The Liquid Era

I believed in PUBG and PlayerUnknown, so I kept on playing until the beta came out. When it dropped, it all came together and I got hooked. 

In 2015 I was just a streamer. I got partnered after three months. It was really just for fun back then. At that time I was thinking “maybe esports is not going to happen for me”. Counter-Strike and League of Legends were the games I was most interested in.

For those games, you need to start early.

I was playing ARK: Survival Of The Fittest, it was the Battle Royale game for ARK. They had $60,000 tournaments each month that you could qualify for off of the leaderboards, and I was the most successful at the game. I earned the most prize money and placed the highest at every tournament. It was my first-time full commitment in Battle Royale. This was late 2015, early 2016.

At the end of 2016, the Battle Royale mod was stopped. That’s when PUBG basically came out.

I already knew PlayerUnknown from ARMA – I met him through a streamer called SHROOMZ. He knows PlayerUnknown very well. When Alpha testing was coming up, PlayerUnknown gave me a code – To be honest, I didn’t like it at first.

Then my competitive nature kicked in and drove me to achieve rank 1 on North American and European servers.

When Dreamhack Summer rolled around in 2017 I went with MOLNMAN – we competed against each other in ARK – and we became really good friends. We ended up winning the tournament hosted on the final day.

The word going around was that there were going to be more PUBG events coming up. That’s when we had the idea of launching our own team, but we were two or three months behind everyone else.

We decided to grab Ollywood and, while we were in a period of looking for a fourth, we were told by PUBG Corp. that they were going to do a competition at Gamescom with a $300,000 prize pool. They were interested in us three and wanted to put us with a streamer, Hayz. At that time, he was talking to Team Liquid about becoming a streamer for them.

Team Liquid found out about our plan and offered us the chance to compete under their organization. Everyone in the community was surprised because we didn’t play in any online leagues. We were the streamer-duo hybrid that hadn’t proved ourselves, and yet we were playing for one of the biggest organizations in North America.

We ended up coming fourth in squads, and Hayz came third in solos whereas I placed fifth. It wasn’t a great showing, we should’ve won that tournament and been favourites.

After that, we started playing online leagues and performed fairly well. We were a top five European team in my league but we had a tendency of choking in the finals. We got top five throughout the league then bombed when the finals came around – we had a mental block at tournaments.

IEM Oakland was another disappointment for us. It was great to be invited to another big tournament, but in the end, our 10th place finish was a real let-down.

Looking back, it was a best-of-eight and it was a joke – but we didn’t know at the time. These days, if it’s any less than 12 games then any team can win.

FaZe Clan were the first all-star team that was created, and I was sick of it.

I saw them dominating when our roster wasn’t working too well, so naturally, the idea of changing players came up. We initially benched Hayz, who took it well honestly, and the process started from there. 

We had open trials to see if there were new players around and it lasted for a month. It was towards the end of that process was when Sambty and Ibiza showed interest.

We had used them as subs before and we clicked back then. Jeemzz was an all-star player and we spoke to him too, and that’s how the roster turned out. The roster change was only going to be one or two players but it all fell into place this way.

I promised Team Liquid if we got Jeemzz, Sambty, and Ibiza then we’d be the number one team.

Right off the bat, we got an invite to the StarSeries i-League Season 1 Finals. 

We went to StarSeries and got second place, breaking plenty of records in the process.

We won four games in a row, which was unheard of at the time. FaZe Clan won the tournament but it was only our first LAN event as a team.

Following decent performances in the online leagues, we made it into DreamHack Austin. It was our first time qualifying for an event. We finally made it!

Before Austin, there were qualifiers for the PUBG Global Invitational, really important games.

We failed to qualify. Sixth place. Only five made it through.

PGI was the big one. If we had to qualify for one event, it was this one.

Our mindset was shattered from the result, and our performance at Dreamhack Austin suffered from that. Initially, we’d been aiming for a top-three finish, but we ended up placing fifth.

We skipped the after party and just slept instead.

The next morning, we woke up to a message saying a player that qualified for the PUBG Global Invitational offline qualifier had a game ban on the Steam account he was using. I looked into it more and apparently, the team admitted he had cheated.

ESL confirmed to us that because of the ban, we were bumped up to fifth. We were given a second chance to prove ourselves.

Prior to this second chance, I was personally at a low point. I put this roster together to make a super team and I wasn’t top fragging or performing at a level I wanted to be at. The grind just wasn’t enjoyable anymore.

The PGI European Qualifiers in Leicester, UK, changed everything. 

First place. We showed, finally, what we were made of. I declared this the Liquid Era and from that point on, it was our time to be number one in PUBG.

As a team, we knew that our ambitions had to be raised. With FaZe Clan not in attendance, first place wasn’t out of the question.

Our strategy was all about rotations and macro play, and that didn’t change much between third-person and first-person perspectives. We were confident about both going into the event.

We didn’t have too much in terms of expectations in third-person, but we would have been happy with top three. Our main expectations were in first-person.

We came second in third-person, my response to the placing was: “OK, we’ll take that! Now let’s crush first-person.” Unfortunately, we couldn’t claim the win in first-person, but it was another podium finish in second place. WTSG grabbed third in both events too, proving that Europe was the best region in the game.

Right after PGI, we went outside and everybody was trying to get our photos and signatures. It was my first time experiencing such a thing. It was a really nice moment.

Between PGI and GLobal Loot League Season 2 Finals we realized that more roster changes would be needed to get to the next level.

Even though we would have continued to be one of the best rosters in the world, I kind of wanted it. I knew it was needed. It just made sense.

I was sad because I’m still good friends with those guys but it just didn’t work out. I couldn’t say nicer things about Team Liquid.

We decided it would be best for me to play with the team at GLL Season 2 Finals and StarSeries i-League Season 2 finals. I wanted to win an international event and we hadn’t done that yet with this team.

If I was going to end this Team Liquid roster, I was going to end it with a win. We didn’t play too well at GLL, but we went to StarSeries soon after.

It was the most stacked tournament to date. The top eight teams from the group stage qualified to the final stage with eight invited teams.

I played really fucking good.

It was a beautiful ending to this roster. I finally got my international LAN win.

StarSeries i-League Season 1 was our first tournament together, and StarSeries i-League Season 2 was our last tournament together. It ended the Liquid era.

Images: StarLadder

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