Liquid and Sk are matched up against each other in the Grande Finals of the ESL one Cologne Major 2016 to be held on the 10th of July 2016 at 1700 CEST
Liquid have their match against SK gaming today it is the grand finals of EsL cologne 2016. it is the first Tournament 2 not have a European team in the grand finals.
Sk gaming is definitely the favorites coming into this match. They are the current reigning champions ( albeit a very Easy way to the finals ).
Now LG have the advantage of the maps and the strategic aspect. But you have to remember that liquid have shown an amazing tactical side along with the firepower of JDM and simple obviously. Peacemaker has really helped improve the team’s tactical side and their read of various teams such as vp, g2 showed their gameplay. Of Course none of this is possible without JDM and simple going off and hitting their shots.
SK Gaming have always maintained their advantage over most of the tams with superior mid round calling by Fallen. Especially in their match against Gamers2, Fallens superiority in the calling aspect was clearly visible. The Brazilian side already has the requisite aim-power required to defeat top level proven teams ( and definitely Liquid ), however it is really close as Liquid have several impact players such as Simple, JDM and Hiko
Dust2 is a map that neither team likes to play. We have seen both teams play earlier on this map and both have been quite decent on it. But it’s a map that they never choose and try to avoid as much. I expect this to be banned by LG.
Mirage has become a not so bad map for Liquid, from their earlier disastrous fiascos on it. The mao is bearable and if they hit the shots, they should have a decent time on it. The person to watch out on LIquid on this map is Peacemaker. It is his experience and his understanding of SKś Mirage that will vastly help Liquid. SK of course are a very good team on Mirage and it’s definitely their map to lose this map.
Cobblestone is probably the closest of the maps available in the pool. It is the better map for Both the teams and each team has shown how capable they are on this map. Liquid rely heavily on their T side while LG have shown a very resilient CT side. IMO This map should be decided by the first half ( unless it ends in a 8-7; which seems unlikely)
Train is another map that is very good for both teams. The map however favors SK especially as they seem more proactive towards this map. They believe in taking control as CT and that helps them get a very good understanding of the opponent’s plans. They try to get control of more than 40% of the map by either pushing IVY, or B Top. Otherwise we can see a Brazilian player pushing forth somewhere else. It gives them a very good understanding of the opponent’s plans and it helps them to achieve good positions.
Cache is a map that favors Liquid. Although they have not played much on Cache in the recent months / weeks, their performance on the T side of Cache is extremely good. SK on the other hand have traditionally always avoided Cache mainly cause they have less chances of defeating NA teams on a map that NA Is traditionally very good on.
Overpass is a joker map. The teams have not played much on it, but in the past have shown an affinity towards the map. LG have a very high success rate on it, but LIquid are not far behind. They are both CT based teams with particular focus being on the restrooms area. The B side has seen innovative fakes and splits by Liquid. But as we have seen earlier, Fallen is a mastermind in reading these fakes and positions of the opponents.
Nuke is a risky bet. LIquid have shown that they have practised this map. They have shwon that they can pick it against good teams and win against them. However they are also facing SK, who are known for amazing CT sides on tactical maps. This would favor LIquid but just very slightly.
Overall I feel this is a 60%-40% match, with a good 15% swing lying in the form of Simple and JDM. If they have a good day, they can win key rounds and important economic situations for their team. If they don’t have a good match, I expect Liquid to get rolled over.
The Prediction : 60%-40% SK
The Bet : Low on SK.