Titan dismantle fnatic, to upper final
The final match of the day at ESEA Season 18 Global Finals at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel in Dallas, Texas saw two European titans facing off and fittingly the more aptly named French giant defeated its Swedish rival 2-0.
The ESEA Season 18 Global Finals represent one of the largest prize-pools of 2015, with $144,000 up for grabs in total, and a hefty $70,000 of that money going to the first place finisher.
Against such an illustrious backdrop, four European and four North American teams spent the first day of the finals battling it out in order to advance and avoid falling into the losers bracket.
Unfortunately, there was to be no red letter day for North American teams, with the continent conceding nine maps (including the All-Star game) to Europe and winning a total of zero.
The final match of the day was therefore to be the first all European match-up, with recent major champions fnatic taking on Titan, who have been notably on an upswing at tournaments of late.
Maniac has certainly found a new comfort zone in his play
The first map was de_inferno and a shockingly strong T-side from Titan, as well as phenomenal play from supposed support player Mathieu "Maniac" Quiquerez, meant that the French squad went up 9:6 at the half.
With many viewers' shock far from ebbing, Titan wasted no time closing out the map and further impressing by taking seven CT rounds. Although the Swedes of fnatic showed promise, it was overall Titan who dazzled on the first map with dynamic and aggressive play.
The second map was de_cache and any chance of a comeback was promptly demolished by the Titan train, with Kenny "kennyS" Schrub taking a prominent role in yet another powerful T-sided half (11:4) for the Frenchmen.
In the second half, Titan gave the jetlagged-looking fnatic a final thrashing by taking pistol and the last gun round, closing the map out at 16:4.