NiKo stars as FaZe outlast mousesports to win ESL One Belo Horizonte
FaZe have won ESL One Belo Horizonte after beating mousesports in a nail-biting five-map series.
It was not the easiest or cleanest of victories, but it was a victory, nonetheless. FaZe are now leading the race for the $1 million Intel Grand Slam prize with three titles - one more than Astralis - after picking up a hard-fought victory over mousesports in a back-and-forth affair. A convincing win on Inferno put FaZe in the lead early on, but then Finn "karrigan" Andersen's men lost their grip on the match after wasting an 11-0 lead on Cache. mousesports eventually took the lead in the series after Train, but FaZe picked themselves up to take the final two maps in convincing fashion.
Inferno, mousesports' map pick, began with Chris "chrisJ" de Jong picking up three kills in the pistol round to help his team to cruise to a 3-0 lead on the Terrorist side. The game then entered a scrappy period as rounds went back and forth, with mousesports eventually coming out on top.
And then disaster struck for the V4 Future Sports Festival champions. Up 5-2 and with the control of the economy, mouz lost to a full eco side in part thanks to a team kill from chrisJ while the team tried to enter the B site. That one round turned the game on its head as mousesports never really rediscovered themselves, with FaZe closing out the half with a 9-6 lead on the back of some stellar AWPing from Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács.
Now playing on the Terrorist side, FaZe further added to their lead following a fast B play in the pistol round. That was the start of a winning run from the Terrorists that only ended once they had the map locked down.
Next up was Cache, where Jorgen "cromen" Robertsen opened up the action with three entry frags to put FaZe in the lead. Things quickly got out of hand for mousesports, who got decimated by Terrorists' blistering pace. The V4 Festival champions only got something going 12 rounds into the game, but they still managed to put together a late run of rounds to keep their hopes alive.
Down 4-11, mousesports carried their momentum into the second half and took the pistol round with a fast A execution, with Miikka "suNny" Kemppi finding three much-needed frags after struggling for kills in the first half.
That marked the beginning of a phenomenal run from mouz, who won six of the next seven rounds to bring the deficit to 11-12. Håvard "rain" Nygaard and karrigan then stepped up to the plate, pushing FaZe to 14 rounds.
It looked like FaZe had the game under control, but chrisJ single-handedly rescued his team by clutching a 1v3 and winning a key 1v1 in the following round to prevent a reset. Up 14-13, FaZe went on a questionable force-buy, a move that did not pay off and that ultimately destroyed their economy, with mousesports running riot in the remaining rounds to equalise the series.
Train, the third map of the series, saw mousesports win the pistol round but then lose the following anti-eco. But after mouz got their economy back on track, their offence simply came to life as they would lose just one more round - a 1v2 clutch by cromen - before the break.
FaZe came into the second half much livelier and showed great mental fortitude, immediately bouncing back after losing to a full eco side in the third round. karrigan's side would be able to bring the gap to a minimum, but then mousesports tightened up their defence, winning four of the next five rounds en-route to a 16-12 finish.
FaZe got off to a great start on Mirage and won four rounds right off the bat, leaving mouz's economy in shambles. suNny pulled off a quad-kill in an eco round to put his team back in the game, with mouz following that up with another round. However, the rest of the half was all about FaZe's incredible offence as they closed out the half with a commanding 12-3 lead.
mousesports knew they had a mountain to climb to turn the game around and prevent a fifth map, but they refused to throw in the towel and won six of the opening eight rounds of the half to bring the scoreline to 9-14. But their efforts were in vain as FaZe then won back-to-back rounds to take the series to an all-deciding Dust2.
The decider map began with FaZe shutting down B as mouz tried to enter the site with a fast play. mousesports hit back immediately, however, and put together a small run of rounds after constantly finding advantageous situations by bullying karrigan in long.
Down 2-6, FaZe set up a strong defence and won three in a row thanks to some quality AWPing from Nikola "NiKo" Kovač. The rest of the half was highly contested, with mousesports taking a narrow one-round lead into the second half.
Now on the offensive side of the map, FaZe took the pistol round and the subsequent anti-ecos to hit double digits in the game. chrisJ came close to giving mouz their first round of the half after taking down four opponents, but rain kept FaZe in the driving seat with a 1v2 clutch inside B.
FaZe refused to let their foot off the gas and hit championship point without losing a single round in the half. A last-gasp effort from mousesports then earned them two rounds, but they merely delayed the inevitable as FaZe put the series to bed with a messy B push on a shoddy buy - a fitting end to a chaotic match.
|FaZe||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Nikola 'NiKo' KovačNiKo||118 - 73||+45||92.8||1.40|
|Ladislav 'GuardiaN' KovácsGuardiaN||93 - 73||+20||72.3||1.15|
|Håvard 'rain' Nygaardrain||92 - 83||+9||82.9||1.15|
|Jorgen 'cromen' Robertsencromen||87 - 81||+6||69.4||1.08|
|Finn 'karrigan' Andersenkarrigan||69 - 91||-22||62.5||0.86|
|mousesports||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Chris 'chrisJ' de JongchrisJ||96 - 84||+12||79.1||1.18|
|Robin 'ropz' Koolropz||84 - 92||-8||68.7||0.97|
|Miikka 'suNny' KemppisuNny||83 - 94||-11||71.9||0.96|
|Martin 'STYKO' StykSTYKO||74 - 93||-19||64.6||0.89|
|Jordan 'n0thing' Gilbertn0thing||63 - 98||-35||62.5||0.78|
ESL One Belo Horizonte final standings: