ESL One Cologne 2017 – Cloud9 are your first grand finalists
Cloud9 earns a spot in the grand finals after crushing Na`Vi 2-0 and brings new heights to NA Counter-Strike.
de_Mirage – 16:13 (10:5, 6:8)
The war between Na`Vi and Cloud9 started on the Americans’ map of choice. On the offensive side, Cloud9 kicked off the game with a push to the B site. Though Jake “Stewie2k” Yip got the first pick, Na`Vi brought it right back with three picks of their own, turning the tables on C9. Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham clumsily killed himself on the fly and the ESL One New York champions took the pistol round. They also grabbed the following two anti-eco rounds and it was time for the first gun round of the map. Na`Vi started well with the first frag but Mike “shroud” Grzesiek found the head of Denis “seized” Kostin, evening up the player count. C9 quickly took over the B site and Na`Vi were left in a 4v4 retake. Because CTs couldn’t find a quick pick onto the post-plant Terrorist players, they backed off to save their rifles onto the next round. After taking their time to commit to a site, C9 chose to attack bombsite A. Jordan “n0thing” Gilbert found two frags for his team and C9 got another round on the board. With no economy to buy in, Na`Vi had a weak buy in the sixth round, on which C9 capitalized. At 4:3, Natus Vincere were able to buy in, but that wasn’t enough to win the round. However, the last two players, Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev and Ladislav “GuardiaN” Kovacs, managed to take down four C9 players in the post-plant, who were trying to hunt down them. After losing six rounds in a row to the Americans, Na`Vi finally got a round on the board. Na`Vi looked like they were about to follow it up with another win after Ladislav “GuardiaN” Kovacs took the first pick in Mid. However, Jake “Stewie2k” Yip found two crucial frags of his own in Mid and Connector, which earned his team the round win. C9 had reset Natus Vincere’s economy. With zero loss bonus, things looked grim for the CIS team and C9 brought the score to 10:4. In the last round of the half, Na`Vi finally had enough money to get a substantial buy, which was just enough to avoid a seven round deficit and instead end the half with a 10:5 score.
Now on the offensive side, Na`Vi opted for an A site push, but it was halted severely by Jake “Stewie2k” Yip, who found to kills onto two T side players in Sandwich. After losing the pistol, Na`Vi exploded onto the A site again in a desperate attempt to plant the bomb. Egor “flamie” Vasiliev got the bomb down while all of his teammates became meat-shields to make sure the plan went as accordingly. In the first gun round, it was a do or die for Natus Vincere, as they were seven rounds down. After Na`Vi successfully attacked the A site, things were finally looking up for the CIS players. They escaped the economy reset nightmare that occurred in the previous half and brought the score to 12:8. When C9 had enough to buy, Mike “shroud” Grzesiek gave his team the early player advantage with a FAMAS headshot, but it wasn’t enough and Na`Vi were one round closer to tying up the game. As they had no economy, C9 lost the subsequent round but managed to take down three of Natus Vincere players. In the next round however, Jordan “n0thing” Gilbert found two kills on the defense. Na`Vi were left in a 2v4 and C9 looked like they had the round on the lock. However, the bad news of them was that Ladislav “GuardiaN” Kovacs came in clutch and took the control back for his team. At 12:12, it was an eco round for C9. Positioned right outside B Apartments, Mike “shroud” Grzesiek found a Na`Vi player who was dropping down. Picking up the dead player’s AK-47, he found another kill for his team and Timothy “autimatic” Ta chimed with a two of his own as well. But Na`Vi bounced back in the next round, quickly bringing the round to a 2v5. A successful flank by Ioann “Edward” Sukhariev crushed C9’s attempt to retake and the score was 13:13. C9 forced in and managed to bring the round to an advantageous 2v4 situation. Ioann “Edward” Sukhariev brought it to a 2v3 situation but Timothy “autimatic” Ta flanked the two Na`Vi players from Apartments and the Americans were only a round away from map point. From then on, the North Americans took off, crushing Na`Vi’s dream to comeback and picking up the first map of the best-of-three semi-finals series.
de_Overpass – 16:14 (9:6, 7:8)
Now on Natus Vincere’s map pick, the clear favourites started on the offensive side. They peeked Long but were caught off guard by C9, who had stacked three players there. Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham found the initial frag, followed up by another frag by Timothy “autimatic” Ta and three by Mike “shroud” Grzesiek. Cloud9 picked up the remaining two anti-ecos as well as the first gun round. With a single AWP on Ladislav “GuardiaN” Kovacs, Na`Vi got the two early frags in the fifth round and ultimately got to a 3v1. But to their nightmare, that last standing C9 player was Mike “shroud” Grzesiek. The Canadian player clutched the 1v3, added another clip to his highlight reel and brought the score to 5:0. After losing a few more rounds to C9, Na`Vi changed up their pace and it payed off. Ioann “Edward” Sukhariev found two important frags in the A site, denying C9’s retake and gifted another round for his team. Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev stepped up for his team too, finding multiple frags in each subsequent rounds and Na`Vi started to look alive. At the 8:6 point, C9 finally had enough money to set-up a double-AWP defense. Timothy “autimatic” Ta found the initial frag onto Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev but it was answered right back by Denis “seized” Kostin. Ioann “Edward” Sukhariev started to lurk into the A site from Long but Jake “Stewie2k” Yip knew what he was up to. The YungStew found three more frags on A as well, making up for the lackluster game he has had thus far in the half. Ultimately, the half ended with a 9:6 score in favour of the North American team.
Na`Vi struck back in the pistol round after Egor “flamie” Vasiliev found two important frags. They also picked up the anti-ecos, though C9 managed to get a bomb plant and a few kills. In the gun round, Timothy “autimatic” Ta found the first frag, followed up by two more kills in Short. Ioann “Edward” Sukhariev responded with a single frag of his own but that was all they could get. C9 brought their score to two-digits, but Na`Vi tied it up again at 10:10 after Denis “seized” Kostin clutched a 1v1 against Mike “shroud” Grzesiek. The King of CS:GO Reddit was left in another clutch situation, this time in a 1v2 in the B site. After finding a pick on the first player, Mike “shroud” Grzesiek ran out of bullets while trying to kill the last player. But because he got him down to low enough health, he took him down with the Glock and C9 once again took the lead in the second map. With no money on Natus Vincere, the two next rounds were smooth sailing for Cloud9. With the score now at 13:10, Na`Vi were fully-equipped and it was their last chance to have a shot in the map. But sadly for their fans, things didn’t work out for Natus Vincere and C9 were only a single round away from reaching map point. During C9’s push to the A site from Long, Ladislav “GuardiaN” Kovacs had an important 2k spray down through a smoke, giving hope for his team. Unfortunately, it wasn’t followed up in the next round and Cloud9 reached map point. One more round, Cloud9 would grab the map, the semi-finals and the grand finalist title. They were so close to doing to but Ladislav “GuardiaN” Kovacs clutched the 1v1 against Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham, who has had a fantastic map thus far. C9 rushed B with TEC-9s and were almost successful, but Denis “seized” Kostin saved the day with a 3k spray down onto Terrorists coming out of Monster. At 15:13, the round came down to a 2v3 retake for Na`Vi. The bomb was planted for Bathroom but Ladislav “GuardiaN” Kovacs stepped up big time for Natus Vincere once again and ninja defused the bomb amidst a smoke right in front of Cloud9’s face. The last round of the map was a chaos and ultimately, it came down to a 1v1 between two veterans, Ladislav “GuardiaN” Kovacs and Jordan “n0thing” Gilbert. Both players had advantages of their own: the Slovakian CT player knew where the bomb was dropped and the American T player had a minute left of the clock. Jordan “n0thing” Gilbert pulled off a nutty play when he circled all the way through T spawn and flanked the Slovakian with a single bullet in the back of his head. Cloud9 earned the grand finalist title of ESL One Cologne 2017 and achieved the greatest height NA CS had been able to accomplish in 2017.
Image courtesy of ESL