When it was announced that Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo would be taking the place of Russel “Twistzz” Van Dulken in Team Liquid’s CS:GO lineup following the conclusion of the IEM Global Challenge at the end of 2020, most in the community were excited and expecting a serious upturn in the team’s fortunes.
The team had been struggling to replicate the form that saw them win Season 2 of the Intel Grand Slam in a record 68 days in 2019 both before and during the online era, but it was thought that the reunion between FalleN and Jacky “Stewie2K” Yip would spearhead the team back to the big time.
The reality, however, is that Liquid have looked arguably even more disjointed throughout the year, and come into the 2021 BLAST Fall Finals with the project being effectively written off by numerous individuals within the org. But, how bad are things really at Team Liquid?
Expectations On The Floor
Whilst the bulk of teams attending the Fall Finals are doing so with exciting storylines around new arrivals and directions hoping to take them to that next step up, Liquid are arriving in Copenhagen with their expectations firmly on the floor.
Both Stewie2k and FalleN, the org’s de facto faces, have been playing with other lineups recently and have reportedly been evaluating their options in CS, with the latter being heavily linked with a possible new Brazilian super team recently.
What’s more, Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski, Liquid’s most experienced and arguably most consistent figure, has recently come out with the damning revelations that the team ‘haven’t really been getting along’, haven’t been practicing together since the PGL Stockholm Major, and aren’t massively looking forward to the Fall Finals event.
The BLAST Fall Finals are taking place with the post-Major roster reshuffle craze still in full effect, and a number of the teams participating look set to switch things up once the event concludes on the 28th.
Team Vitality are set to overhaul their roster with the former Astralis trio of Emil “Magisk” Reif, Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen, and head coach Danny “zonic” Sørensen coming in for Rémy “XTQZZZ” Quoniam, Jayson “Kyojin” Nguyen Van, and Richard “shox” Papillon, who has in turn been linked with a spot at Liquid.
It should be said however that, even with these changes looming on the horizon, Vitality have still been practicing with each other in the lead up to the event, unlike Liquid.
With contracts and what not meaning not all of these transfers are possible until the close of the official competitive season at the end of the year, the Fall Finals could well be a test of professionalism for those players who know changes are afoot in the upcoming weeks.
How Well Can Liquid Do At The Fall Finals?
NA is in need of some solid representation in the world of CS, with Liquid being their best hope historically.
And whilst the likes of EliGE, FalleN and Stewie2k are seasoned professionals and the potential of a first stage appearance in front of fans for two years undoubtedly being a great potential motivator, it’s hard to feel excited about Liquid’s chances of mounting a serious challenge at the Fall Finals.
The path the org and its current lineup decide to take once the event concludes should be one of the most interesting storylines to watch unfold, but it remains to be seen when NA fans might expect to see one of their representatives back at the summit of the competitive CS circuit.