CS:GO – The ESL One Cologne 2020 Online North American Grand Finals Recap – Liquid V Evil Geniuses

CS:GO – The ESL One Cologne 2020 Online North American Grand Finals Recap – Liquid V Evil Geniuses
Credit: ESL Counter-Strike via YouTube

With a six and a half hour slugfest between the two North American juggernauts that went the full five maps, fatigue was ready to become a factor as was more than a dash of luck and online nuance.

Evil Geniuses walked away from the marathon of a match with their third win in a row against Team Liquid, yet that is only half of the story; it was a bizarrely contested fight that saw more than a few strange moments yet continued to thrill with every point.

Evil Geniuses picked maps Nuke and Inferno as the first and third maps, respectively, while Liquid opted for Vertigo and Mirage; Dust2 was dubbed as the decider, should it be necessary.

EG came out on the first map of Nuke with a slow gait, as Liquid quickly put up nine rounds as opening CT against the EG’s six, all within the latter quarter of the first half. The second half saw EG claw their way back on the CT side with six elimination points, and three defuses, bringing the first map into overtime that lasted two sets until EG managed to pull away on their map pick following a post-plant 3K with the AK47 from Ethan.

On Nuke, Grim managed the highest K/D spread at +7 (30 kills, 18 of which were headshots) and Ethan managed the highest ADR at 86.8.

Vertigo was Liquids pick, and they set the precedent that would be followed on the rest of their picks for the match; relatively easy dominance.

Liquid began on T side where they put an impressively quick thirteen rounds on the board; EG managed two points on their CT with a single defuse and elimination. THe second half saw EG begin to claw back, but the point gap was too large for EG to surmount; they needed fourteen points before Liquid could pull three, and it simply wasn’t in the cards. ELiGE carried his face off in this map (and series as a whole).

On Vertigo, ELiGE held the highest K/D spread with +9 (24 kills, 12 headshots) and highest ADR at 100.4.

Inferno was next, and EG began on T side where Liquid continued the trend of contesting every move on EG’s map picks, but Tarik and Brezhe had no problem with hoisting the team onto their shoulders. The first half saw both teams as even as they could be, with a (7-8) spread going into the second half. The T side proved to be Liquid’s undoing, however; EG began their CT with four in a row on eliminations as Liquid struggled to entry on both sites; three latter half demolitions weren’t enough to return the scoreline to an even keel.

EG picked up the victory with a (12-16), but it was relatively contested; Brehza barely squeaked by on highest K/D spread with +7 (26 kills, 16 headshots) and Tarik had the highest ADR at 105.6.

Liquid’s map choice was up next for the fourth map with Mirage, and they continued in fashion; a trouncing of EG on Mirage as Liquid took T side on first half where the managed nine points. The second half saw EG pick up zero, as Liquid went uncontested on their CT with six elimination points and a singular defuse. ELiGE easily took highest K/D spread with +16 (29 kills, twelve by headshot) and ADR at 118.5; NAF was shortly behind at 110 ADR.

At this point, the match-up was still even in spite of over five hours of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive being played in a back-and-forth where Liquid dominated their map picks, and put up a massive fight on EG’s map picks. After the one-sided domination of map four on Mirage, it was predicted that Evil Geniuses would be a bit mentally cracked.

Liquid began the legendary Dust2 on T side, where they continued to wrap and flank around EG resulting in nine points, with EG putting up six on CT. It looked in favor of Liquid as the sides changed for the second half, and the struggles began in earnest for Team Liquid.

Liquid won the pistol round and conversion after the fact, and then Evil Geniuses began methodically ripping apart at the fibers of Liquid while Jake ‘Stewie2K’ Yip began missing a terrifying number of AWP shots. Stewie would be ‘dry-peeked’ (without utility) by Brehze, and consistently lose the AWP battle that saw Liquids assets being drained and a manpower disadvantage to begin the majority of the rounds. EG finished the Final by putting ten rounds on the board in the second half, in a rather quick succession,

Throughout the tournament, Evil Geniuses only won a singular pistol round, and Liquid won far more maps than Evil Geniuses. Yet when everything comes down to the decider round, after hours of playing, tenacity and focus can easily mean the difference between victory and defeat. It was, however, widely considered to be one of the best matches in recent memory; absolutely worth the rewatch in the future.