Team Liquid are now the leaders on the Intel Grand Slam Season 2 leaderboards after winning their second straight big event at the DreamHack Masters Dallas 2019.
Heading into the tournament, Team Liquid faced some serious questions following their loss against Team Vitality at the cs_summit 4. However, after breezing through the group stages and proving their mettle against Furia eSports and ENCE at the playoffs, it’s safe to say that Team Liquid have silenced their critics. At least, for now.
Team Liquid showed tremendous mental fortitude at the DreamHack Dallas Masters 2019, winning Mirage decisively before successfully fighting off a furious run from ENCE on Inferno to win the the tournament.
As a reward for their efforts, Team Liquid will go home $100,000 richer, with Jonathan ‘EliGe’ Jablonowski taking home his first MVP award.
Jere ‘sergej‘ Salo (1.23 rating in 12 maps) and Aleksi ‘allu‘ Jalli (1.22 rating in 12 maps) stood out for ENCE, posting a 1.14 and 1.13 rating, respectively, in the Grand Finals against Team Liquid. However, both would receive little help from the rest of ENCE as Team Liquid’s more balanced effort proved to be the difference maker in their DreamHack Dallas Masters 2019 win.
With the DreamHack Masters Dallas 2019 now in hand, Team Liquid are just two wins short of winning the Intel Grand Slam Season 2. But, perhaps more importantly, they’ve now temporarily displaced Astralis.
While this likely won’t last for long, Team Liquid are now currently the No. 1 CS:GO team in the world.
DreamHack Masters Dallas 2019 Grand Finals Recap
Despite an excellent 5v5 retake to start off Mirage, it was Team Liquid who took firm control of the map, going 8-7 heading into the half before showing off their defensive chops on the Counter-Terrorist side to take the map 16-8 and lead the series 1-0.
After such a lopsided win, many had assumed that the DreamHack Masters Dallas 2019 trophy was already in the bag.
After all, ENCE weren’t exactly known for their Overpass, winning just 33% of their LAN games on the said map over the past three months. But, in true ENCE fashion, the Finnish side surprised everyone by grabbing an 8-7 lead at the end of the first half before forcing overtime and ultimately tying the series after a 19-17 performance.
With the first two games tightly contested, many were expecting the series to end on a high note, and the series-clincher definitely delivered.
Initially, ENCE found themselves staring down at a 10-1 lead. But, they did not give up. Instead, ENCE ended the first half winning four straight rounds to close the gap, 10-5. This gave them a better chance of staging a comeback.
ENCE followed this up with three straight wins in the second half, starting off with a 1v4 pistol round clutch, courtesy of Sami ‘xseveN‘ Laasanen. But, unlike the Team Liquid of last year, the North Americans did not lose their composure.
Team Liquid successfully fought back against ENCE’s late surge. After winning three consecutive rounds of their own, they were just one round away from clinching the title.
It was then that Jake ‘Stewie2K‘ Yip would seal the series for Team Liquid after securing three kills in the banana, with Russel ‘Twistzz‘ Van Dulken delivering the final blow with two frags of his own in the A site.
Are Team Liquid the Best CS:GO Team in the World?
For now, Team Liquid can revel in the fact that they’re technically the “best” CS:GO team in the world.
For a team to have been so close to success for so long to not give up and make a monumental change by switching up two integral parts of their roster is not easy, but it seems that they were right to do so.
The win at the IEM Sydney 2019 and now, the DreamHack Masters Dallas 2019, are both big. But, at the same time, they’re also hollow.
Team Liquid can celebrate all they want, as they rightfully should, but until they beat Astralis and win a tournament with the historically-dominant Danish lineup playing in it, their claim on the No. 1 spot will always be shaky.
Astralis remain the best CS:GO team in the world in the eyes of many, and they’ve done enough to warrant the benefit of the doubt, BLAST Pro Series losses be damned.
With both Team Liquid and Astralis set to play at the ESL Pro League Season 9 Finals later this month, we’ll know soon enough if Astralis’ era is finally over, or if Team Liquid have merely been taking advantage of Astralis’ absence.
The DreamHack Masters Dallas 2019 served as a great debut for the revamped FaZe Clan roster.
With a proper in-game leader in Filip ‘NEO‘ Kubski now finally in tow, FaZe Clan looked and played a lot better than they have in recent memory. Considering that this was a rare off tournament for Nikola ‘NiKo’ Kovač — Håvard ‘rain‘ Nygaard was the only player from FaZe Clan to make it on the list of the tournament’s top performers — FaZe Clan are only bound to improve in future tournaments.
The same goes for Team Vitality and Furia eSports, both of which we’ll be seeing at the ECS Season 7 Finals from June 6-9.
The past couple of months have been busy for competitive CS:GO, but things are only about to get even busier as we have a full schedule ahead of us for June and July, as well as the StarLadder Berlin Major to look forward to in two months.
The absence of Astralis from competitive CS:GO has finally led a lot to question their legacy, and with Astralis set to play in more big events in the next couple of weeks than they have in the past couple of months, we’ll know for sure if many of the critics were right to start casting doubts on the Danes, or if the Danes were right to take a mid-season break.
Do you think Team Liquid have finally exorcised their past demons and gotten over their tendency to “choke”? How much better do you think FaZe Clan can be? Can ENCE still improve? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.