Liquid overcomes G2 at EMEA LCQ to secure rematch against M3C with Champions trip on the line

A long day for Liquid, and another set for tomorrow.

Team Liquid rallied from their close loss to M3C earlier today with a close but confident victory over G2 Esports in the lower bracket of the EMEA Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ).

G2 opted to start on Bind, having just won on that map earlier against OGLU and Liquid losing to M3C. However, their early 4-1 lead quickly evaporated, with Liquid taking some rather unique approaches to buy rounds that paid off. Liquid ended the first half up 7-5, heading into their attack side.

In the second half, G2 reduced the gap with a pistol round win and a successful first buy round, but Liquid got up to double digits with a quadruple ultimate investment to get onto A. But without ultimates to sustain their attack plans, Liquid constantly found themselves trying to force plants with little to no time left, making them almost too easy for G2 to deny. G2 snuffed the Liquid attack time and time again to take Bind 13-10.

The series turned to Icebox, the scene of Liquid’s heart-breaking multi-OT loss to M3C earlier in the day. But Liquid showed why Icebox was still a good pick for them, using the utility from Fade, Viper, and Astra to force G2 defenders out of hiding spots. Even with a triple sentinel composition and lots of map control, G2 seriously struggled to keep Liquid off the B site, as their utility placement left them ill-equipped for retakes. Liquid led 8-4 at the half after their attack side.

With a heavy advantage heading into the second half, Jamppi anchored some unlikely round wins for Liquid to effectively snuff out G2’s attack. Whether it was aggressive opening duels or retakes, Jamppi was at the front of the pack for Liquid, delivering vital kills to improve his team’s lead to 12-7. And just G2 started to rally, another aggressive Jamppi play at A saw him get three kills early in what turned out to be the final round of Icebox, with Liquid taking it 13-10.

A flawless anti-eco round for G2 after Liquid claimed the pistol round set the tone early on Haven, and a gutsy defuse stick for mixwell helped fuel a great early defensive start for G2. But Liquid climbed their way back into contention on the attack, baiting out G2 utility and crunching them on sites. Liquid trailed 5-1 at one point in the first half but reduced that lead to only 7-5 before half-time.

Liquid quickly tied the map at 7-7 after switching to defense, and near-flawlessly won their bonus round to jumpstart a dominant-looking defensive side. Liquid absolutely throttled the G2 attack no matter which of three sites they chose to attack, and got up to a 12-7 lead before G2 got their first attack round of the half. But G2’s attack momentum ended there; AvovA couldn’t keep G2 alive in a 1v2 post-plant, as a dominant defensive showing from Liquid capped off a 13-8 Haven win and a 2-1 series victory.

It was a long day for Liquid (six maps in total), but at the end of their second series of the day, they got what they wanted: a second crack at a scary looking M3C roster in the grand finals. The two teams will meet in a best-of-five with the final EMEA ticket to VCT Champions on the line.

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