It wasn’t even three months ago that Liquid were on top of the world. The best team in CS:GO, four S Tier LAN wins in a row, multiple contenders for top five players of the year, it seemed like everything was going their way. That is, until the Berlin Major. Liquid had been all but handed the trophy, and yet they fell short. A disappointing loss to Astralis in the Quarterfinals ended their playoff run before it even began, putting to rest what could have been another era (At least, in my opinion. The whole Era argument is silly and nebulous and isn’t really important.)

Anyway, after their disappointing finish in Berlin, they went on to disappoint at both ESL One New York and DreamHack Masters Malmo, finishing 3rd-4th and 9-12th respectively, losing to Astralis and Grayhound of all teams. Obviously, something is terribly wrong. If we can identify it, it’ll give us a sizable leg up in CS:GO betting, as we’ll know why they’re failing and can thus identify when they’ve solved the problem.

“Trophy" Their Performance Thus Far

In order to identify the problems that Liquid are having, we first must talk about how they’ve looked since the player break before the Berlin Major.

So, as I said earlier, they placed 3rd-4th in New York, out of eight, and 9-12th out of 16 in Malmo, neither of which are encouraging. In New York, they cruised through the (admittedly weak) group stage dropping just one map, with a round differential of +36. This won them a Semifinals spot against Astralis, who they proceeded to lose to 1-2, taking Dust II and losing Vertigo and Overpass.

In Malmo they lost their first game against OpTic, putting them in the lower bracket. In the first round they beat North with a fairly comfortable 2-1 score line, which put them up against Grayhound in round 2. They took care of the upstart Australians in quic- no, wait apparently they lost 0-2 to DickStacy and co., and it wasn’t exactly super close. A 13-16 defeat on Mirage, and a 10-16 loss on Nuke landed them a disappointing 9-12th finish, leaving them to watch from the sidelines.

So, is there any reason we shouldn’t take these results seriously? Well, their New York loss was to Astralis, who clearly have their number, and in Malmo they were surely suffering from jet lag. But still, not great.

Over the last month, everyone on the team save for EliGE and NAF have been on a downswing. Stewie2k has a 0.93 Rating on LAN in the last month, which is just a stone’s throw from nitr0’s 1.06. The best on the team is EliGE clocking in at 1.12, which is not anywhere near good enough for the caliber of team that Liquid wants to be. Just for reference, the top five performers at Malmo so far are device, ZywOo, woxic, s1mple, and KRIMZ. Their ratings are 1.56, 1.41, 1.38, 1.38, and 1.36 respectively.

“Trophy" The Players

While there are obviously plenty of factors at play in a team besides the performance of the individuals, Liquid has always been a team largely focused on each player’s ability to make plays. When the players on Liquid aren’t firing on all cylinders, it can lead to disappointing losses, like their loss against Grayhound.


It has been confirmed that Zeus is hanging it up, which means Na’Vi are now in the market for Stewie2k has been in the news recently for his form at Malmo. It’s been a heavily cited stat that this is his lowest rated tournament with Liquid so far, as though that should be a huge indictment on his play, and on the team’s success.

I would counter that by saying his stats have never been amazing. At least, not during his time on Liquid. Stewie has been playing a supportive role since he joined Liquid, and over the last six months has had a rating of 1.06, tied with nitr0 for worst on the team, and a team worst K-D difference of +10.

Stewie isn’t supposed to be putting up crazy numbers, that isn’t his job. Sure, he’ll have the occasional map where he’ll pull out a vintage Stewie2k performance and dance on the opponents grave, but for the most part, he’s there to enable EliGE, Twistzz, and Naf.


Nitr0 is one of the players that makes me the most nervous on Liquid, entirely because of his roles. He’s the IGL and the main AWP, despite the fact that he was neither an AWPer nor an IGL when he rose up in the American scene. Now, he’s clearly shown that he can IGL at a high level, so that’s fine. But his AWPing has always been one of my biggest concerns for him, and for Liquid in general.

While Liquid has had success, both playing with five rifles and using nitr0 as their main AWP, they still don’t have the firepower to overcome incredible AWPers like device, allu, and ZywOo. If Liquid were to add someone like Wardell, I wouldn’t be opposed. A real AWPer could open up some avenues of approach that haven’t been available for Liquid in a long time, which could freshen up their game plan. The question is, who do you remove?


I can’t believe no one is talking about Twistzz’s performance at Malmo. A 0.97 Rating is abysmal, especially for a guy that hasn’t dropped below 1.15 in like six tournament (not counting the Berlin Major, unfortunately). In fact, it seems as though Twistzz’s performance is the best indicator of how Liquid will do as a team. Every time he dips under 1.10, his team loses the tournament. 1.06 at cs_summit, 1.09 at the Berlin Major, 0.97 in Malmo. Of course, he had a 1.21 at ESL One New York, where they still lost, but every rule has an exception, right?

It’s hard to define exactly what’s wrong with Twistzz, and what’s wrong with the team as a whole. Looking through his stats, nothing jumps out in particular, except maybe his consistency. Over the past month or so he’s been very up and down, dropping goose eggs in matches about once every three games.

“Trophy" What can they do?

The options for Liquid aren’t exactly abundant. There aren’t many straight up upgrades available, seeing as how the EG guys are locked into their contracts and all the other NA teams are a pretty clear step down in terms of talent.

Player Swap

If they do decide to pursue a roster change, the question of who they replace is an interesting one. It’s hard to say which of these guys are underperforming, and who you’d dump if you had to. Nitr0 has been with this team for years, he seems to be doing a good job IGLing, although I could take him or leave him as an AWPer. It’s tempting to just remove the player with the worst stats, meaning Stewie2k, but again, his stats aren’t supposed to be great. Out of NAF, EliGE, and Twistzz, who’s underperforming? You don’t want to give up on Twistzz, especially if he’s capable of the things we think he is. EliGE has been their best player for months, and it’ll be difficult to find a player who can replace NAF, seeing as how he’s one of the best players in NA.

Personally, I think one of Twistzz, EliGE, and NAF need to go, in place of an AWPer, if you want to make a roster change. And if I had to make a roster change, I’d probably kick NAF or EliGE. Or Twistzz. I don’t know, it’s really hard. Like, really really hard. Let’s move on.

More Infrastructure

Assuming the org is willing to pump more money into the team, and my assumption is that they are, they should hire more infrastructure to help the team out. Their team consists of the five players and their coach Adren, which has obviously worked well for most of the year. In this kind of slump though, they might want to consider bringing in an analyst, or a sports psychologist. After all, a similar move is what turned Astralis from notorious choke artists to worldwide powerhouse.

Some Time Off

Since their disappointing finish in Berlin, Liquid have played in two S Tier LANs, as well as ECS. Their schedule has been jam packed, especially considering the fact that they flew from New York directly to Malmo to play their first game against OpTic, which they lost. It’s easy to forget that Adren joining was one of the big difference makers that took Liquid from contender to champion. If Liquid wants him to have that kind of impact moving forward, they need to give him time to work with the team, so he can iron out any wrinkles.

“Trophy" Conclusion

Liquid have a tough task ahead of them. Revamping your team on the fly is never easy, but it’s especially difficult with the burden of championship expectations, combined with the looming juggernauts of Astralis and Evil Geniuses. While I assume they’ll ride out their current roster for a while, changes could come at any time. If they do, make sure to check back here for all the latest information, and all the CS:GO betting information you might need.

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