The North Americans edge closer to an EPL playoff spot after yet another 2-0 series sweep. The chance to compete in the playoffs of ESL Pro League grew bigger for Liquid, as they beat their fellow North American opponents Party Astronauts in convincing fashion, taking Dust2 with a scoreline of 16-5 and the second map of Mirage 16-9. After losing a hard-fought series in their last outing against Movistar Riders, Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski and company bounced back and took a third victory in their group. Their win means that they currently hold second place in Group C and are in prime position to lock down a spot in the playoffs, which they could already do at the end of the day if Players at least take a map off GODSENT. Meanwhile, the loss in this series places Party Astronauts last in their group. They currently have a 0-4 record heading into the final match of the group stage, which is against the group’s No. 1 team, Movistar Riders.
The series started on Party Astronauts’ map pick of Dust2, where Liquid won the first seven rounds decisively. Although they started on defense, Liquid were able to not only gain the round advantage, but the upper hand on economy as well thanks to outstanding pistol round performances from Richard “shox” Papillon and Keith “NAF” Markovic, allowing the team to buy rifles in the second round. Party Astronauts took their first round win of the series in the eighth round after two important AWP kills from Josh “PwnAlone” Pigue and a successful A-site take. The remainder of the half completely went the way of Liquid, ending the half with a 14-1 scoreline on the back of EliGE’s server-high kill count of 20. At the start of the second half, Party Astronauts were able to stop Liquid’s pistol round B-site rush, along with the three succeeding rounds bringing the game to a score 5-14 through superb utility usage.
Liquid eventually found their groove and managed to secure the last two rounds they needed and took the first map, 16-5. EliGE was undoubtedly the star fragger of the game, ending with a K-D of 25-13 and an ADR of 118.8. Mirage was up next after being selected by Liquid, who started off strong and secured the opening round thanks to a quick triple-kill from shox. This put Party Astronauts on the back foot early, only managing to secure a full-buy after going down 0-3. Despite the early deficit, they were able to take the fourth round from their fellow North Americans after Peter “ptr” Gurney was able to run the clock down, saving his AWP in the process.