Heavyweights Team Liquid and WTSG put themselves in a commanding position after a frantic day 2 of the PGS Berlin: Europe Qualifier finals.
Starting as they intended to go on, Team Liquid took home the first victory on Miramar, skillfully navigating an intriguing circle that left a lot of the play area out in the open. WTSG ran them close, locking down a strong position where they picked off opponents in a machine-like fashion, but ultimately the new look Liquid side had too much. It was a significant early W, propelling them to second in the table – hot on the heels of yesterday’s leaders Exalt.
It was back to Miramar in Match 2 as the pressure started to build in the studio. We saw a surprise early exit for Team Liquid who ran into trouble against a fired-up WTSG as they desperately battled to defend their position. Fans were then treated to a dramatic hard shift, with the circle moving towards Pecado. This led to a mad dash of rosters through Chumacera, which unsurprisingly resulted in a few casualties.
It was here that Natus Vincere really came into their own. Maintaining a full squad, they swept through opponents one by one until they went up against a two-man Tornado Energy. Once again, the circle was unforgiving, pushing Tornado Energy out and rewarding NAVI who had taken control of a strong central position. From that moment on NAVI operated as gatekeepers, keeping their rivals at bay before closing them out.
We then headed over to Sanhok for Match 3, where Adepts wrapped up their first win of the weekend. It was total carnage in the west as the circle put rosters on a collision course around Paradise Resort. Adepts played intelligently, sweeping through the competition until they found themselves going toe to toe with RYE Gaming. They showed real hunger with their performance, taking their first win with a very respectable 22 points.
Erangel offered up a fairly northern circle at the beginning of Match 4, paying dividends to the sides who had rotated effectively. In what was becoming a recurring theme of the day, WTSG and Team Liquid clashed early on – and it did not disappoint. The Liquid lads showed no mercy in the line of fire, securing their compound and wiping out WTSG – although losing Kaymind in the process.
The circle then shifted south, doing NAVI a favor as they found themselves well placed. Unfortunately for the side, however, they met their match in the form of Northern Lights. In a tightly contested 4 vs 2, Northern Lights secured a big win – firing themselves up the leaderboard.
Match 5 provided RYE Gaming with a platform to really show what they were about. It was a tactical masterclass, consolidating prime real estate on Erangel and allowing their counterparts to tear each other apart in the quarry.
They kept their position, and it paid off. Led by Gaxy, who secured 6 kills, they concluded with a favorable 3 vs 2 against Team Liquid. They held their nerve and did what needed to be done.
We stayed in Erangel for the final match, with Group A teams entering the battlefield for the last time. At points it was utter chaos, with rosters desperately taking to sea to outmaneuver each other and try and get a foot hold on Sosnovka Island.
Team Liquid was the first to go, although perhaps after such a strong showing they were a little more relaxed having surpassed the 100-point mark.
It came down to a final 3 of YMCA Esports, RYE Gaming and Team Unique. In one of the most memorable moments of the day, Gaxy and ELGIGANTEN’s ghostar plodded around within a few millimeters of each other – both players blinded by the engulfing smoke before Gaxy took the kill.
In the end, it was YMCA Esports who took the chicken dinner, although perhaps a bittersweet moment as it wasn’t quite enough to move them into the top 6 – meaning they will unfortunately go no further.
That wrapped another exciting day at the PGS Berlin: Europe Qualifier finals, with lots still to play for tomorrow.