Image: Ubisoft/Joao Ferreira
Team Liquid’s consistency and flexibility throughout the years and the metas has meant that they have always been title-favourites at every event they attended. But despite Liquid’s talent on paper, featuring two of the greatest players of all time, it has been three years since they won anything and four since a tier-one win.
Since then, Liquid have qualified for six Major competitions and have what would be an enviable record for most other teams in the scene. But, the Brazilians are tired of always being so close and yet so far.
|Six Invitational 2020||9th - 12th -- 0-2 vs MIBR|
|Six Invitational 2021||2nd -- 2-3 vs Ninjas in Pyjamas|
|Six Mexico Major||3rd - 4th -- 1-2 vs Team oNe|
|Six Invitational 2022||5th - 6th -- 0-2 vs MIBR|
|Six Charlotte Major||3rd - 4th -- 1-2 vs DarkZero Esports|
|Six Jönköping Major||2nd -- 2-3 vs Team BDS|
Despite having lineups that could have established international dynasties, Liquid's success has been limited to their region. They have won three of the last four Brasileirao editions and have been undoubtedly the kings of Brazil.
That has translted into deep international runs, but those runs have not yielded trophies. Just two months ago, Liquid were in sight of their first Six Major trophy after a tournament run thus far that had codified them as definite favourites. What's more, this time they were led by Lorenzo "Lagonis" Volpi, who had beaten Liquid to the Mexico Major title in Aug. 2021 and had been a long time Liquid fan himself.
Now, as the captain and IGL of the roster, his frustrations regarding public perceptions of the team have become more public.
“I am tired of people saying Team Liquid can’t win an S-tier tournament,” he said in an interview with SiegeGG ahead of the Six Invitational 2023.
In Stage 3, Lagonis joined Team Liquid just 10 days before their first match. He assumed the role of IGL from Gabriel "AsK" Santos, who was moved to a more aggressive position. That proved to be the right decision, with AsK and Luccas "Paluh" Molina tearing through the competition.
That form carried through to the Jönköping Major, where the two went berserk in the group stage and led Liquid to wins in five of their six matches.
Team Liquid were then drawn in what was called the "Swedish Copa Elite Six", as the four Brazilian teams had been gathered on the same side of the bracket. Liquid's victories against FaZe Clan and w7m esports sent them to the grand-final, where they faced Team BDS.
According to Lagonis, the brutal 1-7 defeat on Theme Park against BDS was due to a lack of information the team had on the French squad.
"BDS had been hiding the map," said Lagonis of the surprise pick. "Theme Park is a very defensive map, they started on defense and they got the momentum."
Despite Liquid winning the following two maps, Team BDS's comeback gave Europe their second international title in a row following Rogue's victory at the Six Berlin Major against another Brazilian side, FaZe Clan.
Just a week later, Team Liquid redeemed themselves with a 3-1 victory in Sao Paulo, Brazil, against the BR6 regular standings champions, w7m.
"I said to the team, ‘if we want to start 2023 good we have to win this match'," Lagonis recalled.
His team's results at the Jönköping Major against their fellow Brazilian teams and the win against w7m are solid proof that Liquid are the most in-form roster in Brazil at the moment. They just have to translate that into an international trophy, and Lagonis is keen to keep the progress going into the Invitational.
"We are better now than after the BR6 Finals," asserted Lagonis.
Lagonis also revealed that the team tried to have a bootcamp in Los Angeles, United States, but visa complications made it impossible for the players.
"Unfortunately the American visas will not be ready in time due to the great demand from the consulate," he shared.
As such, Team Liquid's final two official games before the Six Invitational 2023 have been BO5 grand-finals -- an experience that not many have. On top of that, they are starving for title glory and are naturally one of the favorites to win in Montreal, Canada.
But, the perennial question looms over their heads -- can they win? Will history repeat itself, or the players will finally impose themselves over their opposition on an international stage?
We will know in just over three weeks when the Six Invitational 2023 ends.
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