This Liquid lineup was built to win trophies and they have a chance to do so at IEM Chengdu.

Team Liquid qualified for the IEM Chengdu playoffs after defeating HEROIC (13-8 on Ancient) and G2 (13-6 on Ancient, 10-13 on Anubis, and 13-9 on Inferno) on the opening day of the $250,000 Chinese tournament on April 8.

These victories might not look much if you haven't been following Liquid in 2024. However they're already the best result the organization has had in CS2 since revamping the roster with players Casper "cadiaN" Møller, Russel "Twistzz" Van Dunkel, and Felipe "skullz" Medeiros, and bringing back Wilton "zews" Prado as the head coach.

Despite the current Liquid project being so new, the players already found themselves under pressure as they had failed to qualify for the PGL Copenhagen Major in March. The fact that Liquid qualified for the IEM Chengdu playoffs should take some of the pressure off the players' shoulders as they have their first chance to win a tournament this year.

Liquid are making the most of their opportunity in IEM Chengdu (Image via ESL Gaming)
Liquid are making the most of their opportunity in IEM Chengdu (Image via ESL Gaming)

What allowed Liquid to play better at IEM Chengdu?

It's hard to pinpoint exactly what Liquid improved on that allowed them to advance to IEM Chengdu playoffs. They didn't have overly dominant displays on either CT or T side, nor did all the players frag well against HEROIC or G2, but the vibe around the team improved. CadiaN, Twistzz, and YEKINDAR were noticeably more hyped after winning rounds as they shouted multiple times throughout the day.

Twistzz somewhat confirmed the change of mood in the post-match interview with Anastasija "Heccu" Tolmačeva after defeating G2 2-1 in the Group A upper bracket semifinal.

"We didn't qualify for this event in the beginning and we got the invite," Twistzz said. "We take these second chances, right? [There was] two weeks of online practice for us at home, people are feeling good, people are happy in their lives, we come here ready to play CS with a second opportunity, and we are making the most of it."

Twistzz leads the way in the fragging department

Out of all Liquid players, Twistzz arguably had the best individual performance. The two-time Intel Grand Slam champion is sitting on a 1.41 HLTV rating en route to playoffs and has the higher K/D difference of all players in the competition with a superb +33. However, Keith "NAF" Markovic's performance can't be ignored as he clutched an important one-versus-two situation against G2 on Inferno in the late game and is sitting on a 1.28 HLTV rating.

What's next for Liquid at IEM Chengdu

Now that Team Liquid qualified for the IEM Chengdu playoffs on the opening day, they'll have until Wednesday, April 10 at 4:30 a.m. PST to rest and prepare to face the winner of FURIA vs. MOUZ. In case Liquid win this match on Wednesday, they will advance straight to the semifinals of the $250,000 event.

That's all for now. However, be sure to stick around on for more CS2 news, guides, and updates!