The two best CS:GO rosters in the world, Team Liquid and Astralis, are now confirmed for ESL One New York 2019. What can we expect from these two juggernauts should they cross paths in the Big Apple?
Team Liquid recently surpassed Astralis both in the HLTV and ESL CS:GO World Rankings for the no. 1 spot, which the Danes held for over a year, without the pair facing each other on LAN. While the NA squad have certainly earned this accolade after winning IEM Sydney and DreamHack Masters Dallas, the question remains in fans' minds as to how they would perform in a head-to-head battle. The ESL Pro League Season 9 Finals, which will soon begin in Montpellier, France, could see an initial answer to this question, but it will surely not settle the score for good.
We should brace for a second half of the year filled with exciting and close encounters between them and ESL One New York's September date means we could see them clash at their very peak. Both teams are also currently the only ones with wins on the board for $1,000,000 Intel®️ Grand Slam; first to four takes the full prize. Astralis drew first blood at the IEM Katowice Major, but Liquid responded with the aforementioned wins in Australia and the US, putting them ahead of the Great Danes in those standings as well.
Recent form favors Liquid
Leading into the ESL Pro League Season 9 Finals, Team Liquid have illustrated pertinent and promising results, where as Astralis stumbled in the most recent tournament they attended. The Danes uncharacteristically lost to the breakout Brazilian squad FURIA Esports in 3 of the 4 maps they played. Despite defeating Ninjas In Pyjamas in a comfortable 2 - 0, being eliminated by a relatively new coming Brazilian lineup doesn’t bode well when you’ve recently been hailed as the best CS team in history.
Team Liquid, on the other hand, recently won the last event they attended. At DreamHack Dallas 2019, the NA roster only dropped 2 of 11 total maps in their entire tournament run. The recently-crowned no. 1 squad won consecutive series against the likes of North, FaZe Clan and FURIA Esports before meeting ENCE in the Grand Finals. Their second big trophy of the season came after defeating the Finns 2- 1 on Mirage (16 - 8), Overpass (17 - 19) and Inferno (16 - 13).
History is on Astralis' side
Recent developments mean that the history between these teams will go through a bit of a reboot. While Liquid were easily the second best team in the world during Astralis' reign through 2018, their head-to-head meetings usually resulted in Danish victory. Out of 12 bo3 or bo5 series between them in 2018, the Astralis won 100% of them, with Liquid only managing to best them in a bo1 at the FACEIT London Major.
Most notably, they faced off on both ESL Pro League finals of 2018, Season 7 in Dallas and Season 8 in Odense. Astralis beat Liquid on home ground for the former and clinched last season's Intel®️ Grand Slam for the former. For the Danes, defeating Liquid is not just a matter of regaining a spot in the rankings, but one legacy. They will be out in force to prove that also in esports form is temporary, but class is permanent.