“Trophy" Bio

Team Liquid took a big swing earlier this year by adding Stewie2k to their roster. If you’re unfamiliar with his resume, Stewie is a Major winner with several MVPs, who has played for MIBR and Cloud9. Liquid spent most of last year playing catch up with Astralis, finishing the year with a plethora of second place finishes, without having won a tournament over the Danes. They started 2019 off with a rough patch, losing at the Major to a surging ENCE, but have since found equilibrium. Unfortunately for them, that equilibrium seems to be in roughly the same place as their state pre-Stewie – a laundry list of second place finishes. Plan your CSGO betting with out tips here.

“Trophy" Map Pool

Liquid are still a young team, with just 44 maps played through four tournaments since the first of the year. As such, their map pool is still fairly fluid, with all of their maps having particularly low play counts.

Given these low sample sizes, I would be cautious in reading too much into their win statistics, especially since they’re pretty good. Their most played map is Overpass, on which they have a 76.9% win rate over 13 plays. Then come Dust 2, Mirage, and Inferno, at 11 plays on 81.8% win rate on the former,and  6 plays on 50% win rate for the two latter.

Liquid have a strong top half for their map pool, at least on this fairly limited sample size. Three maps above 70% win rate is about as good as a team at their level can hope for, and it gives them a shot in most best of threes. The Cache-Vertigo change likely won’t be a huge deal for Liquid, as Cache is their least played map at only three plays.

Liquid are currently perma banning Train, which is a solid choice. Train gets played regularly at the highest level, with Astralis, Na’Vi, and MIBR all willing to play it in best of threes. Going forward there will be a legitimate case for Liquid picking up Vertigo to give themselves an edge in the pick ban against teams of that stature. Liquid’s map pool doesn’t put them at a serious advantage right now, as their best maps are all well liked and frequently played amongst the top tiers. Adding a curveball like Vertigo to their repertoire could be a difference maker for them in big series.

“Trophy" Team Leaders

K/D: Twistzz 1.28

The future of Liquid was unclear in January, which I wrote about fairly extensively. I was worried the addition of Stewie2k would throw off the culture and dynamics of the team, and I wasn’t sure who would come out on top as the fragging leader. In 2018 EliGE had a great year, Twistzz was starting to come into his own, and NAF was having a resurgence, returning to his OpTiC form from when they won ELEAGUE. Adding another star caliber player in Stewie meant someone was going to have to take a step back, and I worried that someone was Twistzz.

Obviously that isn’t the case. Twistzz is playing just as well as ever, putting up astronomical numbers. He’s making a solid case for best player NA right now, and he shows no signs of stopping. NAF has the second best K/D on the team since the start of the new year, sitting at  1.26.

Perhaps the most illuminating K/D statistic for Liquid is their worst performer. Stewie2k is at  1.02, one of the worst marks of his career. This is the second team in a row that has misutilized Stewie, after his disappointing run with the Brazilians on MIBR. Liquid has turned the Major winning two time MVP into a slightly better fragging TACO, and frankly it’s disappointing. There was a time when Stewie was the heralded young all star in North America, who came onto the scene as a surprise replacement for Cloud9.

On the bright side, regardless of Stewie’s individual stats, the team seems to be meshing well enough. Their roles make enough sense to let them take big wins over Na’Vi, ENCE, FaZe, MIBR, and BIG, although still not enough to get them over the tournament winning hump.

Flashes: nitr0

nitr0 throws about one flash per round, blinding opponents for an average of 2.5 seconds. He’s averaging about .01 flash assists per round, which is pretty low for a team’s primary flash bang thrower, but it isn’t awful. nitr0 has done an excellent job of turning into a hard support player over the course of his tenure with Liquid, and it shows in these stats.

Twistzz has a s1mple-esque look to him as far as these stats are concerned, throwing the third most on his team by a fair margin. This suggests the team is using him correctly, as a mid/late round carry player who can clean up messes left by NAF and EliGE, the two players on Liquid who throw the least flashes. Star players throwing lots of flashes is a trend that I expect to see continue as we dive into more of the top tier teams. Saving your best players until the late round and using them to set up your second and third option seem to the optimal way to play the game, at least right now. Twistzz can have more impact in a 3v3 than he can in a 5v5, so it makes sense to save him for later.

Clutches: NAF

NAF is the clutch king on this team, and it isn’t particularly close. He has won 16 of 19 1v1s in the past six months, putting him at a whopping 84% win rate. This puts him over Xyp9x, albeit on a fairly small sample size. NAF has also won 16 1v2s, as well as a 1v3 and 1v4.

It isn’t unusual to see a team’s second/third option picking up a fair amount of clutches. What is unusual is to see a player with flash stats this poor with this many clutches. Usually players with less than .8 flashes per round are positioning themselves aggressively, which often makes them unlikely to live long enough to be put in a clutch scenario.

Opening Duels: EliGE

This is where EliGE shines. While he has the third worst K/D on the team, which may make it look like he has fallen off, his opening duel stats show us why it’s fallen off, and how he continues to contribute to the team.

EliGE has taken the opening duel in 26.4% of rounds, which is a lot. That’s one of the biggest splits we’ve seen so far in this series, and he wins a lot of them. EliGE averages .14 opening kills per round, with a success rate of 53.1% which is pretty incredible on usage this high. ElIGE is another player, similar to nitr0, who has changed his game significantly in his tenure with this team.

The other incredibly instructive stat here is Stewie’s opening stats. He takes the second most opening duels on Liquid, which is only 22.8%, and he has a success rate of 47.2%, which isn’t very good. He averages only .11 KPR, while averaging the same amount of DPR as EliGE, which is really not good. Less kills on less usage with the same amount of deaths does not make him a very valuable entry player, which is something Liquid needs.

These stats in particular are vulnerable to small sample sizes, as there’s only one opening duel per round, and Liquid have only played somewhere around 1000 rounds. Still, this kind of analysis is especially helpful when determining a team’s win conditions. Liquid can be expected to win games when EliGE is hitting his entries, Stewie is keeping his deaths down, Twistzz is performing well in the mid round, and NAF is winning clutches. Keep in mind their map pool match ups and you’re well on your way to profitable betting.

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