Team Liquid was nearly the best CS:GO team of 2019, but they had their era denied by the resurgence of Astralis late in the year. Thorin recounts the history of this unique "almost era" in CS:GO history.
Team Liquid's almost-era saw them accomplish what many in the CS:GO scene had long suspected was possible — North American dominance in Counter-Strike for nearly five months.
During that period, the roster led by Nitr0 managed to lift five trophies and finish off the second season of the Intel Grand Slam with ease, meaning they should have been a shoo-in for the best team of 2019.
This two-part video series dissects what went wrong for Team Liquid at the StarLadder Berlin Major, as well as looks back at what went right during the five months of absolute dominance in CS:GO.
They could have been the best team in 2019, had they not faltered hard after the player break, and failed to even place top four at the majors.
Just comparing Astralis and Team Liquid's years, Liquid were successful at more events. However, without a Major victory to cap off their impressive streak, any hope of declaring them the best team in CS:GO for the year also went by the wayside.
Not only that, but without a Major World Championship under their belt, it becomes complicated to define their run as a real era in CS:GO history, despite the sustained dominance for five months.
While this roster has not quite returned to form, they did manage some impressive feats during that time frame. Stewie2k became the first North American player to break $1 million in total prize pool won thanks to his time on Cloud9 and the streak with Liquid.
It's difficult to say whether Team Liquid could have kept up their dominance if the player break had not been right before the StarLadder Berlin Major.
It could be also argued that the absence of Astralis allowed Liquid to go on such a run just by their absence, with the Danes choosing to largely ignore bigger events in favor of the BLAST Pro Series or training behind closed doors.
Had they continued to attend events, it is entirely possible that one of the best rosters CS:GO has ever seen would continue to dominate, and Liquid would continue their trend of high placements without winning many events.
Team Liquid will be looking to run it back in 2020 with the same roster, hoping to rectify their late-season mistakes and have a second crack at claiming their own CS:GO era.