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Team Liquid disbands after two years of domination
« on: August 31, 2010, 08:26:33 pm »
The Counter Strike 1.6 scene recently witnessed what some would call an end of an era, with the disbanding of THE most dominating team Sri Lankan e-sports has ever seen. After more than two years together, Team Liquid called it quits after rising to, and remaining at, the top of the local CS scene over the last couple of years.

Team Liquid, who got their name from one of their favorite video games; Metal Gear Solid, had become synonymous with gaming excellence and was a team both feared and respected on the CS gaming circuit. They rose to fame as Sri Lanka's premier Counter Strike team and were featured in many a magazine and were even interviewed on TV stations such as MTV. It could be said they reached a sort of "celebrity status", something hitherto unheard of for a gaming team in Sri Lanka.

And it is in light of these achievements that many players and fans will be saddened to see such a legendary team finally disband. It was an unfortunate but apparently inevitable course of events, for reasons we will be covering in this article. But it's suffice to say that whether you're a fan or a hater, you can't help but respect what these boys managed to achieve in the two years they were together.

A History Lesson

Team Liquid was formed in early 2008 by recruiting the top CS players from different clans around the CS scene, with the intention of forming a team to take part in both international tournaments as well as to take Sri Lankan CS to the next level, and that's exactly what they would go on to do.

Liquid was formed by Shawn “Intdr” Wijesundara, Thushan “Gladiator” Hettiarachi, Faiz “Blaze!” Ariff, Cassady “Archangel” Gilroy and Rukhan Rila. This line-up would go onto dominate the local Counter Strike scene in 2008, with virtually no teams able to counter the combined talent and teamwork of these players.

Since 2008, Team Liquid has been beaten only twice, once by the Hybrid Ninjas team at the Elements tournament in 2008 and once by Determinato in an exhibition match. Of the countless matches this team has played since its inception, it has lost only TWICE... now let that sink in for a moment... and you'll understand the kind of dominance this team asserted upon its competition.

Although undergoing many roster changes since its inception, the Liquid team has always maintained their core values – hard work, a passion to win and a dedication to being the best. This would translate into them performing exceptionally, regardless of their line-up because the entire team functioned like a well-oiled machine.

A Family

The Liquid members attribute their success to many factors. The fact that they were all the best of the best, allowed the members to have the utmost confidence in each other's abilities and continuously strive to push their own personal limits. They also practised longer and harder than any other team, constantly formulating, practising and dry running various strats as a team. They were organised long before being organised became popular. They also had great teamwork and chemistry, which needless to say, is of paramount importance to any successful CS team.

But probably the biggest thing they had working for them was the fact that they shared a strong friendship. The team was akin to a brotherhood or even a family if you will. This translated to them enjoying each other's company both in-game as well as outside the gaming arena. Hanging out and fooling around, this rag-tag bunch of gamers were the best of friends and we're sure, if asked, would have many a story to share about their quirky exploits.

Roster Changes

The founding members of Team Liquid were:
Shawn “Intdr” Wijesundara
Thushan “Gladiator” Hettiarachi
Faiz “Blaze!” Ariff
Cassady “Archangel” Gilroy
Rukhan Rila

Liquid would go onto recruit one of their more popular additions Amri “Crusade” Anver and this would be their stable line-up for the rest of the year.

Cassady would be the first player to bid farewell to Liquid, due to the lack of a Sri Lankan citizenship, which was a requirement to take part in WCG Sri Lanka 2008 qualifiers. This left the original 4 players + Amri to carry on Liquid. Unfortunately, both Faiz and Amri would both soon follow suit and travel abroad to pursue their higher studies as well, leaving Liquid with a gaping hole in their line-up. This would soon be addressed by recruiting two brothers, Wasim “Wassabi” and Isam “Ava” Amsal,  to the team. They were scouted on the merits of their individual talent and their dedication to the local CS scene. Liquid would regroup and start to practice to achieve the level on which they had been playing before their core players left. They would soon achieve this feat, showing signs of their old magic in all the matches they played. Rila would bow out of the competitive CS scene after over a year with Liquid and Nithin “Dark-Youth” Lalvani, a former Determinato member, would be picked up to fill the void.

This new line-up featuring Intdr, Gladi, Dark-Youth, Wassabi and Ava would be the predominant line-up we would see during 2009 and many a tournament would be conquered by this revamped Liquid team. That said, Liquid over the years has incorporated many a player into their lineup - Jaahid "Jarhead", Isham “Sokarr” Abbas, Manesha "Strider" Marambe and Smiley all played for Liquid at some point.

WCG 2008 Germany

The World Cyber Games 2008 Germany was a notoriously infamous incident in the annals of our competitive e-sports history. After Team Liquid won WCG Sri Lanka 2008, they were to go to Germany (for which they would have to pay for their own tickets) and take part in the official WCG tournament. Unfortunately Liquid’s captain Shawn “Intdr” had issues with the German embassy and his visa and was therefore denied entrance into Germany even though the rest of his team were granted their visas. This decidedly unfortunate event left the Liquid team one very important man short.
 
But due to contractual obligations with the WCG strategic partner in Sri Lanka, the team were forced to go to Germany without their captain and the organising member who went with them, Radeepan Kanapathipillai, sat in for Shawn to act as Liquid’s fifth man. Radeepan, not being a Counter Strike player himself, was clearly not a suitable replacement which ended up in Team Liquid being white washed by their opposition in all their matches. The remaining line-up consisted of Rila, Faiz, Thushan and Amri.

Despite this fact, when quizzed about the tournament, all members who played agreed that regardless of the fact that the circumstances were ill-fated, it was a memorable and exhilarating experience nonetheless for the team... as getting a chance to take part in the world's biggest Cyber Games championship had always been their dream... although we're sure the team would've liked to have had their captain with them at the time.

Losing to Determinato


Determinato was another pro-team formed by top Sri Lankan CS players. They would, for a long time, be the only true challenge Liquid would face as far as competition was concerned. Although up until their coach and mentor Pubudu "Zhkr" Gunasekara joined the team to play an exhibition match, Determinato never had the privilege of saying they actually beat Liquid.

Ever since Determinato started to gain momentum as a force to be reckoned with and they were awarded “pro” status by GLK, players everywhere requested to see a match held between Sri Lanka’s top two CS teams. This request was appeased with the organizing of an exhibition match between Determinato and Liquid.

Determinato would have an ace up their sleeve this time though, in that they would have Zhkr, a talented Counter Strike player with experience playing competitive CS in the US, on their team as well. Further, Liquid would miss two integral players for this match - Ava and Dark Youth - and would add an unexpected fifth – Yahren “Sober” – to their line-up. Despite putting up a close fight, Determinato would go onto win the match and would become the first and last team since the Hybrid Ninjas to actually defeat the seemingly indomitable Liquid.

Upon asked for their opinions on the match, the Liquid members all unanimously agreed that it was a lack of preparation as well as gross-overconfidence in themselves that lost them the match. The weeks that followed would be dark times for Liquid, who had to re-assess their position as a top team and had to deal with the blow to their confidence that was the loss to Determinato.

Redemption and WCG 2009

Smarting fresh after their loss to Determinato, Liquid were faced with WCG Sri Lanka 2009, one of Sri Lanka’s biggest e-sports tournaments. Liquid saw this as their opportunity to redeem themselves in the eyes of their peers and more so to themselves. They trained harder than they ever have before and went into WCG Sri Lanka ’09 with a burning passion to win this tournament, and take no prisoners. Anyone who was there to witness that tournament will know that this was exactly what happened.

Liquid breezed through the competition, crushing their opponents at every stage up until they reached the finals against their old nemesis Determinato. This was what Liquid had been preparing and practising for. Giving it all they got, they would defeat Determinato in both maps by quite a margin in the finals to capture the WCG Sri Lanka crown. It was an emotional moment for the players as they jumped up and hugged each other in joy. This victory was hard fought and well deserved. They rightfully reclaimed their title as Sri Lanka’s best Counter Strike team.

Sponsorship and SLCG 2009

Soon after confirming their champion status with their win against Determinato, Team Liquid were picked up by local Steelseries agents S&H Technologies as brand ambassadors for their Steelseries line of gaming peripherals. This was a milestone in Sri Lankan e-sports as it was the first time ever that a local e-sports team would be sponsored.

They would go onto win SLCG 2009 as well after an exciting semi-final match against youngsters Reservoir Dogs. They would face Living Legends in the finals whom they defeat comfortably to grab the champions title.

Team Liquid would end 2009 as the top-dog and deservedly so.

The Breakup

The imperative pinnacle of this story piece - the breakup was sparked by many things, among them, the comparative lack of competitive gaming events and tournaments in 2010. There just wasn't much for Team Liquid to do. This lead to most of the members focusing on other activities. Thushan “Gladi” stopped CS to concentrate on his higher studies. Nithin “Dark Youth” during the course of the year had found a new calling as a competitive COD4 player and would quit CS to play COD4 full time with Team Awesome. An unstable line-up coupled with their captain Shawn “Intdr” going abroad, as well as a certain degree of internal turmoil between some of the members led to the eventual dissolving of the team. As of now Wasim and Ava are both playing for Living Legends who are going as XplayN for season 5 of GCCL.

It is indeed a sad day that we see such a talented and gifted bunch of players part ways, as we're sure if they had continued to play together, we could have seen Sri Lanka placed on the world map in CS sooner than later. But for now, we will have to put those hopes on hold and pay homage to one of the greatest Counter Strike teams to hail from our county.

On behalf of all the entire gaming community, we at Gamer.LK would like to wish all past and former members of Team Liquid the very best in their future endeavours. Godspeed.


R.I.P. Team Liquid (2008-2010)

Article by RZ
« Last Edit: August 31, 2010, 11:19:38 pm by Rav »
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    Offline !BoRa!

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Re: Team Liquid disbands after two years of domination
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2010, 12:18:52 am »
WOW.. We are gonna miss you liquid :(

Re: Team Liquid disbands after two years of domination
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2010, 12:32:28 am »
So..sad.. :( :( RIP Team Liquid.... :( :(
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Re: Team Liquid disbands after two years of domination
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2010, 01:06:18 am »
GG
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Re: Team Liquid disbands after two years of domination
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2010, 01:47:50 am »
:( We gonna miss Liquid :(
R.I.P. Team Liquid

GL all for further endeavors :)

When people see good they expect good. And I don't wanna live up to anyone's expectations.
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Re: Team Liquid disbands after two years of domination
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2010, 01:48:32 am »
Champions aren't made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them -- a desire, a dream, a vision.
Muhammad Ali

“Sweets to the sweet: farewell!”  GG Guyz         :bye:
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Re: Team Liquid disbands after two years of domination
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2010, 02:01:36 am »
GG
Re: Team Liquid disbands after two years of domination
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2010, 02:59:13 am »
GeeGee guyz
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    Offline shade

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Re: Team Liquid disbands after two years of domination
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2010, 03:36:33 am »
GG.
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    Offline wassabi

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Re: Team Liquid disbands after two years of domination
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2010, 04:31:20 am »
nice article man. GG it was a good run
it took nothing to realize that carder couldn't add.
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    Offline Chaos

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Re: Team Liquid disbands after two years of domination
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2010, 05:06:27 am »
Those were the days man. All the best for the future!
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Re: Team Liquid disbands after two years of domination
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2010, 05:08:08 am »
A team that's truly gonna be missed.... GG

P.S: hats off to RZ for the awesome article
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Re: Team Liquid disbands after two years of domination
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2010, 06:02:38 am »
Respect Team Liquid... R.I.P...
tT | Misty...
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Re: Team Liquid disbands after two years of domination
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2010, 07:30:08 am »
End of Legend ^
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Re: Team Liquid disbands after two years of domination
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2010, 07:45:52 am »
GG/