Team Liquid simultaneously lived up to expectations and pleasantly surprise spectators by starting their MSI Group Stage run off with a 2-0 record, winning against Flash Wolves and Phong Vũ Buffalo.
North American fans are well acquainted with the classic group stage curse, where NA crushes the first round robin only to fall off later and narrowly miss the Knockout Stage after a tiebreaker. It’s hard remember that after seeing Team Liquid’s performance today, though.
TL had the easiest schedule on the day and won their matches in the exact way that you’d expect from a team of their caliber: by completely decimating their opponents. In their match against Flash Wolves, they nearly had a perfect game (save for one death).
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Liquid ended the day with a rematch of the Play-In Knockout Stage against PVB, who had just given Invictus Gaming a serious run for their money earlier in the day. Liquid made it clear that they’d learned from their previous mistakes against the Vietnamese squad and avoided being sucked into their reckless play style.
This time around, it was the Nicolaj Jensen show. The mid laner played an absolutely lethal Akali that sliced through PVB like a hot knife to butter.
TL may have played weaker teams, but they shut the opposition out in such a way that highlighted the difference in skill between them. Their next task will be to maintain that momentum heading into the rest of the first round robin.
Liquid play G2 on May 11 at 12:00 a.m. PDT before testing their luck against Invictus Gaming at 2:00 a.m. PDT.