Team Liquid Floods the Lower Bracket in Manila

Matumbaman giving an interview for Liquid at the Manila Major
Matumbaman giving an interview for Liquid at the Manila Major /

In a surprising turnaround, Team Liquid turns an early exile to the lower bracket into a second place finish.

“Water can drip and it can crash. Be like water, my friend.” So said famous martial artist, Bruce Lee, though you might not have agreed with him following round one of the Manila Major. To the surprise of many, Team Liquid was forcibly ejected from the upper bracket in round one, much like the proverbial bathwater baby’s always seem to be thrown out with. MVP Phoenix wiped away the light drizzle that was Team Liquid in round one after two straight wins. But, as Mr. Lee’s wise words reminds us, it didn’t take long for the initial drip of Liquid to become a sweeping wave.

Nothing like an early spanking to stoke the fires of a comeback, am I right? Oh wait, I’m supposed to be use aqueous adjectives here. Err, nothing like an early thaw to surge the stream waters. Yes, that’s more like it. And surge is just the word I’d use to describe Liquid’s geyser-esque rise through the lower bracket.

Like a pressurized jet of water disintegrating the tissue paper garden that was its opposition, Team Liquid tore through lower bracket rivals compLexity, Natus Vincere, Fnatic, and LGD Gaming with 2 – 0 wins all around.  Newbee gave Liquid a run for its money in the lower bracket final round, setting the tone for the with a pub-stompy 29 – 9 kill match in Newbee’s favor.

I’m not gonna lie – this is the moment I despaired. I’m not even a Team Liquid fan. But, God help me, I love an underdog. And after watching Liquid get slapped around in round one by MVP Phoenix like a ping-pong ball caught between two fat men armed with tennis rackets (kill ratios of 36:16 and 50:30, both in Phoenix’s favor), it was my civic duty to root for Liquid.

And they did not fail me.

Like we should have expected from the Shanghai runners-up, Liquid quickly adapted to Newbee’s aggressive start-off with a performance that reminded me an awful lot of Epicenter. The next two games saw Liquid victorious with kill ratios of 29 – 15 and 24 – 18 against Newbee.

And you know why? Because Liquid doesn’t buckle under pressure, folks. It adapts. And I, for one, am excited to see Team Liquid’s performance at The International.

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