fnatic win ELEAGUE Group D
fnatic have won the ELEAGUE Group D final 2-0 over FaZe (16-12 on Cache and 16-5 on Cobblestone) and advance to the playoffs of the $1.4 million tournament.
fnatic had been looking resurgent since bringing back Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer into the mix whereas FaZe have surprised many in the past two weeks, with a strong Major qualification campaign in Katowice and a strong debut in ELEAGUE.
With fnatic heavy favourites to win the Group D final, the pistolround on Cache kicked off in characteristic fnatic fashion with olofmeister picking up three crisp USP kills and Robin "flusha" Rönnquist securing a knife kill. The first anti-eco from FaZe was similarly action-packed, but a canny defuse kit pick-up from Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson after winning a one-versus-one saw the Swedish player defuse the bomb just in time.
fnatic cruised to a slot in the ELEAGUE Season 1 playoffs
FaZe brute forced the A site on the third round and a Molotov from Ricardo "fox" Pacheco in a one-versus-one meant that KRIMZ could not pull off a subsequent cheeky defuse. However, the fourth round saw a force buy from fnatic that included Scouts and CZ75 somehow work out and the Swedish team went up 3-1.
fnatic began to display the classic braggadocio that defined their gameplay and went up to 8-1, however the tenth round finally saw a round goes FaZe's way as Philip "aizy" Aistrup pulled off a triple kill late in the round as the bomb was ticking down. The FaZeUp movement was kept alive in the next round as Fabien "kioShiMa" Fiey pulled off a quad kill, including a one-versus-two clutch to bring the score to 8-3.
FaZe eventually settled on grinding out five T-side rounds and the half closed 10-5 in fnatic's favour. The second pistolround saw olofmeister again pick up a triple kill and fnatic went up 13-5 off of the pistolround win and ensuing successful anti-ecos.
aizy stepped up when needed on Cache for FaZe
Powerful defending from FaZe reversed the tide of the game however as a triple kill from aizy on the nineteenth round completely shut down fnatic and FaZe won six rounds in a row to bring the score to 13-11, which forced fnatic to call a timeout.
fnatic timeouts are dangerous for a reason and a bread and butter A rush from the Swedish team saw olofmeister score two TEC-9 kills and broke FaZe's momentum. Despite FaZe clan picking up the next round, a continuing force buy from fnatic moved them up yet again and it shortly afterwards that fnatic closed out the first map 16-12.
Cobblestone was up next as fnatic's map pick and the pistolround saw a FaZe bomb plant not work out as fnatic won a three-versus-two retake and moved ahead to a 2-0 score. Despite FaZe buying up early thanks to the bomb plant, a triple kill from flusha that included two MP9 kills quickly shut down any attempt at an execute from FaZe and gave fnatic an early lead.
olofmeister completed his tour de force return with a sterling grand final
Early lead was a bit of an understatement as the Swedes trounced FaZe with a roaring CT-side that included flusha, olofmeister, and Jesper "JW" Wecksell all picking up aggressive and confident crucial rounds for their team. fnatic finished the half up a commanding 14-1.
Despite a late FaZe attempt at a comeback with a second pistolround win, it was to no avail and fnatic clinched the map 16-5 and advanced to the ELEAGUE playoffs.
K - D
51 - 31
37 - 29
41 - 30
32 - 26
26 - 27
Next week we will see Group E of ELEAGUE begin with three European teams in the form of Natus Vincere, MOUZ, and FlipSid3 flying in to Atlanta, as well as with local (and camera friendly) team Echo Fox competing in the group.
stich writes for HLTV.org and can be found on Twitter