NiP have pulled off the upset in the grand final of IEM Oakland, defeating FaZe in a best-of-five marathon 3-2 (Cobblestone 16-10, Inferno 7-16, Train 16-10, Overpass 6-16, Cache 16-10).
The best-of-five showdown started on Cobblestone, with NiP putting up a 3-0 lead at the start as Counter-Terrorists, but it was FaZe who came out on top of the first gunrounds on the back of clutches from Nikola "NiKo" Kovač and Finn "karrigan" Andersen for an eventual 6-3 scoreline. The momentum started swinging back in NiP's favor once they brought forth their double AWP setup, with William "draken" Sundin clutching a 1v1 along the way. With it, the Swedes pulled off six rounds in a row for a solid 9-6 half.
An A attack in the second pistol pushed them to double digits while FaZe replied with the following forcebuy, but Patrik "f0rest" Lindberg's triples in round three and four of the second half gave the control over to NiP once more. The European squad tried to hold off at 13-7 but never managed to string rounds together despite individual heroics from Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács and Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer, as the rounds kept going back and forth until NiP emerged victorious 16-10.
FaZe kicked off Inferno with a 5-0 lead on the offense thanks to rain's quad-kill in the pistol round and a triple in the first gunround. The next three went the other way, this time with REZ pulling much of the weight with three kills and later a 1v2 clutch. From there on, the half was in the hands of karrigan's roster, who clinched six of the remaining seven rounds, two of which after clutches from GuardiaN and olofmeister.
With a pistol round in the bag, FaZe were looking to end things quickly, and although NiP mustered three rounds together the superteam equalized the series at 16-7 after turning the tide with a forcebuy win.
Map three, Train, saw olofmeister and NiKo put up doubles in the pistol round, only to get shut down by f0rest and Christopher "GeT_RiGhT" Alesund in the following forcebuy. Nonetheless, FaZe were the ones to get away with a better start, as after losing a forcebuy attempt, NiKo and rain stepped up with the pistols again to eventually reach 4-2.
NiP pulled things back with two in a row, which sent FaZe on an eco, and grabbed a 7-5 lead after two more gunrounds went back and forth. Two of the last three rounds were decided by individual plays, as olofmeister put up a quad-kill in a retake towards B while REZ's triple helped NiP secure an 8-7 half as Terrorists.
The Swedish side clinched double digits after the second pistol round and continued to rack up the lead after the second gunround, reaching their 13th. FaZe answered with two of their own, but three close situations on the outer bombsite later NiP secured map three at 16-10.
Overpass was a one-sided affair from the get-go, as FaZe put up a wall at the start, grabbing an 8-0 lead thanks to bathroom and long aggression, with GuardiaN and rain reigning over that area. Only then did NiP find their first round as they capitalized on an entry on B and topped it off with another win, but that was all they could do in the half.
Up 13-2, FaZe won the second pistol round as well. NiP clinched two rounds as f0rest and draken put up doubles in the following forcebuy, but NiKo's Deagle pushed his team to match point after a triple and a 1v1 clutch. Richard "Xizt" Landström's team held on for two more rounds, but FaZe ultimately closed things out at 16-6 and the series went the distance, to the deciding Cache.
The last map started with the two teams trading the first three rounds back and forth, with FaZe ending up on top after all. Down 1-3, Xizt stepped up for his team with a 1v2 as NiP equalized the scoreline and grabbed their first lead at 4-3. NiKo's triple on A made things even once more, while rain's double opening sent the Swedes on an eco. Xizt continued to put up amazing rounds throughout the rest of the half, including a quad-kill in an important round with reset potential as well as another 1v2, helping his roster grab the remaining five rounds and a 9-6 lead.
FaZe made things even at 9-9 following a pistol round win before NiP took over, grabbing the first few gunrounds after early aggression. Timely plays from the likes of REZ helped the Swedes mount a six-round streak on the way to match point. When it looked like NiP would close the series, karrigan stepped up massively with a 1v4 clutch, but his heroics were all for naught in the end as the Swedes picked up the title at 16-10, 3-2.
K - D
Patrik 'f0rest' Lindbergf0rest
99 - 81
Fredrik 'REZ' SternerREZ
86 - 81
Christopher 'GeT_RiGhT' AlesundGeT_RiGhT
88 - 84
William 'draken' Sundindraken
62 - 76
Richard 'Xizt' LandströmXizt
64 - 98
IEM Oakland final standings: