ECS Season 3 Finals – The flamin’ hot trophy belongs to SK Gaming
SK Gaming bests FaZe Clan in a gruelling best-of-three and takes the $250,000 grand prize.
de_Mirage – 16:11 (10:5, 6:6)
The grand finals started with SK Gaming on the CT side and FaZe Clan on the T side. Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo kicked off the round with the first frag but FaZe bounced right back. After numerous trade frags, the round came down to a 1v1 in the post-plant. However, Nikola “NiKo” Kovac shut down the SK players’ attempt to clutch with a Glock headshot. The subsequent anti-eco, like the pistol round, quickly became another post-plant 1v1. But like the pistol again, FaZe were the team to come on top in the clutch. FaZe easily picked up the last anti-eco and there came the first gun round of Mirage. FaZe burst onto the A site and got the bomb plant. Havard “rain” Nygaard, coming from Jungle, picked off the remaining three SK players right from outside Kitchen. In the next round, however, due to some clumsy positioning, FaZe fell victim to the pistols of the Brazilians and SK picked up their first round of the map. With both teams fully equipped, Fabien “kioShiMa” Fiey opened up the round for his team. FaZe quickly swarmed the B site and after Fernando “fer” Alvarenga failed to open up the retake, the last two SK players retracted. However, Nikola “NiKo” Kovac hunted them down and left SK with no players or rifles. SK forced right into the next, but the pattern continued. FaZe took over the bomb site and SK ran away to save, which was denied by Nikola “NiKo” Kovac. The score at 1:7, the CTs aggressively pushed Underpass, in which they picked off one FaZe player. Capitalizing off the player advantage, SK went on to win a second round on the board. But they were immediately reset in the next round, for Nikola “NiKo” Kovac continued to be SK’s biggest nightmare, opening up the B site for FaZe by killing the only player in B with a single Deagle shot. SK Gaming were pushed into double-eco and the score was now 10:2. Havard “rain” Nygaard aggressively rushed up Mid and found the opening frag but he was immediately traded and more by Epitacio “TACO” de Melo and his aggression down Mid. Thereafter, SK Gaming took the last three rounds, ending the half with a disadvantaged 5:10 score.
The second half started off with a quick dink onto Aleksi “allu” Jalli by the Brazilians. Fernando “fer” Alvarenga, then stepped up massively for his team in the pistol, with four kills in the round overall. SK Gaming proceeded to get the following two anti-eco rounds. In the first gun round of the second half, Nikola “NiKo” Kovac started it off right for his team with an opening kill from Window. Afterwards, SK were all picked off one by one and FaZe brought their score to 11 rounds on the board. SK struck right back onto the Europeans as Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo got the first kill. Nikola “NiKo” Kovac immediately traded back but Joao “felps” Vasconcellos threw a grenade right in his face, giving the player advantage back to SK. The score tied at 11:11, it was time for a gun round between the two big dogs. SK looked like they were about to run away with it, with their burst in the B site but the French representative of FaZe Clan, Fabien “kioShiMa” Fiey had three huge impact kills, giving his team the lead. Because SK had racked up enough economy, they bought right back in. But Havard “rain” Nygaard defended the A site miraculously, getting a frag onto Marcelo “coldzera” David who was in Jungle. The Brazilians bought back in once again, but this time with a Deagle on Epitacio “TACO” de Melo, who had dropped an AWP for his team leader, Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo. FaZe still had the double-awp set up on Finn “karrigan” Andersen and Aleksi “allu” Jalli. When FaZe smoked off Connector, Fernando “fer” Alvarenga sneaked inside the smoke. But Nikola “NiKo” Kovac had none of his sneaky play and killed him right on the spot. Unfortunately for the Brazilians, Fernando “fer” Alvarenga had the bomb and he dropped it right in the hands of the CTs. Then, it was a round over for SK, though Marcelo “coldzera” David refused to go down without a fight and got two frags for himself. With the score at 11:14, SK force-bought as a last resort. But FaZe got a team ace, each member getting a kill of their own. FaZe had reached map point. Aleksi “allu” Jalli got two frags for his team in the 27th round, setting up FaZe to take the map advantage in the best-of-three.
de_Inferno – 17:19 (6:9, 9:6, OT1 2:4)
FaZe started the second map just as dominantly, with an early entry frag by Nikola “NiKo” Kovac and a team ace overall. After dropping the first anti-eco, the Brazilians showed a glimmer of hope when they found two FaZe players. However, the problem Fabien “kioShiMa” Fiey proved to be a problem, but for a positive reason unlike his past reputation, as he shut down SK’s player advantage with two picks from Pit. SK bounced back in the gun round, though it was extremely close. SK scraped it out by a matter of milliseconds. FaZe used all of their economy and forced back in the game. After multiple trade frags, FaZe got on the A site. The Brazilians had a chance of retake but due to a devastating whiff by Fernando “fer” Alvarenga, the last two SK players had no choice but to back off, for it was 2v4 retake with two AWPs. In the next round, FaZe had the player advantage prior to committing to the B site. But Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo got two nutty AWP shots through a gap in the smoke, separating the B site from CT spawn and FaZe’s offense was shut down. With the score tied at 4:4, both teams were fully equipped. FaZe attempted to take over the A site once again but it was denied due to superior positioning by the SK side. Nikola “NiKo” Kovac managed to get the plant but it was too late at this point, for he was stuck in the middle of the site in a 1v3. Leaving enough economy to buy in the next round, FaZe walked into the tenth round with TEC-9s. But somehow, FaZe came on top in the frag exchanges and upset against the fully-bought SK players. However, the European-mix team couldn’t follow up the force-buy win with the next round’s full buy. And SK took control of the game right back, Marcelo “coldzera” David delivering the last blow. FaZe were unsuccessful in their subsequent attempts and the score came to 5:8 for SK. The EU squad attacked the A site once again. Despite the valiant efforts of Marcelo “coldzera” David, FaZe took over the site and the round became a 3v2 retake for SK. After failing to grab a quick kill onto the hiding FaZe players in the post-plant, they backed off and FaZe got another round on the board. In the last round of the half, Fernando “fer” Alvarenga fearlessly rushed down Banana and got a quick kill onto a clueless FaZe player. When his teammate tried to trade the frag, Fernando “fer” Alvarenga denied it. In addition to this monstrous play, Joao “felps” Vasconcellos got a few kills of his own through a smoke and the half ended with 6:9 in favour of Brazil.
The second half kicked off with a brawl as SK, now on the T side, exploded onto the A site. They successfully planted the bomb but FaZe retook the site. Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo, who was hiding in Apartments, tried his best to stop the defuse but he came short by difference of milliseconds and the round went to FaZe. Recovering from the unfortunate timing of the first round, SK took the eco round. They also took the subsequent eco, though Fabien “kioShiMa” Fiey managed to take four rifles away from SK and take one AK-47 for his own. FaZe were finally able to buy and the round started in favour of EU. Epitacio “TACO” de Melo, who were sneaking into the A site from Apartments was picked off by the big green gun of Aleksi “allu” Jalli. And finally, FaZe took their second round in the second half. In the next round, the in-game leader of FaZe, Finn “karrigan” Andersen also put up some numbers by spraying down two SK players in Archside. He also had two-man spray down in the subsequent round, this time in Banana. The gap was closing between the two teams and SK’s economy was now broken. Though with only pistols, SK managed to get three kills and a bomb plant, which would gift them a full buy in the next round. Aleksi “allu” Jalli started the all important gun round with a pick in Mid. But Joao “felps” Vasconcellos answered back with two kills in Mid and the B site was all open for the Ts to take over. In the 3v3 retake, FaZe had the upper hand. But right as FaZe started defusing, Fernando “fer” Alvarenga demolished it by killing the defuser. The last remaining FaZe player didn’t have enough time to defuse and the round was gifted to SK. At 11:13, both teams were in gruesome danger of running out of money. This time, Nikola “NiKo” Kovac got the early pick in the round. Capitalizing off it, FaZe went on to win the all important round. However, they lost the anti-eco to SK’s pistols. With no money and SK only a round away from map point, Nikola “NiKo” Kovac stepped up with the opening frag and subsequent frags. Suddenly, Epitacio “TACO” de Melo was all alone against four full-health FaZe players. FaZe won the impossible round and lived to stretch the map one more round. Havard “rain” Nygaard put up a miraculous defence on the A site with three kills onto SK players pushing from Apartments. With the SK players now on pistols, FaZe then reached map point and series point. But the SK guys managed to force overtime thanks to Marcelo “coldzera” David bringing back the 3v2 to a 1v2. The intense, nail-bitingly head-to-head series continued onto overtime.
The first round of the OT was picked up by SK. But FaZe bounced right back with a grenade stack onto one of the SK players, taking the player advantage early on. After running down the clock, SK finally committed to the B site but the FaZe players defended their site well, though Marcelo “coldzera” David opened up the site with two frags. All of a sudden, SK didn’t have enough time to plant, gifting the round FaZe. The same thing happened in the last round of the first half. Despite the efforts of the terminator, SK didn’t have time to plant and FaZe were in the lead with a 17:16 score. SK struck back on the CT side of the overtime and evened up the score. SK, then, reached map point. In the final round of the OT, Marcelo “coldzera” David came in clutch with two AWP kills on the defence and thus took the map.
de_Train – 17:19 (2:13, 13:2, OT1 2:4)
SK Gaming had the fast 0:3 start in the final map of the grand finals, thanks to their pistol round win. In the first gun round, FaZe successfully got onto the A site but were unsuccessful in holding the post-plant. Aleksi “allu” Jalli was left in a 1v3, exposed to multiple CT players from different angles. In the next round, all of FaZe’s push was shut down by the SK players, as Epitacio “TACO” de Melo picked off two players from Scaffolding. After an unsuccessful force-buy, FaZe had no choice but to eco. SK Gaming had all the early advantages in the rounds and FaZe had nothing to answer them. With all FaZe players crumbling and Fernando “fer” Alvarenga putting up monstrous performance, the score was eleven to nothing. After FaZe rushed B with pistols, they finally managed to pick up their first round on the board. However, the following round started horrendously for FaZe. But Aleksi “allu” Jalli stepped up but time with three AWP frags, which gave room for FaZe to pick up another round. However, much to the fear of FaZe, SK implemented their double-AWP set up on the CT side and both AWPS, in the hands of Epitacio “TACO” de Melo and Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo, SK picked off the EU players one by one. The half ended with 13:2 for SK.
As FaZe felt the map, the series, the tournament and the $250,000 grand prize slipping away from their hands, they stepped up in the second pistol round. But still, they were ten rounds down. In the first gun round, Nikola “NiKo” Kovac aggressively pushed upper B and found three of SK’s players. FaZe were now on a long journey to get back into the map. In a crucial gun round, Nikola “NiKo” Kovac stepped up massively for FaZe once again with four kills atop a train in Outside. FaZe brought the game to 8:13, before SK could get a round in the second half. However, the Brazilians were immediately reset in the next round. SK forced into the following round after the complete economy reset with zero loss bonus, but was shut down once again. After SK were able to buy into the round, Finn “karrigan” Andersen found the first pick in Alley. Pulling off the impossible, FaZe tied up the score at 14:14, coming back from 2:13. FaZe managed to reach map point first but it was answered right back by SK and the two teams went to overtime.
In the OT, Fabien “kioShiMa” Fiey defended the B site with a kill, backed by Aleksi “allu” Jalli who found two of his own, preventing the bomb plant. The second round were won by SK by a difference of less than a second, as the paranoid SK players knifed Aleksi “allu” Jalli, who tried to ninja defuse the bomb amidst smoke. FaZe won the last round, ending the first half of OT 17:16 for FaZe. In the second half, SK reached map point. FaZe failed to get a round on the T side and the Brazilians became the ECS Season 3 champions.
Image courtesy of ECS