Team Liquid and Newbee Advance to ESL One Playoff

The four teams of the ESL One Playoff are now set, with Team Liquid and Newbee ready to face off against Team Secret and Virtus.Pro respectively for a chance to secure a huge chunk of Qualifying Points for The International 8 next year.

For Team Liquid, every one of their possible opponents from here on out will be looking to take their revenge against them; Team Secret, Virtus.Pro, and Newbee all fell in the hands of the reigning champions in their historic lower bracket run at The International 7.

Evil Geniuses Fall to Newbee

Evil Geniuses‘ early season woes continues as they fall to Newbee 2-1 and fail to advance to the ESL One Playoff.

Clinton ‘Fear’ Loomis’ return as an active player and Andreas Franck ‘Cr1t-‘ Nielsen going back to the position 4 role hasn’t exactly panned out as well as the boys in blue had hoped; they’ve only qualified for one LAN tournament so far and have looked far from mid season form.

If it’s any consolation, though, Evil Geniuses did show glimpses of how good they can become in their series against Newbee, especially in Game 1. Unfortunately, occasional flashes of brilliance aren’t enough to take down a top-tier team like Newbee.

Evil Geniuses’ lack of coordination and sloppy execution in the mid and late game showed against Newbee and the TI7 runner-ups were more than happy to take advantage. In both Games 2 and 3, Newbee fell from behind, only to come back by drawing the game out and fighting on their own terms.

With that said, Newbee are now in the ESL One Playoff and are looking at the possibility of a rematch against Team Liquid should both teams make it to the Grand Finals.

Keen Gaming Come Up Short Against Team Liquid

One of the more relatively obsecure teams to come out of China, Keen Gaming had the perfect cinderalla story feel to them.

An Open Qualifier team who took down the likes of Invictus Gaming, IG.Vitality, and LGD Gaming to qualify for the ESL One Hamburg Major, Keen Gaming advancing to the ESL One Playoff would’ve made for a great headline. Unfortunately, such an ending wasn’t meant to be.

After taking down SG e-sports 2-1 earlier in the tournament, Keen Gaming faced the tall task of taking down Team Liquid. And, in a surprising turn of events, it initially looked like they would pull off the unlikely upset.

In Game 1, Team Liquid found themselves playing from behind for most of the game and it wasn’t until the ~49-minute mark that the net worth swung towards their favour — a scenario very unfamiliar to the reigning champions.

Ultimately, though, Keen Gaming’s inexperience got the best of them as Team Liquid did what they did best and closed out a game that nobody expected to be that close.

Game 2 was never as close as Team Liquid took the lead early on and never looked back.

Despite the early exit, Keen Gaming can go home knowing that they impressed a lot of people in their first LAN tournament.

Who Will Win The First Major of the Season?

ESL One Playoff

Image via ESL

Team Liquid, Team Secret, Newbee and Virtus.Pro, which of these four teams do you think is the weakest? It’ll take anyone a while to answer that, given how close these teams are.

With no runaway favourites among the four teams playing at the ESL One Playoff, expect each series to go the full length.

12:00 CEST — Team Secret vs Team Liquid
~15:30 CEST — Virtus.Pro vs Newbee
19:30 CEST — Grand Finals

Which team do you think will come out of the ESL One Playoff on top and win the first Major of the season? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.

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