Team Liquid fought hard against the number one seed from NA.
OpTic Gaming overcomes their EMEA kryptonite and sends Team Liquid down to the lower bracket at VALORANT Champions Istanbul.
Team Liquid started playoffs with a clinical performance on Breeze against the former Masters: Reykjavík champions OpTic Gaming. With the crowd in Istanbul behind them, chanting Let’s go Liquid, the team gained a quick 9-3 advantage over the number one seed from North America. OpTic has become infamous for their slow starts in series and this one was no different. Despite clawing back some rounds after the half changed, OpTic conceded Liquids map pick of Breeze 13-7. Soulcas for Liquid was the standout player on Breeze as KAY/O. He finished the map with a 1.57 KD and the lobby’s highest headshot percentage at 39.
With the first map loss out of the way, OpTic came in clutch on Bind to extinguish Liquids flame. Bind started with OpTic taking an early 5-0 lead before Liquid finally answered back with a few rounds of their own to minimize the advantage at the half. After a few traded thrifty rounds and clutches from yay and crashies, OpTic was able to walk away with the map win 13-8 to tie the series 1-1.
OpTic had previously struggled to overcome the talent on EMEA with a 1-10 map count against the region this year. However, it would be hard to believe that stat after OpTic started Ascent with a 9-0 lead. Liquid continuously lost opening duels and could not get anything going early on. Nivera was the sole player to pull Liquid back into the game with back-to-back triple kills to get the team a couple of rounds. The crowd in the venue fell quiet as Liquid stood in the face of a 10-2 deficit on Ascent. That crowd began heating back up as slowly Liquid began earning back round after round on the attack. OpTic started losing their lead by being able to clutch up off the back of a thrifty round to close out the map 13-8 to win 2-1.