Liquid has secured another finals appearance and this time they will meet fnatic. The Swedes took down NRG in the semifinals to prevent a full North American final while Liquid bested the Brazilians of MIBR to earn their own place in the finals. The last time the two teams met was during the iBUYPOWER Masters 2019 event where Liquid walked away from the series 2-1. Liquid went on to beat Astralis in the finals.
Liquid are considered the favorites by most and rightfully so. The North American side has been a regular set of faces in the late game of tournaments while fnatic hasn’t been quite as consistent. With no Natus Vincere, ENCE, or Astralis in front of Liquid it is hard to bet against them.
fnatic have shown growth recently, however, and taking them lightly or underplaying the mental aspect of the game could prove menacing for Liquid. It was pointed out by Chad “SPUNJ” Burchill on Twitter that a loss here all but guarantees Liquid’s problem is mental rather than ability based and I’d be hard-pressed to agree.
The team has been on the cusp for quite some time and always seems to be blocked at the rim. Although mostly to their arch nemesis of Astralis, they also took a rough beating to FaZe in the BLAST Pro Series Miami finals and fell to ENCE at the IEM Katowice 2019 CS:GO Major during the quarterfinals.
Being able to avoid those teams in the playoffs is as good of an opportunity as the North Americans could have asked for and will give them yet another little boost of confidence.
Second place finishes aren’t bad, but how long can you take them before things go south and confidence breaks completely. Liquid needs to capitalize on these opportunities to prove they’re still a step above the rest even if Astralis still sits on the throne.