Team Liquid Overwatch Eichenwalde
via dailydot.com

Team Liquid at Overwatch Open

Sep 27, 2016
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538
via dailydot.com

Team liquid has been lurking in the upper echelon of the Overwatch scene for a long time. Although they’ve yet to grab a major title, they’re considered a serious contender to any opponent. But what happened at Turner’s Overwatch Open and what hindered Team Liquid from making it to the next stage?

Context

Team Liquid’s offline results coming into Overwatch Open tournament:

  • 2nd Agents Rising
  • 5-6th OG Invitational
  • 3rd BTS Overwatch Cup

It’s worth noting that Cloud9 eliminated Liquid in all three of those tournaments. Luckily for them, they managed to entirely avoid their kryptonite throughout ELEAGUE.

At the same time, the results above show that Team Liquid can compete at the highest international level. And considering the gaming caliber on their team, it makes sense for community expectations to be high.

Results at ELEAGUE

Zenyatta Overwatch Open Eleague
via overwatchopen.com

Online qualifier

Liquid waited for the second week compete for the qualification. And although they didn’t take first place in any of the weeks, their total point count was more than enough to qualify for the online playoffs.

  • Week 1: N.A.
  • Week 2: 3rd
  • Week 3: 3rd
  • Week 4: 2nd

Overall, Team Liquid qualified with the second most points behind NRG (excluding the teams who qualified by reaching 1st place in any of those weeks).

Online playoffs

Team Liquid’s performance at the qualifier lead them to Group C.

Match results:

  • Upper Bracket Round 1 vs Colorado Clutch. Won 2:1
  • Upper Bracket Round 2 vs fnatic. Lost 0:2
  • Lower Bracket Round 1 vs Mono. Won 2:0

Although fnatic breezed through the group and crushed everyone 2:0, Liquid still performed better than MONO and Colorado Clutch. They ultimately qualified from the lower bracket without having to overcome any major hurdles.

Final playoffs

Team Liquid Overwatch ELEAGUE
via teamliquid.net

The Final Playoffs presented a tougher playing field. Although they beat NRG 2:0 in the first round of Group A, EnVyUs stomped them 2:0 right after – dropping them into the lower bracket.

As NRG won their lower bracket match against Splyce, Liquid played them again for the playoff spot versus the group B winner. Despite a close game, Liquid were ultimately eliminated from the tournament by losing 1:2.

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Interpretation

To be honest, Team Liquid’s results might not have broken a pattern. Overwatch Open was super stacked, after all. And that’s both on the NA and EU side of the equation.

That being said, Team Liquid could’ve won the deciding game against NRG with some minor adjustments.

Rapha Team Liquid Overwatch
via mmo24.pl

They were 1:1 against NRG coming into the last map. But NRG’s decision to go with Ana trumped Liquid’s decision to use Zenyatta.

Ana’s Nano Boost was the focus of many strategies throughout the offline portion of ELEAGUE, and Team Liquid had trouble adjusting. God, NRG’s DPS player repeatedly jumped into the fray while nano boosted just to eliminate Liquid with his ultimate.

Even though AZK and rapha focused on cutting God’s supporting lifeline, the pressure coming from Seagull became too much to withstand.

Despite their sporadic results, Team Liquid are not to be overlooked. Their roster is ripe with potential and thoughtful players. Spectators received a small preview of that knowledge from the stage interviews with rapha. And it looks to be that knowledge that is aimed straight at the top.

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Martin Stuessy
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TFT mourner. CS:GO addict. Philosophy at Ohio State. English/German/Spanish/French in order of ability. Culturally diverse. Writes about Overwatch, CS:GO and other topics. Follow @MartinStuessy on Twitter.
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