Fourth place has always been seen as a curse for the Liquid Team : historically they have always stopped a step away from the home finals of the North American championship. This time, at the Mid Season Invitational, fourth place means release for years and years of disappointment: it is the first time in their history that the Liquid pass the group stage of an international tournament. In front of Invictus Gaming, SK Telecom and G2 Esports but behind Flash Wolves and Phong Vu Buffalo.
The music has changed at home since the Spring Split 2018 with the Liquid that won three consecutive trophies the only team so far to have won the LCS in the era of franchises. At the MSI 2018 it had actually gone the same way with the score of four wins and six defeats, the same as this year, but it was not enough to get the fourth place, defeated by the Fnatic at the tiebreak. At the Worlds 2018 once again one step away from qualifying for the next round, just a game that could have changed everything.
The talisman "Jensen"
At the MSI 2019 finally the satisfaction of having conquered the access to the semi-finals thanks also to the contribution of the latest arrival, midlaner Danish Nicolaj "Jensen" Jensen who had promised his teammate Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng the turn of the turn for the first time in history.
On the other hand Jensen is breaking a curse after the other : until the arrival at the Liquid, which took place in December 2018, he had never won a national championship although he had always gone close with his former team, the Cloud9. At the first attempt his dream became a reality with a formation that seems to have all the credentials to continue winning. The most important arrival was undoubtedly that of the Korean Jo "CoreJJ" Yong-in world champion with Samsung in 2017.
" Doublelift is a great friend and I'm really happy to have finally helped overcome this huge group obstacle, I know what it feels like to be almost stuck: I tried it for years and never managed to win the North American championship despite excellent performances. the goal is approaching start thinking: "Finally we are. And if I lose again? "I felt in seventh heaven when with Liquid I finally stopped this negative streak, especially as the victory came: that 3-2 from 0-2 against TSM was epic. I'm sure now Doublelift is finally happy ".
This is what Nicolaj "Jensen" Jensen said, interviewed by Tyler Ezberger for ESPN.
The decisive moment
The turning point was the victory against the G2 Esports but also and above all the unexpected performance of Flash Wolves . The Taiwanese formation, which thus loses the opportunity to play the final stage in front of its public, has shown clear signs of difficulty, breaking a positive tradition that usually saw them compete on equal terms with everyone. Against the Chinese of the Invictus Gaming, reigning world champions and champions of China, the Liquid will find themselves in front of another mountain to climb, decidedly higher than any peak they have so far tried to reach. Only the SK Telecom managed to impose themselves on the Chinese in the return match but it must be remembered that in the first match the IG had imposed themselves in just 16 minutes in a game vitiated by a bold draft to say the least. the Koreans.
The Best of 5 against the Invictus will give the Liquid the answers about their future. Losing will not be a drama, given the historical result already achieved and the value of the opponent. Winning will be a feat that anyone will remember.