The French team Vitality surprised tournament favourites Team Liquid to win cs_summit 4. Vitality saw smooth sailing through the Group stage as they topped the group without losing a single game. This set up the meeting with Team Liquid in the Grand finals. The battle between the World #2 team and the 11th ranked team had a clear favourite and it was from North America.
The Grand finals maps after the veto were Nuke, Mirage and Inferno. There was little that Team Liquid could do to get a suitable map pool against Vitality. Vitality remains a very strong Nuke team and they have a decent spread of the map pool as well.
The Final placements of the tournament were as follows
1. Vitality – $64,500
2. Liquid – $36,500
3-4. ENCE – $20,000
3-4. NRG – $21,500
5. Ghost – $4,500
6. Renegades – $3,000
The Grand Finals
The Grand Finals took place between Vitality and Team Liquid. Team Liquid is the Number two team in the world while Vitality is currently ranked 11th. However, Vitality managed to surprise Team Liquid in two straight maps thanks partially to a great map pool and a slight advantage in the veto stage. However, Zywoo’s insane clutch plays definitely helped Vitality secure the importnat rounds in the game.
The first map of Nuke saw Vitality off to a very strong start. There was not much that Team Liquid could do to crack Vitality’s CT defence on Nuke. With Zywoo leading from the front and the rest of the team supporting him and his playstyle, Vitality quickly amassed a number of rounds on the CT side. The first half ended with a 12-3 scoreline, a very one-sided affair in the new Nuke map.
The second half saw Vitality take the pistol round and quickly move up to 15 rounds. With the score being 15-4, it was a question of when Vitality would win the match and move on to the next map.
The final score of the map was 16-9, but the map was over much before the 26th round. Vitality’s scoreboard clearly showed the difference between the players and the structure of their team.
The second map of Overpass was Team Liquid’s map pick. It is a map that they have had countless strong performances in the past and have been a real challenger to some of the best teams in the world. Their dominance and their WOrld ranking of being the #2 team definitely has come on the back of Overpass being a cornerstone in their map pool.
However, as we saw in the Grand finals yesterday, Team Liquid just was not able to hit their shots. Their inability to put up a strong performance in the Grand finals stemmed partly from their weak T-side yet again. They managed only 4 rounds on their T side, something which hurt them a lot in the second half.
The spread of frags across the team was very even, something quite unusual for the French team. Even though Zywoo was still the best player on the team, Vitality had many of their players step up to the occasion.
Team LIquid did make a strong CT half, where they managed to lower the gap to just one round. At 11-12, it was still anyone’s game and Team Liquid looked poised for victory.
However, Vitality managed a strong performance when it mattered and secured the last four rounds required for the victory.
Vitality Is One of the Fastest Upcoming Teams
The French team has been slowly creeping up the ranks due to their results. While ZYwoo remains the best player on the team, the rest of the squad is adept at providing him with the right support and playing around him.
At the start of 2019, we saw how Vitality could be one of the best teams in the world. With a star player such as Zywoo on their roster, Vitality can definitely improve even further and become the team to contend with. Right now, Team Liquid is the second best team in the world according to HLTV ranks. However, in the current state of flux ( with the lack of properly structured tournaments), these rankings do not matter as much.
Astralis has also looked weak in recent months compared to their 2018 dominance. Vitality managing to defeat Team Liquid and possibly being a real challenger to Astralis propels them into the Tier one scene. This tournament victory goes a long way in establishing VItality as a Tier one roster. Whether they can remain consistent in their performances is something that only time will tell.
The next premier tournament is the upcoming Dreamhack Dallas 2019. The tournament will feature some of the best teams in the world. While we won’t see teams such as Astralis, MiBr and Na’Vi at Dreamhack Dallas 2019, it will still be a strong lineup of teams. If Vitality can secure a Top two position at this tournament as well, it would speak volumes for their future. You can read our Dreamhack Dallas 2019 Preview here. All matches will be streamed live on Twitch.