It's no secret that 2018 was the year of Astralis when it comes to Counter-Strike, as the Danish team won trophy after trophy to cement their dominance across the world. We even posed the question in our esports preview of 2019 article as to whether anyone could topple them, and one team has done just that already... at least in the iBUYPOWER Masters event.
In Group A Astralis advanced as top of the pile after wins against CompLexity and Cloud9, while in Group B Liquid beat Luminosity and Ghost Gaming to move through in first place. Astralis then brushed Ghost Gaming aside to get a place in the final, while Liquid defeated Fnatic 2-1 to book their own place alongside them.
Things started off well for Astralis in the grand final, as they won 16-4 on Inferno to make things look like they'd go their way. However, on Dust II Liquid fought back for their own 16-11 victory, and on Overpass they won by the same margin to ensure they lifted the trophy.
This will mean a lot to Liquid since they consistently fell to Astralis last year in a number of matches and grand finals, so this will feel a lot sweeter after getting revenge. It's also a great start to Liquid life for new signing Jacky 'Stewie2K' Yip, who arrived from MIBR at the end of last year.
Can Liquid continue to be a strong force in 2019?