In the #SixMajor semi-final, #TeamLiquid and w7m #esports squared off against one another for the fourth time this season to determine who would face #TeamBDS in the grand final on Sunday.
The match featured the losers from the Charlotte Major and Berlin Major semi-finals as well as a new title-winning IGL for each roster since their previous performance. It was also a repeat of the Copa Elite Six grand-final (and the forthcoming BR6 Finals grand-final).
The match started on Clubhouse, a map that w7m had not lost on in 18 games and had not lost on in over six months.
Map 1 – Clubhouse
The first two rounds saw the two teams remain competitive up until the 50-second point, at which point w7offensive m’s assault failed. Despite both teams having recently made roster changes, this was evidence of how comfortable these rosters are with one another at this stage.
Resetz launched what turned out to be an unneeded flank during round three as w7m started their push into site because Lagonis and Paluh, the two players on the scene, shot every opponent as they entered the objective.
Volpz lost a 1v1 on time in round four, preventing W7m from scoring, but Liquid appeared to be marching unabated to the finish of the map.
In round six, Julio jumped from the plant and killed an overly enthusiastic Paluh in a 1v1 clutch, giving w7m the round that had eluded them for ten minutes.
Paluh was not pleased and managed to get a quadruple kill before Julio again killed him. Even though this was the first of Julio’s three 1v5 attempts, he was ultimately eliminated, placing Liquid on map point on w7own m’s map pick.
However, in the next two rounds, w7m only lost one player as volpz managed five kills and appeared to be gaining ground.
Kheyze and volpz secured the first two kills in round 11 before AsK killed Jv92 and Lagonis took out volpz. In a 3v3 match, HerdsZ lost to a peek that Paluh had had lined up, and AsK defeated Julio twice. Kheyze was the only person left in a 1v3 situation, and Lagonis eliminated him to take the map.
Map 2 – Skyscraper
W7m gained their first lead in the game by scoring four kills in the span of two seconds, while round two was likewise won by Jv92 after forcing Lagonis off the plant with a rapid double kill.
HerdsZ earned a triple kill and disabled the defuser before resetz could return to stop him, restoring a 2v3 after multiple Liquid comebacks on Clubhouse. Lagonis changed positions on the plant four times during the round, but his final location didomed the round since it allowed HerdsZ to hide while the bomb was defusing.
A double kill from Julio was swapped away at the minute mark, changing a 2v4 into a 1v2. Lagonis attempted to lower the plant before being repeatedly startled and pulling off with 0.5 seconds left. During this, Volpz continued to advance, shooting Nesk from behind the bomb before capturing Lagonis.
W7M moved to the attack on the map point. A grenade kill from Kheyze on Nesk started the round, and 35 seconds later, Jv92 finished it off to defeat Team Liquid 7-0.
After seven 1-7 losses earlier in the tournament, two of which were given by Liquid themselves, this marked was the competition’s first 0-7 map.
Map 3 – Villa
When w7m last lost on Villa, it was a 5-7 defeat to FaZe in the Copa Elite Six of Stage 2. Since then, they have famously defeated Team Liquid 7-5 in the CES Stage 3 winner’s final on this map. Additionally, during the Berlin Major semifinal matchup with FaZe Clan, map three was scheduled to be played.
While TSM defeated Liquid 5-7 earlier in the groups, Liquid had defeated FaZe 8-6 on identical map during yesterday’s quarterfinal match. But prior to their CES loss to w7m on Villa, they had a winning streak of eight games dating back to their Stage 1 loss to w7m by a score of 3-7.
This background was evident when Kheyze scored the game’s first dazzling multi-kill when a triple won the opening round. However, the eight-round winning streak came to an end when w7m failed to protect their players’ lives, preventing it from continuing.
As a result, Liquid put up round after round of pressure and quickly found themselves up 4-1. Skyscraper seems to have been overlooked. However, w7m completed the first half with a victory in the second round, providing a much-needed break from a Liquid snowball that was threatening to rapidly terminate the match.
The ante increased as the sides changed. The first round of w7attack m’s was possibly the most exciting of the playoffs because they were significantly up after the first three kills even before they arrived at the venue. After that, HerdsZ was murdered by Resetz who had reached the scene, while Volpz and the Montagne of Julio were defeated by Lagonis.
Jv92 had resetz wounded and baited him, so Lagonis backed up, recognized the opportunity, and shot Jv92 in the face. In a one-on-one situation, Kheyze hurried back to the scene carrying the defuser. Lagonis cautiously after him, only to discover that Kheyze wasn’t there to plant, but rather was there to block him and take the clutch.
Paluh’s three kills, the last of which was on Volpz’s Montagne who was locked in a hopeless 1v3, helped Liquid regain control.
Liquid’s performance in the match and the series point was the best this core roster had ever done and the closest they had come to a grand final since SI 2021. Unfortunately, because W7M forced overtime, it wasn’t going to be this simple.
The game had already featured two 4-2 defensive half victories; thus, Liquid’s defensive debut was encouraging for Lagonis’ team. In order to set up a Shaiiko vs. Paluh grand final, Liquid took advantage of this and used a late flank from resetz to put them back on match point.