flusha shines as fnatic beat FaZe to win IEM Katowice
fnatic have won IEM Katowice 2018 after defeating FaZe 3-2 in a thrilling series.
The best-of-five grand final kicked off on Cache, which was picked by FaZe. The CT-sided fnatic picked up the pistol round victory with a retake and made it 2-0 by winning the following round cleanly. FaZe bought guns in the third round thanks to their bomb plant in the pistol, and they won it with Nikola "NiKo" Kovač’s 1vs1 clutch against Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson.
Finn "karrigan" Andersen’s team took the lead after grabbing a round without losing any players and subsequently winning a 3vs5. NiKo secured his team’s fifth round when he got a quad kill in a 2vs4. fnatic’s third round win came in the tenth round, when Jesper "JW" Wecksell picked up a quad kill of his own.
Unfortunately for the Swedes, they lost a 4vs2 in the following round and their economy was reset. Maikil "Golden" Selim & company only took one round after that point, however, losing the half 11-4. FaZe continued commanding the game in the second half as they picked up the pistol round and the following anti-eco round.
fnatic hit back in the third round of the second half with a gun round victory, but this wasn’t the start of a streak as they lost the following round, in which Håvard "rain" Nygaard got a triple kill. With the economy control and a sizeable lead, the European mixture did not take long to lock down the map, 16-5.
The second map, Inferno, saw FaZe cruised to a 9-2 lead on the CT side after shutting down any chances of fnatic stringing rounds together with a very tight defence. That was about to change, however, as a 1v2 clutch from JW gave the Swedes some breathing room and inspired them to reduce the deficit to 6-9.
FaZe further added to their lead by taking the second pistol with an A execution thanks to a trio of quick kills from NiKo in a 2v3 post-plant situation. But then they were caught off-guard by fnatic's eco round, with the Swedes taking that chance to bring the deficit to 9-10.
karrigan's men were unwilling to let the game slip away, however, and upped the pace, forcing fnatic's players onto the back foot. But they did not expect Robin "flusha" Rönnquist to step up the way he did, with the 24-year-old single-handedly rescuing his team with eight frags over the course of two rounds.
That was the beginning of a great run from the Swedish side, who won six rounds without reply to reach map point before FaZe bagged the final two rounds of the half to take the game to overtime.
The first overtime could not determine a winner as both teams secured two rounds on the defensive side - with fnatic once again wasting two map points. It looked like the second overtime would follow the same pattern, but a triple spraydown from Golden while holding B finally sealed the deal for his team.
fnatic carried their momentum into the third map, Overpass, and strolled to a 6-0 lead on the CT side as FaZe struggled to get to grips with the game. FaZe's offense then finally came to life, with a stunning 1v5 clutch from Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács coming as a hard blow to the Swedes, who still managed to take a narrow 8-7 lead into the second half.
The Swedish side built on their lead by winning the pistol round with a quick B execution, and they followed that up with two anti-eco rounds. Golden's men continued to excel on the map when the game reached the gun rounds and ran all over the FaZe defence, with the game coming to an end without the European mixture getting a single round in the second half.
The fourth map, Mirage, quickly turned into a bloodbath, with FaZe storming to an 8-1 lead as fnatic kept finding rounds extremely hard to come by. It was only then that the Swedish side was able to string rounds together, thanks to a fantastic 1v3 clutch from JW in the 11th round, but FaZe quickly regained control of the game and brought the scoreline to 11-3 before flusha pulled off a quad-kill to keep his team's hopes alive.
With NiKo leading the charge on 20 frags, FaZe piled even more pressure on their opponents by taking the pistol round with a clean A execution. fnatic would be able to win the third round of the half on a full eco, and they used that newly-found momentum to go on a seven-round spree and build up their bank. Up 13-11, FaZe would not let a comeback happen and won three rounds in a row to take the series to an all-deciding fifth map.
Train, the decider map, started at a frantic pace as the teams traded blows, though FaZe would eventually come out on top of this scrappy period thanks to a triple-kill from NiKo with a Desert Eagle in an A push.
FaZe's great run on the Terrorist side continued, with the European mixture increasing their lead to 5-1. fnatic were struggling to get into the game, but then an unlikely win on a very weak buy breathed some new life into them, forcing karrigan to call a tactical pause when his team were up 6-5. The short break did wonders for FaZe, who won two rounds in a row, but fnatic hit back with CZs once again and followed that up with another round to bring the deficit to a solitary round.
The second half began with karrigan clutching a 1v2 in the pistol round to put FaZe further into the lead. After losing the following eco round, fnatic went for a third-round buy, a successful move that put them on a winning streak that only ended when they were up 13-10.
With no margin for error, FaZe tightened up their defense and won the next four rounds to reach championship point, only to let it slip through their fingers as flusha came up huge once again with another ace to force overtime, in which the Swedes would prevail after two close halves, winning their first title in two years.
|FaZe||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Nikola 'NiKo' KovačNiKo||121 - 107||+14||81.9||1.12|
|Ladislav 'GuardiaN' KovácsGuardiaN||112 - 96||+16||73.9||1.11|
|Olof 'olofmeister' Kajbjerolofmeister||95 - 101||-6||71.9||0.99|
|Finn 'karrigan' Andersenkarrigan||95 - 101||-6||74.5||0.99|
|Håvard 'rain' Nygaardrain||86 - 107||-21||75.5||0.97|
|fnatic||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Robin 'flusha' Rönnquistflusha||127 - 99||+28||90.1||1.30|
|Freddy 'KRIMZ' JohanssonKRIMZ||105 - 98||+7||81.1||1.08|
|Jonas 'Lekr0' OlofssonLekr0||103 - 105||-2||70.5||1.01|
|Jesper 'JW' WecksellJW||96 - 101||-5||72.6||0.99|
|Maikil 'Golden' SelimGolden||80 - 108||-28||68.2||0.85|
IEM Katowice 2018 final standings:
1. fnatic - $250,000
2. FaZe - $100,000
3-4. Astralis - $40,000
3-4. Liquid - $40,000
5-6. NiP - $15,000
5-6. Cloud9 - $15,000
7-8. North - $7,000
7-8. SK - $7,000
9-12. Renegades - $4,000
9-12. Gambit - $4,000
9-12. Heroic - $4,000
9-12. G2 - $4,000
13-16. TYLOO - $2,500
13-16. Virtus.pro - $2,500
13-16. AVANGAR - $2,500
13-16. ORDER - $2,500