The playoffs are absolutely stacked.
After a fiercely competitive second day at ESL One New York, only four teams remain to battle for the lion’s share of the $250,000 prize pool.
Of the four teams in the playoffs, the only real surprise is the inclusion of Team Liquid. The North American team has struggled since reaching the grand finals of ESL One Cologne in July, with several unimpressive performances both online and on LAN blemishing the team’s overall record.
In New York, however, Team Liquid has sprung to life in emphatic fashion. They defeated G2 Esports and Fnatic twice on Dust 2 to secure their first playoff series in months.
Team Liquid’s impressive performances aside, the hottest team of the second day was undoubtedly Na`Vi. The Eastern European super team had disposed of both Team Liquid and Virtus.Pro on the event’s opening day, but in the team’s third game of the group stage against SK Gaming was probably its most impressive. In a 16-6 beatdown, recent Na`Vi signee Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev obliterated the Brazilian major champions with an absurd 28-10 kill/death score in only 22 rounds.
SK Gaming ad Virtus.Pro also secured their spots in the playoffs, narrowly beating out surprise contenders OpTic Gaming. After taking out G2 Esports and Astralis in significant upsets, OpTic lost the deciding match against Virtus.pro to narrowly miss out.
Despite not making the playoffs, OpTic’s performance in New York has to go down as the team’s most impressive to date in Counter-Strike.
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