Movistar Riders take down Liquid to remain undefeated
The North American squad suffered their first defeat in Group C, ending the day with a 2-1 record.
Movistar Riders took their third victory at ESL Pro League Season 15 after defeating Liquid 2-1. Both squads came into this series with a 2-0 record, but it was the Spanish squad that eventually came out on top after an exciting match that saw the two teams exchange map picks before Alejandro "alex" Masanet and co. edged the series on Ancient after going to overtime.
Despite rocking a 3-0 record in Group C, Movistar Riders have yet to confirm a top-three finish and secure themselves a spot in the playoffs. Today's victory is a big boost for the Spaniards' campaign in Germany and a GODSENT win over Party Astronauts would stack the odds even more in their favor. With Players and North America's best behind them, Movistar Riders now look at the last two games against BIG and Party Astronauts with high hopes.
Alvaro "SunPayus" Garcia kickstarted the series with three quick frags on Inferno, delivering the opening pistol to Movistar Riders. Unfortunately for the Spaniards, Richard "shox" Papillon was able to put a wrench in their plans of converting the anti eco on the B bombsite, flipping the game in favor of Liquid. Despite a few good B hits from alex's squad over the course of the half, the defensive quality brought by Josh "oSee" Ohm and Keith "NAF" Markovic was too much for the offense to overcome, trailing 6-9 at halftime.
Movistar Riders gave Liquid a taste of their own medicine, converting a force buy on round 17 which allowed them to gain some early momentum on the CT side and equalize at 10-10. Fortunately for the North Americans, Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski bounced back from a quiet first half and helped them secure map point at 15-11 after a solid offensive half. Despite bringing their map pick all the way to 30 rounds, the Spanish quintet was unable to force overtime, conceding the B bombsite to Liquid and with it, the opening map 14-16.
Movistar Riders came into their opponents' pick with a score to settle. In a similar fashion to the previous map, the Spaniards converted a second-round force buy to keep the T economy in check and propel them to a quick 7-1 lead. Liquid would only take one more round with a plant on the B site as they struggled to make a dent on the Spanish defense powered by SunPayus and Raúl "DeathZz" Jordán Nieto, going into the second half 2-13 behind. A flat start to the second half from the Spaniards gave Liquid the chance to get back in the game, bringing the scoreline all the way to 12-15. Despite their best efforts, the advantage was too large to overcome and Movistar Riders were eventually able to close out Liquid's pick 16-12.
Moving into the decider on Ancient, Liquid secured their early advantage by taking the pistol round and converting the following anti eco. It did not take long for Movistar Riders to respond, winning a crucial A hit that allowed them to retake a 6-4 lead. Despite the Spanish resurgence, the North Americans could count on oSee performing and shox winning a 1v1 clutch to secure a late five-round winning streak and go into halftime leading 9-6.
Nick "nitr0" Cannella and co. quickly extended their advantage to 12-6 after a few successful offensive rounds in the second half, but Movistar Riders were not going to let them run away with the series uncontested. Once the rifles came out for the defenders, they were able to reduce their deficit to 10-12 as alex and SunPayus continued to shine. A crucial 3k by nitr0 on the B bombsite had seemingly given Liquid the game but they were unable to take advantage of their position, conceding four rounds in a row as Movistar Riders forced overtime. The North American squad seemed to have lost steam in extra time, only able to steal one T round as their opponents ran away with the game 19-16.
|Liquid||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|65 - 57||+8||66.2||1.06|
|62 - 61||+1||81.5||1.05|
|56 - 69||-13||76.4||1.01|
|52 - 60||-8||60.5||0.93|
|48 - 66||-18||61.3||0.84|
|Movistar Riders||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|79 - 48||+31||82.5||1.40|
|71 - 56||+15||84.5||1.17|
|60 - 54||+6||69.5||1.08|
|57 - 64||-7||74.2||0.99|
|44 - 61||-17||55.6||0.81|