Liquid defeat G2 to win ESL Pro League Season 9 Finals
The BO5 series started on Dust2, G2's map pick, with the Frenchmen picking up the CT pistol on the delight of the crowd in Montpellier. In an economy-swinging round early on Lucas "Lucky" Chastang picked up a triple to shut down the B-split, and François "AmaNEk" Delaunay came up big in a subsequent A retake, clutching the 1v1 against Jake "Stewie2K" Yip.
As the score was 7-1, Liquid added their second round with an A split, but a fast flank from Richard "shox" Papillon won G2 the following round. Liquid found an answer to G2's disruptive plays towards the end of the half, punishing their aggression, and finally broke the economy of their opponents thanks to Stewie2K's clutch play in a 2v5.
The North American side finished the half just one round behind, making up for that quickly by winning the CT pistol and shutting down G2's force buy. It seemed like Liquid would cruise to victory as Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski was helping his side add rounds to the board with back-to-back multikills, but after the score was 14-9, shox and co. started abusing the B bombsite, too much success.
After the score was tied at 14-14, Russel "Twistzz" Van Dulken's quad kill pushed Liquid to map point. G2 got another B round in to force overtime, but Nick "nitr0" Cannella stepped up to lock down the smaller bombsite in the added rounds and Liquid closed out the map 19-15.
Kicking off Overpass, G2 secured a comfortable pistol round win and fended off the force buy of Liquid, only to fall to a Deagle-eco from the North American side, nitr0 and Keith "NAF" Markovic finding three unanswered frags on the A site entry. From that point, Liquid took control of the map, going on a seven-round-winning streak, capitalizing on G2's struggling economy.
After that, nitr0 and co. extended their lead as they swarmed the B bombsite quickly in the perfect round as Kenny "kennyS" Schrub was holding it alone (8-2), with G2 finally replying as AmaNEk stopped the A site approach with a triple. However, no momentum was built for the home team as Twistzz found two to turn around a 3v5, which Liquid built on to finish the half 12-3 up. Stewie2K and Twistzz combined for all five kills in the second half-pistol and Liquid closed out the map swiftly, 16-3.
Frantic, back-and-forth action opened up Nuke, where G2 took a 4-3 lead on the Terrorist side. NAF stepped into the spotlight then, bagging a triple with the AWP to shut down the Yard push, but G2 replied with a fast Ramp push with pistols to break their opponents' money and take the lead, 6-4.
The Frenchmen extended their lead to 8-4 before Liquid solidified their defenses, bringing the deficit down to just one round at half time following strong A site holds by Twistzz and EliGE. The start to the second half was back forth similarly to the first one, and as the score was 10-10, Audric "JaCkz" Jug's triple on Ramp broke Liquid's money.
The North American side was unable to find a solution for G2's holds and the French squad went up to match point, 15-11. A fast-paced approach did work for nitr0 and co, giving them a round, but G2 closed it out after that, 16-12, moving the action to Inferno.
Force-buys and mix-buys were won by both sides early into the fourth map of the series. Liquid was holding the lead throughout the majority of it, but still couldn't compose themselves and take control of the economy game. The back-and-forth continued throughout the first 13 rounds, when G2 finally got three in a row thanks to a crucial triple from shox. (7-6)
Liquid still bounced back, chaining the last two rounds of the half together, moving on to the offensive side with a minimal, 8-7 lead. However, the French side won the second half pistol and started the half 3-0, putting pressure on the North American side. Stewie2K alleviated some of that with a double entry that started Liquid's T side streak.
Five rounds went the way of nitr0 and co. (13-10), G2 finally stopped that with a 3v2 retake on A, and crucially, followed it up as kennyS and JaCkz locked down the B bombsite flawlessly. The last rounds were traded back and forth, G2 had the perfrect opportunity to close out the map as they got onto map point and Liquid had a low buy, but Twistzz clutched out a 1v3 to force overtime.
In the additional rounds, Liquid started to stabilize and dictate the pace of the game but securing only two Terrorist rounds in the end wasn't enough for them to close out the series, with G2 fighting back to force overtime number two. That wasn't enough to decide the winner, though, as shox stepped up with a key clutch on A to force OT3. Finally, that was where the match was decided, as Liquid had a perfect T half and closed out Inferno 25-22, 3-1 for the series.
|G2||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Kenny 'kennyS' SchrubkennyS||88 - 81||+7||71.2||1.07|
|Audric 'JaCkz' JugJaCkz||80 - 94||-14||73.8||0.99|
|Richard 'shox' Papillonshox||93 - 91||+2||73.1||0.97|
|François 'AmaNEk' DelaunayAmaNEk||80 - 93||-13||72.2||0.96|
|Lucas 'Lucky' ChastangLucky||70 - 94||-24||67.4||0.88|
|Liquid||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Jonathan 'EliGE' JablonowskiEliGE||103 - 86||+17||84.2||1.23|
|Russel 'Twistzz' Van DulkenTwistzz||101 - 73||+28||75.7||1.21|
|Jake 'Stewie2K' YipStewie2K||88 - 87||+1||76.2||1.11|
|Nick 'nitr0' Cannellanitr0||81 - 80||+1||73.6||1.05|
|Keith 'NAF' MarkovicNAF||79 - 85||-6||77.9||1.03|
ESL Pro League Season 9 Finals final standings:
1. Liquid - $250,000
2. G2 - $80,000
3-4. NRG - $40,000
3-4. mousesports - $40,000
5-6. Astralis - $20,000
5-6. FaZe - $20,000
7-8. Heroic - $17,000
7-8. MIBR - $17,000
9-12. fnatic - $15,000
9-12. HellRaisers - $15,000
9-12. Cloud9 - $15,000
9-12. North - $15,000
13-16. TYLOO - $14,000
13-16. Grayhound - $14,000
13-16. DETONA - $14,000
13-16. Luminosity - $14,000