ESL One Cologne 2017 – SK Gaming reach grand finals once again
SK Gaming continue to assert their dominance on FaZe Clan and make it to the grand finals of ESL One Cologne for the second year in a row.
de_Overpass – 4:16 (2:13, 2:3)
The highly anticipated second semi-finals of the tournament kicked off with FaZe Clan on the T side and SK Gaming on the CT side. FaZe’s attack on the A site was unsuccessful after Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo got the first pick. They backed off and opted for the B site but was unsuccessful there too, but they managed to get the bomb down. SK got the first round as well as the subsequent anti-eco. Thanks to the bomb plant from the first round, FaZe were able to buy into the third round but things didn’t work out after Marcelo “coldzera” David picked up two players in Tunnel with the UMP. Four rounds down, Aleksi “allu” Jalli found the first frag onto Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo, which lead to a FaZe getting a round on the board. In the next round however, Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo were the one to win the same duel with Aleksi “allu” Jalli in Lower Bathroom. FaZe’s economy was reset and even when they had enough money to fully equip, it wasn’t enough to contest the Brazilian Kings of Counter-Strike. It would take FaZe to give up ten rounds to SK Gaming before they get a second round on the board. But two rounds were all that were on the table for FaZe in the first half of Overpass and SK Gaming ran away with 13:2 score.
In the second half, FaZe’s backs were against the wall as they were eleven rounds down. But Nikola “NiKo” Kovac stepped up on the defense in the pistol round and found two slick frags. But they lost the following force-buy by the Brazilians and it was a disaster for FaZe. They lost the following force-buy as well and SK Gaming reached map point. Overpass was a quick one as SK were just too powerful for the FaZe guys to contest. It ended with 4:16 for SK.
de_Cache – 16:19 (6:9, 9:6, OT1 1:4)
The second map started with a quick B rush by SK Gaming. Havard “rain” Nygaard found the heads of two SK players from outside Vents but it was answered right back and SK quickly took control of the B site. In the 3v3 retake, FaZe weren’t able to get even a single kill and SK picked up the pistol round on their map pick. They also got the perfect 0:3 start and it was time for the first gun round. Things were finally looking bright for FaZe as they won the gun round as well as the subsequent round, largely thanks to their hero player, Havard “rain” Nygaard. After finding two rounds, they were about to lose the third after SK’s pistols deemed too powerful. However, Havard “rain” Nygaard stepped up once again, flanking three players in Highway from Z. At the 3:3 mark, Havard “rain” Nygaard had thirteen kills while his four teammates had only four kills combined. SK Gaming answered back and brought the score to 5:5. The eleventh round came down to a 2v2 situation. With the two CT players split on each bombsites, SK opted to attack the B site. Havard “rain” Nygaard were the one to defend B, but he went down without getting a frag and SK got the bomb down by a matter of a millisecond. FaZe bounced back in the next round but Havard “rain” Nygaard couldn’t defuse the bomb. He was late just by a few milliseconds and another round went the way of SK. The same thing happened in the next round too, but this time the player was able to defuse it, of course, again by a difference of milliseconds. But sadly, SK Gaming took the control back and ended the half with an advantageous score of 6:9.
The second pistol was a grim round for FaZe, after Havard “rain” Nygaard rushed into Z and found himself in a crossfire. Finn “karrigan” Andersen got the first frag in the subsequent round but Marcelo “coldzera” David answered back and crushed FaZe’s hope to upset in the anti-eco. At 6:12, Havard “rain” Nygaard opened up the A site from Mid with three kills. Marcelo “coldzera” David quickly decided to save the AWP, which the FaZe players were determined to take away. However, they lost three players in the hunt. SK answered back and brought themselves to the thirteen mark on the score board. As the map was too late for save rounds, FaZe rushed B with TEC-9s and somehow took the round. At 9:13, Aleksi “allu” Jalli found the first frag outside the B site and Fabien “kioShiMa” Fiey chimed in as well. They got the following round as well and brought themselves only two rounds away from tying it up against SK. However, Fernando “fer” Alvarenga denied it with crucial frags in Mid and brought his team to fourteen. In the next round, Epitacio “TACO” de Melo was positioned up on Boost, a spot he is notoriously known for. But this time, he was only able to get a single kill and FaZe took over the A site. The round quickly became a 1v1 in the post-plant, but Aleksi “allu” Jalli clutched against Marcelo “coldzera” David and destroyed SK’s economy. FaZe came to thirteen rounds on the board. They took over the A site once again but this time, SK’s retake was successful and they reached map point. Feeling the tournament slip away from their hands, FaZe exploded onto the B site with four openings kills by four different FaZe players. As SK were left with abysmal money, FaZe looked primed to take Cache to overtime. All SK could scrape out were a few UMPs and upgraded pistols. FaZe attacked the B site once again and wrecked SK. It was time for overtime and this was massively credited to Havard “rain” Nygaard, who dropped the thirty bomb this map.
In the first round of OT, the five-nation team took the bomb to A and successfully got it down. In the 3v3 post-plant, Fabien “kioShiMa” Fiey defended the site like no other, finding all three kills. SK brought out three AWPs and destroyed FaZe. FaZe couldn’t answer back in the following round as well and SK had the upper hand going into the second half of OT. SK were too strong on the offense as well and won the map 16:19 in the OT. They earned a spot in the grand finals of ESL One Cologne for the second time in a row, against their friends in the North again. But this time, it was Cloud9, who were looking to bring the fight to them.
Image courtesy of ESL