Team Liquid, the only North American team in IEM Katowice main event, were knocked out of the tournament by the hands of G2 Esports today.
G2 and Liquid met in Group B’s lower bracket round one after they lost to Fnatic and FaZe Clan, respectively, in the opening round. Liquid put up a fight against FaZe on Feb. 17, but they did not stand a chance against G2’s firepower and tactics today. The international squad spearheaded by NiKo dominated the two maps—Vertigo (16-8) and Mirage (16-5)—to remain alive in the competition.
NiKo was by far the best player of the series. The Bosnian star finished with 52 kills and just 25 deaths across Vertigo and Mirage. He was followed by the young AWPer m0NESY (46-19) and his cousin huNter- (38-25). On Liquid’s side, no one really stood out. They were constantly outplayed during the matchup.
This was Liquid’s second tournament after swapping three players. The team brought shox, nitr0, and oSee for the 2022 season. The North Americans couldn’t advance to the BLAST Premier Spring Finals after attending the Spring Groups weeks ago, and there was hope that they would do better in Katowice after having more time to practice. But today’s match showed Liquid are far from being a team that can fight for titles in the next events.
As for G2, this win is just the first out of three they’ll have to collect to advance to IEM Katowice Playoffs. They are set to play against the loser of Natus Vincere vs. FURIA tomorrow at 5:30am CT.