Evil Geniuses wins ESL One Cologne after defeating Team Liquid

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ESL One Cologne 2020 North America came to an end with Evil Geniuses defeating Team Liquid after a long match running over six hours for CS:GO esports.

Both teams managed to sweep their opponents in Semifinals 2–0. Evil Geniuses scored 16–10 victories on Vertigo and Nuke against FURIA Esports while Team Liquid defeated Chaos Esports Club 16–13 on Inferno and 16–8 on Mirage.

Team Liquid’s lineup was composed of Michael “Grim” Wince, Jacky “Stewie2K” Yip, Keith “NAF” Markovic, Russel “Twistzz” Van Dulken, and Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski. On Evil Geniuses’ side, Vincent “Brehze” Cayonte, Tsvetelin “CeRq” Dimitrov, Ethan “Ethan” Arnold, Tarik “tarik” Celik, and Peter “stanislaw” Jarguz were the starters.

ESL One Cologne NA Rosters
ESL One Cologne NA Rosters

Image credits to ESL

Evil Geniuses had the advantage to pick the first map. EG decided to start with Nuke and picked Inferno for the third round. Team Liquid chose Vertigo and Mirage, being confident in its ability to make a difference in these maps. If needed, Dust 2 was the final deciding map.

Team Liquid had a really strong start leading 6–0 in the first map as CT. Grim was particularly effective at registering multiple kills, along with NAF. However, between round 7 and 15, EG managed to make a comeback by winning 6 six rounds. Evil Geniuses needed a bit of time and preparation before starting to show what it’s capable of. At halftime, Team Liquid was still up ahead 9–6.

The second half was clearly leaning on EG’s side despite Team Liquid’s good start as Terrorists. Evil Geniuses scored five rounds in a row at one point before being stopped by TL. However, Team Liquid had to execute a perfect round with 100% accurate grenades to even stop EG. Even though TL managed to get into overtime, EG took the lead in the Grand Final with a 19–16 score on Nuke.

Grim 30 kills were not enough to stop EG’s team plays.

Vertigo was a game of ups and downs for many players. EliGE showed impressive prowesses with many triple kills openers in the first half of Vertigo. This allowed Team Liquid’s aggressive playstyle to be very effective at securing bomb sites and put EG in a bad position for retakes. Team Liquid managed to score a 13–2 lead at halftime.

However, EliGE’s overall level clearly dropped as a CT. He did not get a single kill for more than 6 rounds, leaving his teammates in 5-versus-4 situations. So, EG was on the track of another comeback before an amazing round from Twistzz. He killed four opponents with nothing more than a Deagle thanks to an advantageous position. Team Liquid followed the momentum created by Twistzz and secured Vertigo 16–9.

The first half of Inferno was heavily disputed. Team Liquid led 6–2 before conceding three save rounds. They did not want to commit rare resources to situations that were probably not going anywhere. The bad economic situation of Team Liquid allowed EG to take the lead 8–7 at halftime.

Evil Geniuses started strong as Counter-Terrorist with 4 rounds in a row. Tarik and Brehze were the deciding factors and led EG to victory on Inferno 16–12. The momentum shifted once again in favor of Evil Geniuses.

Once again, Team Liquid started strong on the T side. Using this advantage, EliGE, Twistzz, and NAF kept on their aggressive playstyles. Evil Geniuses retaliated multiple times by ending TL’s runs. Nonetheless, for the last round of the first half to be scored in EG’s favor, CeRq had to register four kills. Team Liquid was leading 9–6 getting into halftime.

The second half showcased amazing plays by Team Liquid. At that point, it can be qualified as domination. It was a known fact at that point that TL was absolutely confident in its abilities as Counter-Terrorists on Mirage. Scoring 7 rounds in a row, TL caught up to EG in this ESL One Cologne 2020’s Grand Final. The title’s winner would be decided on Dust 2.

Going into the final round, fans were able to see physical and mental fatigue from both lineups. Only the mentally stronger would be able to take the trophy home. Team Liquid showcased its determination by winning the first 5 rounds and put some pressure on EG. The latter showed its resilience by staying alive and scoring a few rounds. Team Liquid still had the upper hand at halftime with a 9–6 score.

Slowly but surely, EG started to counter-attack as Terrorists despite TL’s leading 11–6. In the last 11 rounds, Team Liquid only managed to defuse the bomb once. On Dust 2, EliGE got the highest amount of kills, assists, and damage, but failed to lead its teammates to victory. Evil Geniuses took the ESL One Cologne 2020 crown with a third victory on Dust 2.

There are multiples trends that can be identified while looking at the data. First, the technical superiority was clear on Team Liquid’s side. However, Evil Geniuses held the mental and tactical advantage. It does not mean that TL did not have some cards to play but Evil Geniuses executed its team strategies better.

Next, Team Liquid almost always began its first rounds with power and style. Despite this fact, with an equal footing in terms of weapons and grenades, Evil Geniuses was superior in the long run. Team Liquid also showed domination on the map they chose, especially Vertigo.

In the end, Evil Geniuses comes home with the ESL One Cologne 2020 trophy and $65 thousand in cash prize. Team Liquid got second place and $30 thousand while both Chaos Esports Club and FURIA Esports got $12,500.

Written by Charles FUSTER

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