SK, FaZe win Major openers
SK Gaming and FaZe have advanced to Group D's winners' match at ESL One Cologne after edging past G2 and fnatic, respectively.
Group D began with a mouth-watering contest between G2 and SK Gaming in what was a rematch of the ECS grand final, which the Frenchmen won in convincing fashion. This time around, however, it would be the Brazilians to claim bragging rights in a best-of-one clash on Cobblestone.
Starting off on the CT side of the map, SK got out to a quick 3-0 lead, but G2 replied in gun play and brought the scoreline to a 3-3 stalemate. The French team were looking to take the lead in the game, but SK picked up back-to-back rounds to take control of the economy.
Down 3-5, G2 were successful in a force buy A split, punishing SK's double AWP setup. That win eventually turned into a streak for G2 as they took an 8-5 lead before Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo and Marcelo "coldzera" David kep the deficit to a minimum with crucial kills in the final two rounds.
Brazilians passed their first test under SK
The Brazilian team restored their lead in the second half by taking the pistol round and the following two anti-ecos. Edouard "SmithZz" Dubourdeaux then went huge and rescued his team with seven AWP kills across two rounds to restore parity at 10-10. But once SK got their economy stabilised once again it was all over for G2 as the Brazilians strung six rounds together en route to a 16-11 finish.
K - D
26 - 12
22 - 17
20 - 14
15 - 16
18 - 20
The final match of the day was an European clash between fnatic and FaZe on Dust2. The European mixture entered the match determined to exact revenge on Swedes for the ELEAGUE group final defeat, three weeks ago, but they saw fnatic secure a 4-1 lead despite losing an anti-eco round.
Philip "aizy" Aistrup then went huge as he picked up four kills with the AWP inside A, but FaZe were unable to capitalise on that round win, allowing fnatic to increase their lead to 7-3. That was when FaZe's defense finally came to life as they amassed five more rounds before the end of the half to secure a narrow 8-7 lead.
FaZe get back at fnatic for ELEAGUE defeat
The second half began with FaZe winning five of the first seven rounds to bring their lead to 13-9 and force a tactical pause out of fnatic. The pep talk worked out just fine for the Swedes, who reduced the gap to two rounds, but then FaZe picked themselves up and hit match point.
With no margin for error, fnatic kept themselves in the game courtesy of a 1vs2 clutch from Jesper "JW" Wecksell and pushed the game to a 30th round, which ended up going FaZe's way following a trio of kills by Joakim "jkaem" Myrbostad.
K - D
22 - 17
23 - 14
20 - 18
20 - 17
20 - 19