48 minutes ago
In a regional grudge match that decided which solitary European team survived at Reykjavik, Fnatic eliminated Team Liquid from VCT Stage 2 Masters – Reykjavík. We had seen the same two sides in the grand finals of Europe Challengers 2 just a month ago, where fnatic won 3-1, and we got to see a repeat series yet again as Fnatic clinched the series 2-0.
The map veto initially posed a dilemma for Fnatic, as Icebox, a map they’ve played every match at Reykjavik, was banned by Liquid. This meant we saw Fnatic play Bind for the first time at this event and they yet again showed us their stellar tactical depth across the board. Liquid decided to start off their defensive pistol with an aggressive push down A short, but Fnatic played around it by taking showers control and exploiting their site weakness to take the round. Fnatic converted the anti-eco, and despite losing the third to a trademark Elias “Jamppi” Olkkonen Judge play in Hookah, created a lot of momentum with a streak of rifle rounds. Liquid’s last ditch timeout provided a much needed switch up and they managed to finish the half at 5-7.
Team Liquid clinched the second pistol of the map with a coordinated B hit and won the anti-eco as well, but almost like a rerun of the first half, fell behind to the rock solid defensive setups of Fnatic on the rifle rounds. For Fnatic at match point, things started to get ropy for them as Liquid strung a number of rounds back to make it 12-10, but a heroic retake of the A site made sure Liquid couldn’t make a comeback.
Fnatic kicked off Ascent with an A take to win the pistol, but a back and forth start to the map, in part due to Adil “ScreaM” Benrlitom’s numerous highlight plays and an exciting A site tactical clash, saw the half end 7-5 in Liquid’s favor.
Fnatic’s defense did not start well, losing the pistol to Team Liquid, but a great retake in the next round made sure they turned the table to their side. Yet again, both teams showed off their competency on Ascent with neither able to create a streak, all the way up till the 20th round where Travis “L1NK” Mendoza pulled a miraculous 4k with the Judge to make it 10-10. Martin “MAGNUM” Penkov responded in similar fashion right after with his own 4k retake, and with that, Fnatic snatched control of the match and Liquid were unable to break their defense at all, winning the map 13-10.
Seeing Fnatic’s 2-0 win, they move into the lower bracket final against Koreans NUTURN while Team Liquid are eliminated from the tournament.