 20th round, and hit match point off the back of a quad-kill by CeRq, who single-handedly overturned a 2v4 situation. With no money in the bank, Nick "nitr0" Cannella's side were helpless to prevent defeat, leaving Arlington with a frustrating 7th-8th place after looking surprisingly off the pace in the two matches that they played.
|NRG||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Jacob 'FugLy' MedinaFugLy||47 - 22||+25||97.5||1.52|
|Tsvetelin 'CeRq' DimitrovCeRq||42 - 28||+14||73.4||1.22|
|Ethan 'Ethan' ArnoldEthan||35 - 31||+4||80.0||1.17|
|Vincent 'Brehze' CayonteBrehze||39 - 32||+7||84.0||1.16|
|Damian 'daps' Steeledaps||25 - 31||-6||49.9||0.86|