Liquid’s Danish woes gets a French twist

Phillip Rasmussen
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Illustration by NovaH. Source: ESL, YEKINDAR, Spinx

We’re very sorry that the intro to this story about the Grand Final at ESL Pro League is going to be a rant, but we have to get this off of our collective chests:

Best of 5 finals suck ass.

Really. The first two maps of the Grand Final between Vitality and Liquid were largely forgettable. The teams traded 16-7 wins on Inferno (Liquid) and Dust 2 (Vitality), before we came to Mirage.

And then we got the show we had hoped for. Triple overtime; 51 frags from ZywOo; insane clutches and in the end a victory for Liquid that, by all rights, should have concluded the Grand Final.

But it didn’t. After more than 4 hours of action, and an epic map, we were cursed with the potential of two additional maps. And not the favourites for either side.

Map 4 was Overpass, which none of the teams had more than 60% winrate on, and the decider was left to be Vertigo, which should be a punishable offense in itself. Who in their right minds want to see a Grand Final be decided on Vertigo?!

Alright, breathe in.

From Mirage and on, the game was great, almost as if the first two maps didn’t really matter… Overpass became the tit-for-tat that we have so often seen; Vitality got a great start on the T side, getting 5 in a row, after which the Americans hit back with a streak of 6.

The rounds were chaotic, messy and well… random. Just the sort of gameplay you expect when you’re playing map 5 and 6 in your rotation.

And just the sort of gameplay that suits NA teams. Puggy back and forth skirmishes, late pushes, and lots of duels left Liquid in the driver’s seat for most of the map. But then there’s ZywOo. The phenomenon.

When it’s all on the line at 13-14 and you’re a man down, there aren’t many others you’d rather want holding that angle. So he of course got a double on A, a third with a molly and all but secured 15 rounds for Vitality.

He was also key to winning the overtime that Overpass got to, and then we’re back at it. Vertigo as the decider in a Grand Final.

It really isn’t fair to the 9 other players on the server, because NAF played a blinder, oSee continued his form from the semifinal and even Magisk and dupreeh showed sign of life. But let’s be honest, it was all ZywOo on Vertigo.


And so Vitality won with the MVP dragging the rest of the team over the finish line, in what probably redeems Vitality’s decision to go for an international lineup.

But Pro League is just the starter, Rio is the real test for this Vitality lineup.

And Liquid? They still can’t beat Magisk, dupreeh and zonic in Grand Finals. Le curse is real.

Grand Final

  • Inferno: 16-7 to Liquid
  • Dust2: 16-7 to Vitality
  • Mirage: 25-21 to Liquid
  • Overpass: 19-17 to Vitality
  • Vertigo: 16-11 to Vitality
  • ZywOo: 143-93. Yes, you read that right.
October 2, 2022

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