Triumph upset Liquid to advance to IEM Beijing-Haidian grand final
Liquid's run in IEM Beijing-Haidian came to an end in stunning fashion as they were felled by Triumph in their semi-final match-up, the AWP of Paytyn "junior" Johnson proving key in helping his side to a 2-1 victory (16-12 Inferno, 8-16 Dust2, 16-14 Nuke).
Triumph now await the winner of the second semi-final match between Chaos and Evil Geniuses, set to kick off at 22:00 on Saturday. The best-of-five grand final will award the champion with a spot in IEM Global Challenge as well as the lion's share of the $70,000 prize pool.
Triumph got off to a strong start on their pick of Inferno, taking three rounds on the attack before triple kills from Russel "Twistzz" Van Dulken and Jake "Stewie2K" Yip put Liquid on the board. However, rounds for Stewie2K and company were few and far between from that point forward, with junior and Alan "Shakezullah" Hardeman propelling their side to an 11-4 lead at the break.
A comeback seemed to be in the cards at the onset of the second half for Liquid, who won seven of the first eight rounds to bring themselves within one of their opposition. Multi-kill rounds from junior, Ryan "ryann" Welsh, and Shakezullah put a halt to Liquid's momentum, though, allowing Triumph to close out the map, 16-12.
Things took a grim turn for Triumph on Dust2 as Liquid found their footing, dominating on the attack round after round. An AWP ace from junior helped Triumph recover a 2vs5 situation, but that round win was just one of the two that Shakezullah's troops were able to secure in the first half as they trailed 2-13. A brief effort to fight back into the map saw Triumph move up to seven rounds following the side swap, but once Liquid had rifles in their hands, they wasted little time in closing out the map to move the series to a Nuke decider.
There, Triumph once again took an early lead, junior proving key in helping his side to a 7-1 start on the T side. However, Grim and Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski stepped up to bat to keep Liquid in the running, winning seven in a row to edge out a one-round lead at halftime.
The scoreline was immediately tied up as Triumph took the final pistol of the series, using the momentum of the win to move up to a 12-8 lead. Liquid responded with a sequence of their own, but were sent reeling when a saved AWP from junior and a B bombsite stack from Triumph flipped the script, with Kaleb "moose" Jayne following up with a quad kill round to put his side on match point. Liquid made an attempt to fight for overtime, finding three additional rounds, but were felled by Triumph in round 30 to bring the series to a close.
|Liquid||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Michael 'Grim' WinceGrim||61 - 48||+13||79.4||1.24|
|Keith 'NAF' MarkovicNAF||65 - 50||+15||79.9||1.22|
|Jake 'Stewie2K' YipStewie2K||57 - 55||+2||75.3||1.14|
|Jonathan 'EliGE' JablonowskiEliGE||59 - 55||+4||76.0||1.12|
|Russel 'Twistzz' Van DulkenTwistzz||36 - 46||-10||53.0||0.94|