The crowd at the Spodek Arena was incredible hyped for the best of five Grand Final of Intel Extreme Masters Katowice. FaZe Clan were undoubtedly the people’s champions after FaZe had donned white player jerseys adorned with the Legia Warsaw football team’s logo during the Semi-Finals. FaZe came into yet another Grand Final with the weight of expectation that comes with being overwhelming favourites for the title. Fnatic, for their part, are a team that in the past seemed to embrace their popular characterization as the bad guys of CS:GO. During and leading up to their dominance of the scene in 2015, a number of incidents created this perception of them as villains. The infamous Olofmeister Boostgate at Dreamhack Winter 2014, the flusha cheating allegations and the glee the players seemingly took in playing to the supervillain archetype in front of the cameras all added to it. The crowd was against them. The pundits all favoured FaZe. Cache: 16 - 5 The first round of the game almost seemed to set the tone for what would follow. Freddy ”KRIMZ” Johansson managed to snatch a bomb defusal in the midst of a chaotic A site retake that FaZe seemed to have under control: The map as a whole was not close however, with a rampant FaZe easily sweeping fnatic aside. Inferno: 20 - 22 Right out the gates on the second map, FaZe looked to be dishing out out more of the same punishment to their Swedish opponents, racing to an early 9 - 2 lead. A Jesper “JW” Wecksell 1v2 clutch seemed to galvanize fnatic and got them back into the game, ending the half 9 - 6. FaZe took control again before Robin “flusha” Rönnquist stepped up massively in the latter part of the second half and helped fnatic equalize at 15 - 15 for overtime. In game leader and the newest addition to the team, Maikil “Golden” Selim, eventually won the round that equalized the series with a 3K hold on B bombsite in double overtime. Overpass: 7 - 16 The FaZe roster were massive favourites on Overpass, but it was fnatic that took the early lead. Following an astonishing 1v5 clutch by Ladislav “GuardiaN” Kovács, the all-stars were able to draw within one at the close of the half. The fnatic team were looking visibly flustered with KRIMZ punching the desk in frustration on a number of occasions. Paradoxically it was FaZe that crumbled in the second half. Fnatic were able to mentally reset themselves and lock their opponents out to take a 1 - 2 lead in the series. Here is Guardian’s miraculous 1v5 clutch: Mirage: 16 - 11 The superstars of FaZe struck back immediately on Mirage, grabbing an 8 - 1 lead. After a lacklustre Overpass, Nikola “NiKo” Kovač was back to his customary imperious form. He and his teammates bullied the Swedes until a late comeback was mounted. It wasn’t enough as Faze equalized the series. Train: 17 - 19 FaZe initially looked like the stronger of the two teams on Train, but an unlikely round win got fnatic back into it. The half ended 8 - 7. The two teams again traded blows with both gaining the ascendancy at points due to incredible plays from NiKo and flusha. The ludicrous 2v5 that flusha single- handedly won could have been the killing bow. FaZe were not deterred and won four consecutive rounds to reach championship point. Again fnatic were able to strike back. Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Flusha stepped up in the final round of regular time and delivered another massive ace to take it to overtime. In overtime, fnatic were able to close it out and be crowned IEM champions for the third time as well as claim their first title in two years. CS:GO delivered yet another thrilling rollercoaster ride in a Grand Final. Eventual MVP Flusha’s first sublime ace in the 2v5: Another flusha ace clutch to take it to overtime: The winning moment for the Champions, fnatic:
IEM Katowice CS:GO Grand Final Highlights
That final was nuts!
Published on March 5th, 2018
Image via ESL.