TSM broke their own curse of semi-final finishes this weekend and have now one-upped that result by winning the CCS Kick-off Season finals over fnatic 3-1 (16:11 on de_mirage, 11:16 on de_dust2 and 16:11 on de_overpass).
Having come into the game with a one-map lead and the veto advantage, Team SoloMid knew that this was their title to lose. Still, given their track record, they would have to remain calm and collected throughout the series to prevent their cracking under pressure.
However, things certainly did not go TSM's way during the early stages of de_mirage as the Danish team found themselves down 0:6. fnatic were then left frustrated in their attempt to enter the A site, but the Swedish team quickly restored a six-round lead to leave TSM's economy in shambles.
A lackadaisical buy from the Danes in the following round was enough to stop fnatic from further extending their lead. Until the end of the half, TSM, inspired by some amazing AWP shots from Finn "karrigan" Andersen inside B, played a flawless game as they brought the scoreline to 8:7 in their favour.
The former dignitas team kept their momentum going and won the opening three rounds and the first gun battle to force a pause out of fnatic. Still, TSM remained in the driving seat and won the following two rounds, the first of which happened thanks to a perfect A fake followed by the bomb plant in B.
fnatic then found a lifeline as they won four consecutive rounds to reduce the deficit to 11:15, but a no-nonsense A push from TSM put the final nail in the Swedes' coffin.
TSM won the first map of the series in convincing fashion
The map that followed was de_dust2, where fnatic once again came out the better of the two teams as they picked up the opening five rounds. Nicolai "device" Reedtz then opened things up with two AWP kills to give TSM their first round of the map, with the Danes following it up with a successful mid-B split.
A triple kill from flusha during a retake in the A site put fnatic back on the right track and left TSM strapped for cash. The ESL One Katowice champions kept their foot on the gas until the end of the half to take an impressive 12-3 lead.
Three kills in quick succession from flusha in the pistol round further set TSM back, but the Danes refused to throw in the towel and won the first eco round. Little by little, TSM started closing the gap on their opponent, but fnatic eventually secured the last round they needed to take the game to a third map.
flusha had some big personal rounds on de_dust2
de_overpass was the arena for the third map of grand final play and fnatic were able to start out on the preferable CT side. The Swedes put their past maps' momentum to use and took the pistol round, but TSM continued to pay homage to their eco round status in this series with René "cajunb" Borg helping the Danes secure the next round.
Undaunted, fnatic re-converted the next eco in their favour and powered ahead two rounds. TSM put together a set-piece A take the next round with effective smokes and managed to get the correct entries, giving them another round, but fnatic's defense claimed the next round, setting the pace of a closely-matched game.
The Swedish powerhouse had a poor money situation on their hands however and were unable to stop an aggressive B-site take by TSM in the very next round. TSM kept up their compact T-sided play and managed to finish the half with an advantage at 9:6, a promising outcome.
The second half marked a critical moment for the Danes with the question on many minds being if they would avoid a characteristic choke. However, fortune favoured Team SoloMid as they easily stopped a fnatic push and pulled ahead in the subsequent save rounds to 12:6.
karrigan will no doubt be overjoyed with his team's performance
A misplayed nineteenth round by fnatic saw them lose the second half's first gunround, creating slim prospects for the flagging Swedes. TSM secured match point but fnatic started to suddenly claw their way back, picking up multiple rounds with Jesper "JW" Wecksell suddenly appearing awake and alert with important kills across the board.
TSM somewhat characteristically rushed fnatic with pistols and miraculously started picking apart the Swedes, winning an eco, the series and immense prestige by becoming CCS champions for the Kick-off season.
K - D
Andreas 'Xyp9x' HøjslethXyp9x
42 - 36
Peter 'dupreeh' Rasmussendupreeh
37 - 35
Finn 'karrigan' Andersenkarrigan
36 - 41
René 'cajunb' Borgcajunb
35 - 36
Nicolai 'device' Reedtzdevice
27 - 40
CCS Kick-off Season final standings:
1. TSM $40,000
2. fnatic $20,000
3. NiP - $10,000
4. EnVyUs - $5,000