Former Virtus Pro superstar Mareks “YEKINDAR” Gaļinskis is not off to a great start on Team Liquid. The North American side were reverse swept by Team Spirit in the opening round of the IEM Cologne main stage today and now have to win three consecutive best-of-three series to make the playoffs.
This defeat was YEKINDAR’s first match under the Liquid CS:GO banner. He has been sitting on Virtus Pro’s bench since the end of the PGL Antwerp Major in May and recently joined the North American squad as a stand-in for Richard “shox” Papillon at IEM Cologne.
Spirit shut down both YEKINDAR and Liquid’s plans after losing the first map, Dust II, 16-8. The Russian side woke up and reacted on Overpass (16-9), which was the North American’s map pick, and won a nail-biter on Ancient (22-20), despite Liquid’s great advantage in the first overtime, in which they had three map points to close it out.
While YEKINDAR had a rough debut, 55-60 K/D and a 0.96 rating, the Spirit duo of Robert “Patsi” Isyanov and Igor “w0nderful” Zhdanov helped the Russian team secure the victory. They combined for 144 kills across the three maps played.
With this victory over Liquid, Spirit will make the playoffs if they beat the winner of FaZe vs. 00 Nation, while the North Americans will first play against the loser of the same encounter in their first elimination game.
The IEM Cologne main stage will continue running until July 10, and the playoffs will kick off on July 15.