SK Gaming have secured their second consecutive Major title after defeating Liquid 2-0 in the grand final of ESL One Cologne (16-7 on Train and 16-6 on Cobblestone).
The first half of Train was an extremely hard-fought one, and it began with the former Luminosity team storming to a 3-0 lead on the Terrorist side after Epitacio "TACO" de Melo caught two Liquid men by surprise in the pistol round.
It looked like the first gun round would go SK's way after they got the entry frags in the inner bombsite, but the Brazilians could not hold down the site. However, SK would hit back in the following round, meaning that Liquid had to deal with a hard economic reset. Marcelo "coldzera" David then went huge as he clutched the round to give his team an even more substantial lead.
Down 1-6, Liquid tightened up their backline and won two rounds in a row, the second of which courtesy of a quad kill by Spencer "Hiko" Martin. TACO wreaked havoc for the Brazilians in the following round with a quad kill, but Liquid hit back on eco, with Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski picking up three kills. The North Americans continued closing the gap and eventually brought the deficit to a minimum by the end of the half.
TACO was the hero on Train
The second half began with Liquid going for an inner push, and they almost pulled through after EliGE picked up three entry frags. But then some miscommunication on their part allowed Lincoln "fnx" Lau to get three kills and secure the defuse.
The Brazilians carried that momentum into the gun rounds, shutting down Liquid every time as they ran out 16-7 victors.
Map two was Cobblestone, one of Liquid's favourite picks, and tried their best to live up to that billing as they got out to an early lead after winning the pistol round. They were handed a heavy blow in the third round, however, as SK won an eco, with the Brazilians eventually running away with the lead.
SK showed no signs of slowing down, with the scoreline blooming to a 9-4 advantage for the Brazilians, whose winning streak came to an end thanks to a fantastic AWP ace by Josh "jdm64" Marzano. But Liquid failed to capitalise on that, giving SK the chance to take a five-round lead going into the second half.
SK are the Major champions
The former Luminosity team further added to their lead by securing the pistol round in a nerve-wracking 1v1 duel won by fnx. After giving up both ecos, Liquid had no margin for error, and they found a lifeline as they won the first gun round of the half. But more misery was about to come their way as SK won a force buy and followed that up with two more rounds to lock down the map 16-6 and secure another Major title.
|SK||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Marcelo 'coldzera' Davidcoldzera||44 - 20||+24||96.0||1.59|
|Epitacio 'TACO' de MeloTACO||42 - 26||+16||99.9||1.46|
|Lincoln 'fnx' Laufnx||34 - 31||+3||86.8||1.18|
|Gabriel 'FalleN' ToledoFalleN||34 - 27||+7||71.0||1.16|
|Fernando 'fer' Alvarengafer||27 - 31||-4||69.4||1.04|
|Liquid||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Jonathan 'EliGE' JablonowskiEliGE||29 - 39||-10||79.6||0.93|
|Josh 'jdm64' Marzanojdm64||29 - 35||-6||66.9||0.86|
|Nick 'nitr0' Cannellanitr0||31 - 39||-8||75.6||0.85|
|Spencer 'Hiko' MartinHiko||24 - 33||-9||59.9||0.74|
|Aleksandr 's1mple' Kostylievs1mple||21 - 35||-14||50.2||0.63|
ESL One Cologne final standings:
1. SK - $500,000
2. Liquid - $150,000
3-4. fnatic - $70,000
3-4. Virtus.pro - $70,000
5-8. Astralis - $35,000
5-8. FlipSid3 - $35,000
5-8. Natus Vincere - $35,000
5-8. Gambit - $35,000
9-12. Dignitas - $8,750
9-12. NiP - $8,750
9-12. mousesports - $8,750
9-12. FaZe - $8,750
13-16. CLG - $8,750
13-16. OpTic - $8,750
13-16. Envy - $8,750
13-16. G2 - $8,750