FaZe Clan, on the other hand, appears to be a serious contender.
The final day of matches for Group A of the BLAST Premier Spring Series was supposed to be about revenge. Both Team Liquid and Ninjas in Pyjamas had been relegated to the lower bracket by FaZe earlier in the weekend and were looking to get theirs back. To do that though, they'd first have to go through each other.
NiP vs Liquid
The event constitutes Liquid's first appearance since 2019's BLAST Global Finals. While they won their opening match against MiBR, the third-ranked team in the world has been looking lackluster. Eager to write this off as a bad day, today was the day for the squad to prove it.
Versus NiP, they would start their road to redemption on Vertigo. This game would be a streaky affair, with both teams trading short ones. 0-3 and 5-4 would turn into 6-9 by halftime. NiP looked to upset Liquid’s momentum in the next pistol round, but they were unable to produce a meaningful follow up, despite strong performances from Fredrik "REZ" Sterner and newcomer Tim "nawwk" Jonasson.
Game 2 would take place on Mirage. Here, the Swedes would end up conceding five rounds before they could get on the board themselves. It would take until 6-14 for them to start pushing back properly. And push back they did, even forcing the game into overtime. They took two more rounds there, before TL could finally, barely, close out the series 17-19.
What looked like an easy game took quite a turn at the end.
Which was good enough here, but would it be enough to stand against the unleashed FaZe Clan?
FaZe vs Liquid
Initially, it seemed like it would be. Mirage was once again TL's choice of map, despite it almost slipping away from them in the previous game. Dust2 and Inferno would be the other ones coming through. While not shocking choices in their own right, these also happened to be the maps that FaZe beat them on a day earlier.
That didn't stop the boys in blue from opening strong here, however. By contrast, their opponents, not having played yet, appeared to need some time to warm up. At a 1-5 deficit, Marcelo "coldzera" David decided that that was enough and turned some smart positioning into a triple kill. This was the boost FaZe needed to confidently start dismantling Liquid. It was 9-6 by halftime and, barring a small revival on CT, Liquid was never really able to regain their advantage.
Having to concede your own map pick 16-9 is obviously not great, but it would only be the beginning of TL's worries. Despite again picking up the first round of game 2, things would turn much worse for them here. Like in their encounter the day before, FaZe was just the better prepared team. They managed to isolate key players like Russel "Twistzz" Van Dulken, they called the right rotations when needed and where their opponents' shots went wide, FaZe's stars had no such issues. Håvard "Rain" Nygaard even managed an ace before it was all over.
When the dust settled, the score line read 16-2. If there were any doubters about FaZe's form, they had been firmly silenced. Liquid, on their end, have some work to do. Fortunately, this is only the start of the season. It seems likely that they'll bounce back. If they want to do better at the BLAST Premier Spring Finals in Moscow later this year, they will have to.
Before all that, the other groups in London will still have to be played out. Next weekend, Group B will pit Natus Vincere, Team Vitality, Astralis and compLexity Gaming against each other. Matches will start on Friday the 7th and we'll of course cover them here on GGIntel. See you then!
Image via BLAST.