The Liquid Review - June 2022

June 30 2022




The Liquid Review









Happy Thursday folks,



June is kind of the beach party episode in Team Liquid’s 2022 arc. A lot of mid-season breaks took place during the month, and now they’re just starting back up again. Of course, that doesn’t mean nothing important happened. First and foremost, Liquid`Slysssa had her baby! Liquid also celebrated yet another homecoming after Hot_Bid joined as a direct of content. Wayback old-timers will remember Hot_Bid’s legendary StarCraft and DotA interviews including some with familiar faces.







They grow up so fast.



Hbox and CoreJJ also celebrated birthdays this past month. While Hbox threw a luau before CEO, the League Squad found some time to see the sights in Seoul. Meanwhile, your friendly neighborhood reptile took advantage of the break between Volumes 1 and 2 of Stranger Things Season 4 to do what he always does: break down some video game results.







I feel like Hbox would have made a great Eleven (see also his guest appearance on TL;DW below).



As always, you can check out video recaps from this past month through TL;DW on Team Liquid’s Twitter. This month, the series features a brand new set and a couple of guest hosts while Joey was on vacation.





LEAGUE OF LEGENDS







Team Liquid’s League of Legends Squad is officially back in action. The first two weeks of the LCS are in the books, and they told two vastly different stories of how the bootcamp went in Korea. Liquid completely turbo stomped through the first week, picking up three clean and convincing wins, including the organization’s first ever perfect game against immortals. But Liquid looked like a completely different team in week 2, and not in a good way.



The team fell behind against both TSM and Flyquest, giving up massive mid-game leads. Liquid found a way to claw back into the Flyquest game, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. But we weren’t so lucky in the TSM game, and a combination of uncharacteristic mispositioning and brutal ultimates from TSM’s new support MIA delivered the Squad its first loss of the split. Although we still have a strong 4-1 record overall, and we’re tied for first place in the league, the team didn’t react positively to their performance last week.





The LCS continues with eight more games this month, and the remaining five in August. Two key matchups come this weekend against 100T and (I cannot believe I’m saying this) CLG, who both share the top of the table with Liquid at 4-1.



Over in academy, Liquid has already played 18 games in the last two weeks. Overall, the team has been crushing the opposition, delivering a flurry of 2-0 wins, and dropping only one best of two so far. TLA finishes out the week today against CLG, then takes a week off before finishing out the rest of the season over the course of the rest of the month. On the horizon sits Summer Proving Grounds, where Liquid will defend its title as Academy World Champs against an eclectic mix of the academy teams and amateur Proving Ground teams.



And lastly, the first split of Summer Champions Queue wrapped up this past Monday. Each split pays the top 10 players part of a $40,000 prize pool. But doing well in a split also awards players points that add up in the end for the top 10 players to earn part of a $50,000 prize pool. Liquid`Armao was able to clinch 2nd place in the first split of Summer, 40 points and $8,000. CoreJJ and Yeon also finished in the top 10, earning them each 20 points and $1,600. Split 2 began yesterday, the 28th, and it will run until the end of July.



DotA 2







After a disappointing finish at the Major, Liquid`DotA has begun grinding the Dota Pro Circuit once again. The DPC pits eight teams from western Europe against one another in a round-robin of best-of-threes. The top 4 teams will qualify for the next major in Arlington, Texas this August. But not every qualification spot is equal. The higher Liquid places in the DPC, the more qualification points we’ll earn towards TI. This circuit and the Arlington Major are the last two opportunities Liquid has to earn those points, so the 400 point difference between 1st and 4th place in the DPC is huge. Valve invites the top 12 teams with the most DPC points to TI. As it stands now, Liquid currently holds 13th place. Winning the DPC would give us a huge boost in the standings.



And Liquid still has a decent shot at first place. An initial 1-2 hiccup against goonsquad gave way to three straight wins against GG, Alliance, and Tundra. Unfortunately, Liquid wasn’t able to continue the momentum against Secret, losing 0-2, and putting the team at an overall record of 3-2. As the table currently stands, Liquid’s third behind Entity and OG, who are both 3-1. Coincidentally, Liquid’s two remaining games are against Entity and OG this month. With the race to TI as tight as it is, these two matches could play a key role in determining whether Liquid earns a direct qualification or a spot in the dreaded Last Chance Qualifier tournament.



Rainbow 6 Siege







Liquid has had an uncharacteristically rotten beginning to the second leg of Brasileirão. Although our opening match against NIP went well, a tight overtime loss to BD turned into two shellackings at the hands of INTZ and w7m. That means with just 5 matches left, Liquid needs to move 4 spots up the rankings to make it to the major qualifying tournament–the Copa Elite Six. It’s a tall order, but it’s nothing the Cavalry can’t handle.



CS:GO








-shox -adreN +daps, and YEKINDAR stands in for us at Cologne. Most fans could see the writing on the wall here, as Liquid still hasn’t been able to reach the level that the team should be capable of. Liquid got to a point where we could reliably beat mid-tier teams, but couldn’t push past much higher competition. IEM exemplified this, as we looked comfortable against Imperial and mibr in our wins, but completely lost against C9. Although in fairness, C9 did win the tournament.






et tu, HObbit?



Still, it’s a shame to see shoxie depart. By all accounts, he brought a wonderful attitude to the team, and his leadership and experience were invaluable resources for Liquid. His farewell is worth a read, if you haven’t yet.



Next up, Liquid will head back to the Cathedral of Counter-Strike at IEM Cologne. Just like Dallas, the tournament begins with a 16-team play-in, where the top 8 earn a spot in the group stage. Liquid’s performance in the qualification tournament, however, allowed the Cavalry to skip over the play-in stage altogether, and seed into the group stage directly. That’s all to say that Liquid only knows half of the teams in its group right now, but those teams are FaZe, C9, and FURIA, so we’ve got plenty to prepare for in the next week, so we can reclaim our title from 2019 as the kings of the Lanxess-Arena.





IT'S TEAM LIQUID. AND THAT'S WHAT IT MEANS TO THEM.



VALORANT







Well I’ve got good news and bad news.



The good news is that Liquid’s Brazilian side continues their complete domination of Game Changers, winning another flawless qualifier. At this point, we kind of take it for granted how stacked this roster is, but even so, their sheer dominance is impressive. Over four qualifier tournaments, Liquid played 16 matches, and 38 maps. They lost two of them. TWO. DOIS. That’s it. 36-2 in Game Changers matches since February. This weekend, it all comes to a head in São Paolo as Liquid plays in the VCT Game Changers Brazil Series 1. The cavalry begins its trek into this $20,000 tournament with a match against Maze e Amigas, a team they beat 26-14 at the beginning of June. At this point, the question isn’t whether Liquid will win the tournament. The question is by how much.



The bad news is that Liquid`EU missed the major. After losing to Guild, Liquid swapped out L1nk for Dreamas - Liquid’s clutch anchor making the decision himself. And although Liquid finished the regular season strong with an impressive 2-0 win over M3C, they lost a nail biting 1-2 series against FPX in the first round of the playoffs, and a disappointing rematch against M3C in the lower bracket. This eliminated Liquid from Masters: Copenhagen. The silver lining is that Liquid has managed to clinch a spot in the Last Chance Qualifier tournament this August. To make Champions, Liquid will need to beat out Acend, M3C, likely some mix of FPX, G2, Fnatic, and Guild. That sounds like a tall order, but hey, we managed to pull it off last year.



Quake







Although there wasn’t a lot of Quake action this past month, rapha put up an impressive 3-0 against vengeurR, last year’s world champion. He was also able to beat out Maxter 2-1, putting him at 9-2 overall in the standings. This makes it almost impossible for rapha to finish the QPL lower than 2nd, securing him a favorable seed in Bucharest for the Quake World Championship in August. rapha also has an outside shot at the first seed, but it would take a pretty drastic collapse from k1llsen, which doesn’t look like it will be happening any time soon.



World of Warcraft







Liquid`Arena have run through the gauntlet and emerged with a silver medal. Over the course of the last month, Cdew, Mes, Trill, and Samiyam completed a round robin with 7 of the best teams in NA, landing in 2nd place with a 6-1 record. This earns Liquid a spot in the NA Finals and the Cross-Region Finals this coming month, and an independent $30,000 prize to boot. First, Liquid will face off against Kawhi, Cloud9, and Three and a Half Men in the NA Finals for the lion’s share of a $150,000 prize pool. Then the next week, the top four teams from both NA and EU will participate in what Liquipedia calls “a new, experimental online cross-region tournament.



Also on deck this month is the Global FInals of the Mythic Dungeon International. The action begins next Friday, and runs through the weekend with each day starting at 13:00 EDT. Team Baldy (featuring 4 members of Liquid) will begin speed-running dungeons again with $300,000 on the line.



Smash







There’s a lot to talk about for Liquid in Smash this month from Dabuz’s deep run through MomoCon to Hbox and Riddles’s big finishes at Battle of BC. But I really wanted to highlight the highest-density Liquid moment of the month at CEO, where Hbox commentated the upper-bracket semi-finals between Dabuz and Riddles. Dabuz and Riddles have both been steadily improving and their trajectories clashed in one of the most electric best-of-5’s in either players’ careers.





Objectively speaking, Liquid had a great month in Smash this June. Hbox, Dabuz, and Riddles racked up three silver medals, two bronze, and never finished below top 8. But there’s this nagging itch that we just can’t seem to scratch in Smash as those first-place finishes keep eluding us. The three will have two more chances this month as Hbox and Riddles head to Toronto for Get on My Level this weekend, and all three make the trip to Las Vegas for Double Down next weekend.



Age of Empires IV







The Road to Wololo is long and winding. It leads its wary followers through dangerous terrain, with traps and pitfalls all along the way. Six players have now qualified for Wololo, and DeMusliM isn’t one of them. He had strong showings at the weekly tournaments that determine who plays in the monthly qualifier (call them “qualifier qualifiers” I guess), but he fell victim to Wam01 in the quarterfinals of the June qualifier, and that was that.



Luckily, there are three more months of qualifiers (four if you count the Last Chance Qualifier), and an extra two spots for the top weekly point earners, which measures how well players do over the course of their 6 best weekly performances. The action begins again this weekend for the first weekly tournament in Road to Wololo - July.



StarCraft II







Clem is headed to Valencia! With the French Terran’s 4th win of the DreamHack Masters EU Regional, Clem earned a spot in the main event, which is going to be the first actual-real-live Premier SC2 LAN that Liquid will play in since the pandemic. And it’s happening THIS WEEKEND at Fira València!





Over in the World Team League, Liquid has unfortunately been all but eliminated from playoff contention. With two matches left to play, Liquid is five points behind the last spot to playoffs. The only possible way to get there would be to win both remaining matches without going to an ace match, and for the Freecs to lose both matches without an ace match. But that also means that if Liquid can pull off a miracle against NV (who is fielding multiple GSL Code S finalists), and Freecs manages to lose to bottom-of-the-table Platinum Heroes, then our destiny is in our hands. Copium



Still there’s a lot more to look forward to this month. Clem, Elazer, Kelazhur, and MaNa all head to Krefeld, Germany for the HomeStory Cup XXI, which is officially back offline! Due to the pandemic, the last four events have been StayAtHomeStory Cups, but now the gang’s all getting back together. Unlike many other tournaments that build hype by being contentious, cutthroat competitions in massive stadiums, HSC recognizes that all these players are friends. I mean, it literally started in TaKe’s basement. And although HSC grew to be one of StarCraft’s premier tournaments (in 2019, they held it live on the Tropical Islands near Berlin), it still retains.



its aesthetic of relaxed competition, where players still do their best to win, but they also come to have a good time. They’ll show up on the couch with the commentators and chat about the game, and hang out between sets.



But this month, StarCraft fans are going to be treated with something even more exciting than the return of the HomeStory Cup…





The Team Liquid StarLeague returns! Liquid has been organizing its flagship tournament since the first TSL for Brood War in 2008, years before StarCraft II even existed. Qualifiers all across the world begin next week from July 6-10 to find the 32 top players on the planet. They’ll all seed into a double-elimination bracket that will run for all of August and bleed into September. And for the first time ever, Liquid will invite the top 12 players to finish the tournament in the Alienware Training Facility in Utrecht, Netherlands. This is the first time the TSL has ever been held offline! It’s a really big moment for Liquid not just as a team, but as an organization. For the fans, it’s a rare moment to root not only for the competitors, but the show itself.



Fortnite







Liquid’s Brazilian players absolutely popped off in the grand finals of the second leg of the Fortnite Championship Series, all finishing in the top 15, and grabbing $66,000 between the three of them. On the other end of the spectrum, in North America, Stretch unfortunately got absolutely dumpstered, placing dead last in the lobby.



But at this point, there’s nothing to do but shake it off and keep moving. Qualifiers for Season 3 of the FNCS begins this coming month, and all of Liquid’s roster will begin their respective grinds through the qualifiers to make it back to Grand Finals in mid-August.



PUBG







VARD SAVE THE QUEEN. During the break between PCS-5 and G-Loot 6, PUBG Corp. hosted a sort-of all-star break, where players from different teams came together to form national teams to compete against one another in Bangkok. Liquid sent Vard to represent the United Kingdom, and mxey to represent Finland, and Vard won the whole event! Over the course of 20 rounds, the United Kingdom obliterated the competition, winning 4 chicken dinners, and winning the tournament by a country mile. mxey and Finland also took a couple of chicken dinners for their trouble, and finished out the tournament in a respectable 5th. But Vard was a key component in a momentous victory for Great Britain, a country often overlooked in the world of esports, or any sort of competition, really. Now, unlike the UEFA Euro or Eurovision, a trophy is finally coming home.



But now the break is over, and Team Liquid is back together for the G-Loot Season 6, the third of four tournaments that qualify teams to the Global Championship in November. Liquid is looking good so far, sitting in 5th place for overall points with five EU seeds to the PGC up for grabs. Good results at the G-Loot and the upcoming PCS 7 will solidify Liquid’s position in the standings, and punch our ticket to the Championship.



Liquid will begin the tournament in the “super week”, where the teams play 24 matches over 4 days. The top 8 move to the grand finals, and the bottom 8 go to the lower group. In the lower group, the teams play 12 matches over 2 days. Again, the top 8 move up to the grand finals, but the bottom 8 leave the tournament. Once we get to the grand finals, the teams play 18 matches over 3 days to determine the placements for the tournament, with a $50,000 prize pool and 800 PGC qualification points on the table.





Apex







The Apex Legends Global Series Championship has finally arrived! Noc, Gild, Fun, and coach hodsic have made it to Raleigh, NC to battle it out against the 40 best teams in the world. They’re in it for a cut of the whopping $2 million prize pool, and the glory of becoming world champions.



Liquid’s journey through the Championship begins with the Group Stage on July 7th, where they’ll play three sets of 6 games against the other three groups. After every team has played 18 games, the top 20 move on to the winners bracket, and the bottom 10 drop to the losers bracket round 1. Then both brackets play another 8-match series. The top 10 from the winners bracket qualify for the grand finals, the bottom 10 from winners and the top 10 from losers bracket round 1 qualify for losers bracket round 2, and the rest are eliminated. In losers round 2, the 20 teams play another 8 matches, and the top 10 make the grand finals. Once we get to the grand finals, the 20 teams will play until there’s a champion, no matter how many maps it takes.



Don’t forget that Liquid has momentum going into this tournament, fresh off shocking the world by finishing 2nd at the Split 2 Playoffs tournament in Stockholm in April. Since then, they’ve been preparing for this moment, and they are here to win.






Free Fire







Liquid`Free Fire is back in action at the C.O.P.A. Free Fire 2022 series. Liquid has already qualified through the group stage and into the finals by placing in the top half of the 24 teams there. The finals will take place this Saturday, July 2nd. To win, Liquid need to be the first team to score 100 points, or end with the highest points after 8 matches if no one reaches 100. To put that in a little perspective, each day of the group stage was 4 matches, so Liquid is certainly capable of hitting that 100 mark over 8 maps. The only question is if they can get there before anyone else.



Rocket League







Liquid has landed in London, and they’re already getting the full British experience.





The team once again breezed through the first half of the EU Regional, winning out in the closed qualifiers 3-1 before beating Misfits and Guild in the main event. The Cavalry lost a close 2-4 series against Moist, won an even CLOSER series against EG, and then got absolutely demolished 4-0 by BDS. Liquid’s efforts were good enough to win them a spot in LANdon, which began yesterday. The tournament is a classic double-elimination format pitting 16 of the best teams in the world against one another for a slice of a $300,000 prize, and a massive amount of RLCS Circuit Ranking Points. Liquid started off the tournament against the Falcons with a great 4-1 win, but couldn’t keep up the momentum, and dropped the next three maps to fall into the lower bracket. There, the Cavalry’s first opponent will be Australian side PWR, which takes place today. If we win, we’ll play G2 tomorrow. It’s not an ideal start, and it’ll be a long road ahead to the finals. But in the immortal words of Liquid’s former DotA mid-laner, Miracle, “upper bracket is for bitches."



Hearthstone







DeadDraw is going to Worlds! DeadDraw was able to qualify to the Master Summer Championship due to his strong performances in the three preceding Masters Tour tournaments. At the summer championship itself, he had an amazing tournament, winning his group 2-0 and cruising through the playoffs to the finals, including grabbing a 3-0 win over the defending world champion, posesi. DeadDraw finished 2nd overall. With his amazing performance he qualified him for a spot at the World Championship in December, fighting against 7 other players for a portion of a $500,000 prize pool. While he waits for December, however, there’s still plenty of Hearthstone to go around. DeadDraw and bunnyhoppor both qualified for the Masters Tour 4, which began today, and will go through the weekend.

Teamfight Tactics





New set, same Goose. Before Set 7 was officially released, 32 top-tier TFT players got together for a $5,000 Mickey Mouse PBE tournament put together by Giant Slayer. Goose kept up his trend of putting up excellent performances to qualify for the final lobby, and then just getting bodied. Still, Goose was able to scrounge up 7th place overall after he managed to grab 2nd place in the last game, and that’s still a great finish considering the caliber he’s playing against.




But eyes forward to RIOT’s official competition for Set 7. The format feels familiar to past sets, but brings a new twist to it, like a soda that’s trying to re-brand. Time will only tell if Dragonlands ends up being a Coke Zero or a Pepsi Max. Here’s the skinny. Just like last set, top-ladder ladder performers get invites to qualifying events–this set, it’s the Astral Cup and the Jade Cup. Placing in the top 4 of those events gets players to the Mid-Set Finale. But there are also 24 spots in the Mid-Set finale for players who place consistently well at both qualifying events. The top 4 players in the Mid-Set Finale get seeds to the Regional Finals, which qualifies players to worlds. But there are 5 other ways to qualify to the Regional finals, including two other tournaments (the Dragon Cup and the Last Chance Qualifier), the top two ladder performers for both Set 7 and 7.5, and qualifier points from the other four tournaments. Easy, right?





And you thought Apex's format was hard to understand.



Over in EU, the format is similar to last year as well. 512 players play in open qualifiers to make it to one of three Golden Spatula Cups. Placing high at the GSCs earn points to qualify for the Rising Legends Finals. Players can also qualify for the Rising Legends Finals through high ladder placements, or finishing in at the top of EU’s separate Superbrawl tournament.




Writer // Tortious Tortoise
Graphics // Stacey "Shiroiusagi" Yamada






















Please log in with your teamliquid.net account to post a comment.
 
CS:GO | Apex Legends   Meet Kei: A deep dive on TL's newest member For many Liquid fans, kei might just be a new name. The 20 year old content creator came into the org through unusual means: winning a gauntlet of a show called the Next Wave. If you've watched the show, you've gotten to know the humble aim-god called kei. But if you want to go even deeper, be sure to read our full interview with the Next Wave champion!
WoW   Trill: The Bridge Between In the WoW community, the clearest divide might not be Horde and Alliance. It might be PvP and PvE. The professionals often stick to one side of the divide because of the amount it takes to reach the top level in just one mode is truly wild. But there is one player that bucks the trend - a player that's a bridge between: Trill. Learn about how Trill bridges the chasm between game modes and plays both at the highest level.
  The Liquid Review July 2022 We’ve officially passed the half-way point of the year, and through the record-breaking heat and surging inflation, it can feel nice to stop for a moment, and relax with a tall refreshing glass of video games.
  Community and pride: staff spotlight with Sarah A Team Liquid fan turned Liquid+ staff member, Sarah.GG is one of the many friendly faces that our fans get to interact with on a regular basis. They’re also an out and proud nonbinary person who embodies the phrase “be gay, play games”. We got a chance to sit down with them to discuss Pride month, career journeys, and why World of Warcraft is their favorite game.