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Photos of Team Liquid CSGO in Birmingham, England at Wembly Arena for the ECS Season 5 Finals

Monster Gaming Weekly

Aug 012018

It was shooter mania over the past two weeks with CS:GO’s ELEAGUE and PUBG’s Global Invitational on the calendar. Team Liquid romped to second place in both tournaments, showing their poise, aim and teamwork. Evil Geniuses scored a morale-boosting victory at the BTS house during The Summit, the last tournament before TI. Oh, and Hungrybox won. Again.



It’s been a few weeks since ESL One Cologne, where Na’Vi captured greatness and the prestigious title, and we find ourselves in the coziness of a TV studio, in Atlanta, for Turner’s ELEAGUE Premier 2018. We’ve traded the sixteen team pool for only eight, the arena for a studio, a crowd of thousands for slightly more than a hundred fans. Yet the stakes are high nonetheless, as ELEAGUE has gathered eight of the best teams in the world with a huge prize pool was for the taking. Oddly enough, the cash prize felt almost secondary, as each team arrived with with their own priorities.


For Na’Vi and Astralis, a win would be a step ahead of the other in their developing rivalry — for the best team of 2018.


For Liquid, it would be a first, long awaited trophy at a premier tournament in their history.


For FaZe, victory would be the return to normality with Olofmeister finally back on the roster.


For Fnatic and mousesports, this was an opportunity to recapture what made them title contenders in the first quarter of 2018.


For MIBR and Cloud9, their return to ELEAGUE offered redemption after a downward trajectory that began right after the ELEAGUE Major seven months ago.


With such a competitive setup, fans rightfully anticipated a high quality tournament, and it fully delivered. The first group was a vintage Europe vs. Americas situation. Astralis represented the old continent while Liquid, MIBR and Cloud9 defended the new world. What looked like a fight for second place behind Astralis on paper panned out exactly that way, as none of the American teams were able to challenge the Danes. On top of their game, Astralis breezed their way out of the group in first place, while the remaining teams could only fight for the second spot. When the dust settled, Liquid emerged victorious, with two convincing 2-0 victories against MIBR.


On the other side, Europe’s finest got into a rumble. Though Na`Vi eventually secured their advancement, the team struggled to earn their two wins, dropping Inferno twice in their series against Mouz and Fnatic. Despite being labeled the favorites to take the tournament, Na`Vi started with rust in their triggers. The bigger surprise, however, was FaZe’s crushing successive defeats. They were sent home first despite a reunion of their core players, and it wasn’t even down to Olof’s form after months on the shelf. He did his part on his return, yet the international squad struggled to string together rounds. Fnatic gave them the boot before bowing out to Mouz in the deciding match.


The final bracket posted Astralis and Na’Vi on different sides, and it looked like the tournament would once again come down to a duel between these two teams. While Astralis did the job as they moved past mousesports with ease, on the other side Team Liquid played with their hearts out and pulled the rug from under S1mple and his crew. A crisp 2-0 gave Liquid another chance to take down the Danish superstars in a grand finals — the third in just two months! Alas, just like the previous finals, the best team in the world would prove too strong for the American squad. The Danes lifted yet another trophy on the back of an excellent performance spearheaded by dev1ce and Magisk.


Team Liquid had to settle for second place again, but this was already an achievement given the circumstances, as TACO had unfortunately received terrible news in the middle of the tournament. His strength in the face of adversity inspired his team against Na`Vi, which included an incredible clutch quad kill on Overpass. CS:GO fans the world over poured in their support for one of the best support players the game has ever seen.

Dota 2


The Summit has always been an enjoyable experience for both the viewers and the players in attendance. It is treated as friendly competition where players are invited to cast, play other games, and take part in some well written skits that come from the mind of the legendary Hot_Bid. However even though it’s a place where players don’t need to feel the pressures of a normal tournament, it doesn’t mean they aren’t taking their matches seriously. EG, Fnatic, Pain Gaming, and VGJ.Storm were among the teams in attendance, all preparing for The International which begins in only a few weeks. The Summit is invaluable to these teams as it offers them a place to practice in a more serious setting just before they travel to Canada. We saw teams experiment with Pudge picks, a couple of Meepos, and other unique drafts meant to test the limits of both players and heroes outside of the current meta.


It’s hard to only talk about the games at The Summit with how much great content and genuine player moments there are during each day of the event. You could see Pieliedie and DJ show off their art skills, or catch most of EG casting some games. It’s getting to see the players interact in these different ways that truly makes The Summit a special event in the Dota 2 community.


The tournament itself featured some fantastic games, both strategically and in entertainment value. Questions surrounded EG and how they would perform as a newly built team, but early in the group stage we could see how capable they were, winning their laning stages and quickly capitalizing on their advantages to close out their games. EG ended up tied for 1st with VGJ.Storm 7-3 after the group stage was over. EG answered the questions with an impressive showing of skill as they 2-0’d VGJ.Storm in the upper bracket finals and then 3-0’d Fnatic to win The Summit without dropping a game in the playoff stage. Fnatic on the other hand showed some great determination as they had to go through the entire lower bracket just to make the finals, beating LDI, OpTic Gaming, and VGJ.Storm along the way.




The 2018 PGI tournament over in Berlin officially wrapped, with both the first and third person shooter categories deciding their champs. Chinese eSports organization Oh My God was crowned victor of the First Person class while Gen.G of Korea dominated the third person category. Both teams flew home in fashion, claiming $400,000 each after proving their skill in one of the most exciting and up-and-coming esport shooters on the market.  


Team Liquid, who created mass-hype after picking up a PUBG team competing in the European PGI region, managed 2nd place in both categories, taking home $160,000 in each, all the while leaving us fans with a sneak peak of how victorious the future of their young PGI team could be. Na`Vi rounded out Europe’s FPP control by finishing in 4th place.


Fans from all over the world praised the success of PUBG’s first real global tournament, as the live stream created non-stop entertainment across the entire final weekend. The tournament allowed fans to follow their favorite teams while watching the main stream, which created a personalized viewing experience. On Friday, teams took a pause to allow Twitch’s top PUBG streamers to compete in a $1 million “Showdown” tournament, featuring PUBG household names such as shroud, Ninja, and Dr DisRespect. 


With a popular and entertaining group of broadcast talents, and such well formatted and action packed tournament layouts, it’s hard to imagine how the young shooter title COUDLN’T grow as it continues to evolve and creating a truly different esports viewing experience.




The Smash circuit took a trip to the Big State of Texas, and it was business as usual for Hungrybox. Even though it was “another tournament, another title” for the Team Liquid Smasher, there was a healthy dose of scares throughout the tournament. Any field including the likes of Alliance’s Armada, Mang0 and Leffen is bound to be a barnburner, and the event didn’t disappoint.


There were few surprises in pools and most of the bracket stages, but a surprise upset in Winners Round 3 — ARMY 3, Mang0 2 — foreshadowed a tournament that wouldn’t follow the script. While most fans anticipated another installment of Hungrybox versus Armada, the other contenders had other things in mind.


Armada and Leffen produced the first highlight of the tournament, a 5 game Fox mirror that traded back and forth until the final bell. Leffen then one-upped that achievement by downing Hungrybox in another 3-2 slugfest, putting him straight into the finals. The Swede looked in form and on point after defeating the two best players in the world, and all signs pointed to a rematch with either of the two titans.


In the lower bracket, it was ARMY versus NAVY — I mean, Armada — and the sea won in a tidal wave. Though it did not happen in the grand finals, the fans got the Hungrybox - Armada bout that seemed destined, and it was worth the wait.


Hungrybox cleaned the floor with Fox on Battlefield, before clutching it out on map 2. On the ropes and reeling, Armada scored 2 maps back to tie the series amidst cheers. It was another game 5, and this time, Hbox delivered to earn his rematch.


With the title on the line, the world’s best Puff turned it on. Despite the set disadvantage, Hungybox put on a clinic and won the tournament 6-1. His only loss? A switch to Ness. Another tournament, another title, just as some expected.