Since they joined the franchise in 2015, Liquid’s North American teams have been a staple in the Counter-Strike scene, making them one of the most storied brands in the sport. They are one of the three winners of the Intel Grand Slam, a feat they accomplished in record time after winning five consecutive Big Events.
The team has made multiple deep Major runs during its existence. Despite making it to two semi-finals and a grand final, Liquid has yet to win the most important prize of them all—a Major.
Restoring the North American Pride
The last several years have been difficult for North American Counter-Strike, with the scene there experiencing substantial changes as a result of the region’s collapse and ensuing lack of support. Cloud9, the lone North American Major victor, now has a Russian roster, while Evil Geniuses and Complexity have struggled and fielded teams that haven’t yet proven they can contend for long runs.
All of this leaves Liquid as the lone NA representative in the top tier of CS:GO, and the team’s performance will determine the future of an entire region. With their previous performance at the Americas RMR, where they dropped just one map, Liquid just established themselves as the top team in the region. Now, backed by their star European recruit, they are once again tasked with getting North America into the CS:GO Major playoffs.
The North American team will now travel to Rio with superstar European import Mareks “YEKINDAR” Gainskis, whose contributions both within and outside of the server have given the team new life. Given that there isn’t a clear favorite for the IEM Rio Major, Liquid is among a number of teams who have a chance to win the prize thanks to their recent performance.
The Goals for IEM Rio
With their No. 5 status in the HLTV Power Rankings and No. 3 ranking in the official HLTV ranking, Liquid enters the Major as many people’s dark horse. Given their present performance, the North Americans would be disappointed with anything less than a playoff berth given that they enter the competition in the Legends stage, which gives them an edge and plenty of time to work out any kinks in their game.
After a lengthy stretch of underwhelming results, the players are eager for victory, and NA is depending on Liquid to restore their position at the top. Although it would be foolish to expect them to repeat Cloud9’s Major victory in Boston, the North Americans are undoubtedly among the more credible chances to win in Rio.