Team Liquid continued their run through the lower bracket with back-to-back sweeps Saturday to reach the final at the DreamHack Masters Spring’s North American event.
Liquid will battle FURIA Esports — who are 4-0 in the tournament — in Sunday’s best-of-five final, with the winner claiming $40,000 and 320 Pro Tour points. FURIA will begin the match with a one-map edge by virtue of winning the upper bracket.
The runner-up will claim $20,000 and 190 Pro Tour points.
Having gone just 1-2 in Group A play, Liquid began in the lower bracket but swept Gen.G Esports on Friday to advance to Saturday’s lower-bracket semis. There, they beat Cloud9 16-4 on Overpass and 16-12 on Nuke to advance to lower-bracket final against 100 Thieves.
After taking Vertigo 19-17 in overtime to open the match, Liquid cruised on Overpass for a 16-5 win to clinch the victory and reach the final.
The DreamHack Masters Jonkoping, a $250,000 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive event, originally was scheduled to be contested with 16 teams this week in Jonkoping, Sweden. However, the coronavirus pandemic forced the event to move to an online format featuring regional competitions for Europe, North America, Asia and Oceania.
The DreamHack Masters Spring - North America began with eight teams vying for a $100,000 prize pool. The sides were divided into two four-team groups for round-robin play consisting of best-of-three matches. Both group winners advanced to the upper bracket of the double-elimination playoffs, and the second- and third-place teams from each group entered the lower bracket of the playoffs.
The DreamHack Masters Spring - Europe bracket, with 16 teams competing for $160,000, also runs through Sunday. Last weekend, TYLOO won the four-team, $20,000 Asia bracket, and Renegades prevailed in the four-team, $20,000 Oceania bracket.
Liquid came out hot on Saturday, winning the first 10 rounds on Overpass to overwhelm Cloud9 in the opening map. The trend continued on Nuke, with Liquid winning five of the first six rounds and eight of the first 10. But Cloud9 responded this time, winning 10 of 11 rounds to take a 12-9 lead. Any hopes of a third map were eliminated, however, when Liquid closed the match on a 7-0 run.
The first map in the lower-bracket final was another see-saw battle, with Liquid squandering a 13-9 lead and having to win the final two rounds to force overtime. They outlasted 100 Thieves 4-2 in the extra period.
On the second map, 100 Thieves won the first three rounds before Liquid took complete control, using a 12-round win streak to take an insurmountable lead.
Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski was dominant against 100 Thieves, racking up a plus-30 kill-death differential. Only two other players on either team were better than even for the match, and none were better than plus-9.
Keith “NAF” Markovic was the star against Cloud9, picking up 44 kills and notching a plus-18 K-D differential — both match-high marks.
Sunday’s final between FURIA and Liquid will be a rematch of a May 21 meeting in group play, in which FURIA rallied for a tight 2-1 victory. Liquid took a 1-0 lead with a 16-9 win on Vertigo before FURIA fought back with wins of 16-14 on Nuke and 22-20 in double overtime on Mirage.
DreamHack Masters Spring - North America prize pool and Pro Tour points distribution
1. $40,000, 320 points
2. $20,000, 190 points
3. $15,000, 130 points — 100 Thieves
4. $10,000, 85 points — Cloud9
5-6. $5,000, 55 points — Gen.G Esports, MIBR
7-8. $2,500, no points — Chaos Esports Club, Evil Geniuses
—Field Level Media