Liquid survive Movistar Riders scare in EPL opener

Jonathan "⁠EliGE⁠" Jablonowski and Mareks "⁠YEKINDAR⁠" Gaļinskis were the difference-makers in edging out the win in a hard-fought three-map series for Liquid.

Liquid have net themselves a win in their opening match of ESL Pro League Season 16, scraping together a win against Movistar Riders in a series that ended up much closer than expected. A comeback was required from Liquid to take their pick of Mirage, which they secured 16-13, but a 16-14 win from Movistar Riders on Inferno ended up forcing a third map which Liquid narrowly took over the line, 16-13.

The North American side had to contend with a red-hot performance out of the gates from Antonio "⁠Martinez⁠" Martinez on Mirage, who impressed in his first showing against top tier opposition under the Riders banner. Still, the Spanish team were unable to step up alongside their newcomer and ultimately conceded a massive lead on Mirage, but managed to recover by edging out a win on Inferno before faltering against a blistering performance from EliGE on Vertigo.

Liquid will be happy to come away with a win in their opening series, although the narrow fashion in which they claimed victory will be something to look back on when reviewing the tapes in preparation for their match against Evil Geniuses on Thursday. Movistar Riders, meanwhile, will hope to have a slightly better performance against FURIA, a series which they really will need to win if they want a shot at making the playoffs.

EliGE and YEKINDAR found key impact throughout the series for Liquid

Liquid's pick of Mirage marked where the battle commenced, with a T side start coming back to haunt them early on. A strong defensive line from Movistar Riders powered by an invigorated display from Martinez helped the Spaniards establish a firm 7-1 lead, a handful of lost rounds from Liquid occurring in tragic fashion as they let a few advantages slip away. Multi-kill rounds from YEKINDAR and EliGE did prevent a complete blowout, but Martinez remained a thorn in Liquid's side throughout the half and was key in securing his team a 10-5 lead at the break.

Movistar Riders further extended their lead to 13-5 following the side swap, a force-buy from Liquid in the second round almost turning the tides only for the Spaniards to narrowly take the win. Once rifles were in hand though, the momentum completely shifted into Liquid's favor, dominance from the rifling duo of YEKINDAR and EliGE preventing the Spanish inquisition onto bombsites round after round. The Latvian in particular had a stellar performance and was the driving force in an eleven-round spree for Liquid as they snatched away victory from the Riders, ending the map with a 32-20 K-D and 1.65 rating.

Inferno had a much more back-and-forth first half, with neither team able to hold on to a lead for too long. Rounds were traded back and forth as Liquid didn't present a very compelling defense, mustering just eight rounds by halftime following some strong calls from Movistar Riders. Martinez's strong form continued on the map, but this time he was joined by Alejandro "⁠alex⁠" Masanet, who particularly found impact in the second half. There was a brief moment where it seemed that Liquid would once again prevail in the later moments of the map after EliGE demolished a setup in apartments in a key round, but Movistar Riders locked down their defenses and just barely edged out a 16-14 win to force a Vertigo decider.

Liquid came barreling into the final map of the series, racing up to a 7-1 lead on the CT side off the back of a handful of impactful rounds from Josh "⁠oSee⁠" Ohm. It was a 2vs3 retake that Liquid went for and ultimately failed at that turned the tides, the round crushing Liquid's economy and helping Movistar Riders come back into the map, winning the remaining seven rounds of the half to edge out a lead. Once the sides swapped over, Liquid again gained control, although they dropped two rounds to eco and low buys to keep the scoreline close.

Those rounds came back to haunt them as Movistar Riders began to rally back, and for a brief moment it looked as if the Spaniards would manage to steal the win; however, EliGE stepped up with a massive quad kill round to turn the tides, and YEKINDAR followed things up with double and triple kill rounds to help Liquid just barely scrape together a victory, 16-13.

Matchpage
2
1
21st September 2022
16
Mirage
13
14
Inferno
16
16
Vertigo
13
 Liquid K - D +/- ADR Rating 2.0
77 - 65 +12 100.6 1.34
73 - 59 +14 89.5 1.21
53 - 54 -1 67.9 1.06
52 - 54 -2 55.4 0.89
44 - 59 -15 54.8 0.78
 Movistar Riders K - D +/- ADR Rating 2.0
70 - 57 +13 79.2 1.20
65 - 56 +9 82.4 1.15
62 - 59 +3 80.7 1.11
50 - 63 -13 67.0 0.84
42 - 64 -22 57.2 0.78
United States Josh 'oSee' Ohm
Josh 'oSee' Ohm
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.11
Maps played:
1115
KPR:
0.74
DPR:
0.62
United States Jonathan 'EliGE' Jablonowski
Jonathan 'EliGE' Jablonowski
Age:
25
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
1626
KPR:
0.76
DPR:
0.68
Spain Alejandro 'alex' Masanet
Alejandro 'alex' Masanet
Age:
26
Rating 1.0:
1.03
Maps played:
1325
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.65
Spain Antonio 'Martinez' Martinez
Antonio 'Martinez' Martinez
Age:
21
Rating 1.0:
1.15
Maps played:
54
KPR:
0.79
DPR:
0.65
Latvia Mareks 'YEKINDAR' Gaļinskis
Mareks 'YEKINDAR' Gaļinskis
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.07
Maps played:
1116
KPR:
0.75
DPR:
0.70
USA! USA! USA!
2022-09-22 00:26
3 replies
+1 +1 +1
2022-09-22 08:22
Now now now…
2022-09-22 09:53
1 reply
Hes sold to Sam, dude, drop it
2022-09-22 10:48
#2
 | 
Greece cristmon_cs
ez
2022-09-22 00:26
n1
2022-09-22 00:26
Beautiful game from both of the teams
2022-09-22 00:27
7 replies
if you think anything from TL was "beautiful" this series you must not have watched very much ))
2022-09-22 01:10
6 replies
Care to explain?
2022-09-22 02:14
5 replies
Liquid didn't play tight cs at all. They threw 3 v 5, they lost against eco/partial. They lost a lot of clutches. Tbf, if they didn't play like s***, mirage and vertigo were not supposed to be close. Inferno, they didn't confortable at all. So, Mrs was clearly the better team there.
2022-09-22 04:31
4 replies
Agreed, this match should be easy for liquid, they dont deserve win
2022-09-22 08:00
3 replies
Liquid deserve their wins, they fight hard, but it is not pretty. I mean on inferno, mrs was the better team there. On mirage, they were lucky to get 13 rounds, their t side was just awful to watch. They had no idea to counter mid presence of Liquid. Liquid was reading like a book on t side, but they lost on details by horrible trading/spacing , post-plant positions.
2022-09-22 14:35
2 replies
mby ur right but idk, they were playing like top20 team not top3
2022-09-22 15:24
1 reply
true. I cannot argue with that. It was horrible to watch. Props to Mrs, they did way better than everyone expected.
2022-09-22 15:53
close
2022-09-22 00:27
11 replies
way too close, but top3 is exagerated, like top5 for MS and top4 for Astralis. Liquid is not enough solid rn
2022-09-22 00:29
10 replies
The ranks will be correct after epl, so when the major comes we will have a better view, i just think at the moment, its navi then faze g2 and vitality, for sure at leats, maybe heroic, mouz or cloud 9 next maybe furia,lets see how group d plays out, there are also liquid and fnatic
2022-09-22 00:38
9 replies
#19
 | 
Europe GriNcs
navi #1? wat
2022-09-22 00:44
#23
 | 
Bulgaria alekscho89
liquid are the third best team , they beated heroic , nip .g2 , cloud9 , furia
2022-09-22 00:59
1 reply
they hate NA and pushed blast out of their mind already, i think vitality is honestly #3 though
2022-09-22 01:24
#37
 | 
United States 1Tuurtle
putting Navi in first is a bit delusional. Furia over Liquid is also delusional. IMO it goes: 1. Faze 2. Navi (not that far ahead of 3rd) 3. Liquid/Vita 4. Liquid/Vita 5. G2/C9 6. G2/C9
2022-09-22 02:00
4 replies
Furia beat liquid so...
2022-09-25 23:32
3 replies
#65
 | 
United States 1Tuurtle
Honestly Furia played super well this EPL. And Liquid played pretty bad in every match except against C9 (and they still almost threw). They proved me wrong, and I am pleasantly surprised
2022-09-26 01:35
2 replies
Liquid is bases on how yekindar plays, if he play like he dis agaisnt C9, then liquid can beat almost any team, but when he is in a bad day, they can lose to teams like Eternal fire, if a team can counter yekindar, i bet this team will win agaisnt liquid, you say furia played well and i agree, but agiasnt c9 and eg, they made too much mistakes, if they did not throw that many rounds on overpass, they might have won that map, and when facing EG, they made more or less, the same mistakes, but eg is not a tier S team so they (Furia) still won
2022-09-26 14:04
1 reply
#67
 | 
United States 1Tuurtle
The thing is that Liquid has shown that they dont need to rely so heavily on Yekindar with Cologne, where Yekindar underperformed. It's a shame that the system they put in place seems to have stopped osee from being a playmaker and turned him into a supportive awper. For the EG-Furia match, Furia made a lot of mistakes yes, but so did EG. I watched a number of rounds that absolutely got thrown by EG (I only caught the end of both maps) and that is probably due to a lack of experience
2022-09-26 14:34
#53
 | 
India DG_1998
Faze is better than Navi.
2022-09-22 08:45
#7
 | 
United States zovint
ez 4 na
2022-09-22 00:29
martinez showing that he could be an actual contender for sunpayus spot
2022-09-22 00:29
1 reply
#38
 | 
United States 1Tuurtle
Actually shocked me with how good they played. Should not have been this close. I was campaigning for Movistar 0-5 but now I'm not so sure. Maybe it's just that Movistar play bad online so that people underestimate them on LAN
2022-09-22 02:01
If only martinez kept the form for the last map....
2022-09-22 00:29
3 replies
If osee had a okay game.
2022-09-22 00:30
2 replies
True that, touche
2022-09-22 00:30
1 reply
But it is for them. That close game doesn't make them a fraud team. They still play decent/good team.
2022-09-22 00:31
god martinez
2022-09-22 00:30
#15
 | 
United States Warfororks
Wow, Movistar Riders were really impressive today. Can't wait to see them at the RMR!
2022-09-22 00:35
1 reply
Men :(
2022-09-22 01:33
Those lucky bots, gj Liquid. Now you get a breakday with EG tomorrow.
2022-09-22 00:38
1 reply
Only lucky ones are Liquid that they have an EU player to carry them
2022-09-22 07:42
dav1g ...liquid the 6th player found a way how to lose last map. 👍 Good job yeki and eli
2022-09-22 00:41
mopoz needs to step up as an open fragger
2022-09-22 00:45
3 replies
The guy was litteraly a menace in t side vertigo. Davidg and deathz are the one to step up. Deathz only play good on vertigo.
2022-09-22 00:48
2 replies
Deathzz has higher stats than mopoz on all 3 maps, by far
2022-09-22 01:42
1 reply
but mopoz is entrying, but deathzz is lurking/passive. It is not really comparable in terms of stats. Also, mopoz + alex are pretty the second/first igl. IMO the young player should be way more explosive/x-factor than mopoz/alex. I know spanish scene is not big scene, but I feel davig and deathz are average players overall.
2022-09-22 01:46
Expected 100 ADR from NAs savior Godkindar
2022-09-22 00:51
Pleasant surprise to see Movistar continue to impress despite losing sunpayus
2022-09-22 01:00
#25
jks | 
North America BoDaddy
Movi were the better team
2022-09-22 01:09
Movistar is just a star awper breeding ground
2022-09-22 01:18
2 replies
nt smooya
2022-09-22 01:33
1 reply
I don’t get what you mean but I am just saying that the Spaniards have produced a couple of beastly world class awpers (not smooya) Just surprised that they found the self what looks like another sunpayus in the making
2022-09-22 02:47
close :( respect riders please
2022-09-22 01:24
1 reply
#31
 | 
United States cybonics
lanners
2022-09-22 01:33
#30
 | 
Brazil hugoooo
Huge choke... MR played way better.
2022-09-22 01:26
mrs threw the first map, otherwise this would have been a 2-0 that nobody expected
2022-09-22 01:56
3 replies
tbh, liquid threw their t side, they had the good read, but their post-plant, trading was awful. On the t side, mrs looedk like t2 below liquid, the rounds were not even close, 5 cts survived, 4 cts survived. So, you could say they throw vertigo, which is true, but they didn't throw mirage, it was liquid who almost threw it really hard.
2022-09-22 04:28
2 replies
mrs had a 10-5 half and afterwards only managed to get 3 more rounds, thats throwing at its best, dont know what match you watched. vertigo was round-wise tied after the first half.
2022-09-22 15:20
1 reply
I said Liquid threw their t sides. They lost with perfect read, numerous advantages. The half should be at least 7-8 for them. Plus the economy problem, even maybe 8-7. Mrs had the first rounds on ct side , that's it. I won't called a throw, they had no answer. Liquid was outduel them, it was just a rampage. Liquid definely threw their t side on mirage. Vertigo was more a fair fight. It like calling EF t on overpass a throw. No, they didn't know what to do.
2022-09-22 15:54
#40
 | 
Brazil Elakk
this was definitely one of the choke jobs of all time
2022-09-22 02:33
Nt riders. Next time you'll beat them :)
2022-09-22 03:23
LETS GO
2022-09-22 04:23
I'm so proud of the boys, <3 you Liquid!
2022-09-22 05:25
alright, movistar still got it
2022-09-22 07:47
YEKINDAR is an epiphany, what a beast!
2022-09-22 08:41
Lets go. My combo bet still alive. Slay
2022-09-22 09:16
#56
 | 
Czech Republic Dmitry209
MatineZsa was really good i did not expected that good of a showing
2022-09-22 10:04
Scare??? Movie stars is a top 5 team world
2022-09-22 14:25
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