IEM Sydney 2019 Grand Final: Team Liquid vs Fnatic

The IEM Sydney 2019 Grand Final will see two teams who are equally hungry to prove themselves facing off with the trophy and the lion’s share of the prize pool on the line.

On one end is Fnatic, who have been slowly building their case as one of the five best CS:GO teams in the world. On the other end is Team Liquid, a team who have literally been chasing stars as they’ve played the part of second fiddle to arguably the best CS:GO team in history, Astralis, for the better part of the past year.

A win here both means something and nothing for these two CS:GO teams.

Obviously, winning any tournament is a huge confidence booster, and both could definitely benefit from adding another trophy to their cases. However, the sad reality is that Astralis arent playing in the tournament. Sure, it’s not always that the absence of one CS:GO team affects the perception of a tournament so much, but it’s also not often that we see the likes of Astralis, who have dominated the CS:GO scene for the past twelve months or so.

With that said, let’s get right on to business and try to predict which CS:GO team we think will go on to walk away as the victors from the IEM Sydney 2019 Grand Final.

The Importance of the Map Veto

IEM Sydney 2019 Grand Final

As prolific as Ludvig ‘Brollan’ Brolin have been for Fnatic so far this tournament, he’ll have his work cutout for him against Team Liquid at the IEM Sydney 2019 Grand Final. (Fnatic Counter-Strike)

Team Liquid are a fairly well-rounded team with an excellent map pool. They’re also far from perfect. They have quite a few weaknesses that Fnatic can exploit. For example, Mirage and Inferno are two maps that Team Liquid have not been particularly good in, whereas Fnatic have had a substantially higher winrate in those said maps against arguably the same level of competition in LAN tournaments. But, of course, Nuke and Dust2 are two maps that Fnatic have struggled with over the past six months, and Team Liquid will look to try to squeeze in at least one of the said maps, or preferably both.

Keep in mind, the IEM Sydney 2019 Grand Final will be a best-of-five.

This means that the point of the map veto in this series is less about which maps are going to make it through, but rather, the order that the teams will play the maps.

It’ll be important for Fnatic to make sure that they get a head start early on and pick maps that favour their style of play. Otherwise, it’ll be a steep climb for them to get back into the series if they fall into a hole. After all, despite all the memes about Team Liquid choking and succumbing to pressure, they have actually begun improving in tense situations, which is a scary thought considering how successful they’ve already been so far.

IEM Sydney 2019 Grand Final Prediction

IEM Sydney 2019 Grand Final

Russel ‘Twistzz’ Van Dulken seems to have settled in quite nicely in his new role in Team Liquid, topping the team with a 1.37 rating across 7 maps. (Team Liquid)

There’s no doubt that Fnatic will make this a tough affair for Team Liquid. However, the eye test shows that Team Liquid will stop at nothing to win their first legitimate LAN title in a long time. They have yet to drop a single map throughout the entire tournament and three out of five of their players are among the five best performers at the IEM Sydney 2019. In contrast, Fnatic’s players haven’t really stood out and taken over in the same sense as their counterparts.

Statistically, Team Liquid and their individual members beat out Fnatic in just about every category except for total kills, clutches, and total headshots, which isn’t surprising since Fnatic have already had to play a total of 15 maps so far the entire tournament.

Between Team Liquid’s current form and Fnatic’s inconsistency, we’ll have to bank on the North Americans taking home the first trophy in a long time.

Betting: Team Liquid -1.5 on Spread Full Time at 1.49 odds via 10bet.

Copyright: ESL / Sarah Cooper

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