The ESL Pro League Season 4 Grand Final concluded yesterday evening with North America’s Cloud9 securing a win over tournament favourites, SK Gaming.
The LAN Finals of ESL Pro League Season 4 have come to a conclusion, one where we witnessed Cloud9 secure a convincing victory over winners of the last two major tournaments, SK Gaming. The Americans have secured an astonishing $200,000 coupled with bragging rights as Champions of Season 4. The victory of the North American representatives was very convincing, establishing the fact that this result was no fluke indeed. The best-of-three series played out all three maps, contrary to the semi-finals, with Cloud9 securing the latter two with flying colours.
ESL Pro League Season 4 – Grand Final
Aiming to beat arguably the best team in the world, who happen to be Brazilian, whilst playing in an arena based in Sao Paulo, Brazil was no mean feat for Cloud9. Map number one of the series against the home crowd favourites was de_Overpass, which happened to be the most prolonged in terms of round scores. Cloud9 kick off to a spectacular start, where the team are brimming with confidence and it definitely reflected on their game. Pure dominance was exhibited over the Brazilian team consistently, landing the Americans a rather astonishing 13:2 lead on the CT side of the first half. Aforementioned dominance subsided rather swiftly as the opponents woke up, replicating the performance of Cloud9 on the former half. The experienced roster of SK Gaming was not about to give up in light of a significant round deficit, furthering their position with each round that went by. The situation seemed rather dire for Cloud9 as SK Gaming approached the 15:15 mark and eventually hit the milestone, pushing the map into overtime. All the input in the second half did not go to waste as the Brazilians were rather decisive in their win, cutting the extra time at a 4:2 score. A monumental comeback from SK Gaming, landing the team a 19:17 win against Cloud9.
Up next – de_Mirage. Cloud9 initiate on the terrorist side, where things went well. Individual play coupled with coordination and teamwork bared the fruits of success, as the Americans were dictating the pace of the rounds, leaving SK Gaming guessing and reacting. Rounds proceeded till half time was achieved, where Cloud9 sported a 9:6 score on the T side of Mirage. Hopping on to the CT side of the map the domination continued, with the Brazilians seeming utterly broken. Efforts were made to secure rounds; however they proved futile, as Cloud9 forced their opponents into mistakes and played flawlessly, producing a 16:6 final map score.
The deciding map was to be de_Dust 2. Simply put it was abundantly clear off the get-go that the momentum carried through right to the final map of the best-of-three series. Cloud9 started on the T side of Dust2, where they successfully translated the momentum from former maps. The rounds were rolling in as the team outperformed their Brazilian opponents, all the way to a whopping 13:2 surplus, effectively meaning that a favourable pistol round could decide the outcome of the map and hence the tournament. Behold came the pistol round, where Cloud9 manage to just about clinch it in their favour, bringing the team two rounds. SK Gaming held on the match by the skin of their teeth; however unfortunately for the Brazilians it was too far gone to recuperate from, causing an upsetting 5:16 loss against the Americans.
Headline image courtesy of ESLCS Twitter
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