Team Liquid pulled out a surprise in their VALORANT match versus KRÜ Esports today, using Neon on KRÜ’s pick of Fracture on the way towards a 2-0 series win to kick off Group B play at VCT Masters Reykjavík.
KRÜ chose a map that Liquid has rarely used since it was added to the rotation, but the last-minute replacement team out of EMEA pulled out a surprise composition with a Neon-focused lineup. With soulcas taking on the game’s newest agent, Liquid got fast plants on attack, then quickly gathered info and rotated on defense. Liquid answered a 5-4 KRÜ lead with nine straight rounds to steal away the LATAM Challengers winner’s Fracture pick by a surprising margin, 13-5.
The series turned to Ascent, with a back-and-forth first half that saw the two teams tie 6-6 before switching sides. The two teams continued to trade strings of rounds back and forth into an 11-11 tie, with KRÜ on attack and Liquid on defense. KRÜ went with a mid-to-B take that was almost stopped by a sneaky ScreaM lurk, but KRÜ still took a 12-11 lead. However, a heroic Nivera ace from the A door sent the map to overtime.
KRÜ took an early advantage in OT thanks to keznit anchoring the B site defense, but Liquid tied it up right away with a Jamppi anchor on A. Liquid went back to B again on the second OT attack, removing the keznit anchor and holding off the retake to gain the lead, but keznit responded in KRÜ’s B site post-plant to force a third OT. Liquid retook the lead with another B take spearheaded by the brother duo of Nivera and ScreaM, and a miraculous retake led by Jamppi in the next round finally sealed the map 16-14 and the series for Liquid.
With the victory, Liquid move a step closer to qualifying for playoffs, which would be a huge milestone for a team that weren’t even supposed to be at Masters. They are making the best of their second chance, and just need to defeat the winner of OpTic vs. XERXIA to lock in their playoff spot.
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