iBUYPOWER have retained their ESEA title by defeating compLexity 2-0 (16-9 on de_dust2, 16-2 on de_nuke) in the Season 16 grand final, taking home $20,000.
After overpowering all European teams during the tournament, the two best domestic squads at ESEA Invite Season 16 Global Finals, iBUYPOWER and compLexity, were set for an all-North American clash in the grand final. Kory "semphis" Friesen's team would have a much tougher task ahead though, as they needed two best-of-three series wins due to coming from the lower bracket.
The first map was de_dust2 and compLexity chose to stick with defending first unlike the day before when these two met. But it was iBUYPOWER that got off to a great start, taking a 5-0 lead followed by Tyler "Skadoodle" Latham winning an unlikely 1-on-3 after planting the C4 alone in the B site for 6-0.
But despite that morale breaking clutch, coL went on to string four rounds together from that point thanks to some great play by Sean "sgares" Gares who took over the top of the scoreboard with 12:7 when the score stood at 6-4.
Spencer "Hiko" Martin's triple in the B site looked to prolong their streak, but Latham upped the stakes with a 4-kill of his own for 7-4. iBP went back to a five round advantage at 9-4 when a couple of solid rounds by Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert sparked coL back to 9-6 at the half.
swag had three 4-kill rounds in the second half
To start the second half, 17-year-old Braxton "swag" Pierce showed that this will be his part of the match as he scored 4 kills in the pistol round. Despite that, his teammates didn't contribute so Friesen won a 1-on-2 situation that made the score 9-7.
But Pierce was right back at it with two MAG7 kills stopping a B attack, after which Latham prevented Martin from winning another 1-on-2.
The action kept on coming as coL pulled back straight away, converting their third B attack this time with CZ75s. The scoreboard soon said 10-9 after they won the following anti-eco round, but then the server went down causing a ten minute break.
Upon restoring the match, iBUYPOWER returned much stronger, and Pierce continued dominating by scoring another 4-kill round in the B bombsite, this time with an AK47 for 13-9.
Two rounds later he was at it again, now with an AWP at the A bombsite with another 4-kill round for 15-9, cementing his place as the best player of the map and ending up with 29 kills a round later when iBP clinched it with 16-9.
iBUYPOWER were clearly the better team in the final
Needing only one more map to win back to back titles, iBUYPOWER had the perfect opportunity by starting on the CT side of de_nuke.
The best pistol round player of the event, Joshua "steel" Nissan, further increased his stock by scoring two big headshots in a 3-on-3 situation in the upper bombsite that gave iBP the desired start.
The usual second round force buy from coL was handled well and despite Gilbert having almost won a 1-on-3 in the fourth round, Latham once again kept calm and won his fourth 1-on-1 of the tournament for 4-0.
Triples from Nissan and then Sam "DaZeD" Marine kept the run going til 7-0, when coL finally looked to make a breakthrough after a couple of early picks. But there was one more obstacle in form of the very in-form Pierce, who patiently waited in the lower bombsite and managed to get a few great kills to win a 1-on-3 situation for 8-0.
If the match wasn't settled until then, that round completely destroyed coL's spirits and they went on to lose the half 15-0.
A pistol ace from their new in-game leader Friesen erased the zero from the scoreboard, but as soon as iBP bought weapons they closed the map out 16-2, thus retaining their ESEA title and taking home $20,000.
K - D
Braxton 'swag' Pierceswag
52 - 26
Tyler 'Skadoodle' LathamSkadoodle
40 - 21
Sam 'DaZeD' MarineDaZeD
41 - 22
Joshua 'steel' Nissansteel
29 - 22
Keven 'AZK' LariviereAZK
27 - 27
ESEA Invite Season 16 Global Finals standings
1. iBUYPOWER - $20,000
2. compLexity - $6,000
3. Virtus.pro - $4,500
4. Natus Vincere - $4,000
5-6. NiP - $3,500
5-6. NetcodeGuides.com - $3,500
7-8. Manajuma - $3,000
7-8. OverGaming - $3,000
iBUYPOWER will now look to qualify for EMS One Cologne, where compLexity already have a spot, while NiP and Natus Vincere will stick around in Texas, USA to attend IronGaming LAN next weekend.