BIG stun FaZe, advance to ESL One Cologne grand final
The second semi-final of ESL One Cologne began on BIG's map of choice, Dust2, where FaZe picked up a 3-0 lead on the back of Nikola "NiKo" Kovač's triple in the pistol round. BIG replied with two as Tizian "tiziaN" Feldbusch stepped up to the plate with a quad-kill, but the German side then lost to a forcebuy which Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács secured with a saved M4.
Exchanging the next two rounds, BIG found themselves in a tough spot as they once again lost to a forcebuy. FaZe took advantage of the economic situation and grabbed seven rounds in a row before a quick split B gave Fatih "gob b" Dayik & co. their fourth round.
BIG conceded the second pistol round and things started to look dire, but gob b's 1v2 clutch in the following forcebuy gave them a chance. FaZe couldn't string rounds together and had to eco over and over after being reset twice, but they still secured map point at 15-13 with a rush B. Once again, BIG replied immediately and sent the opening map to overtime.
There, the rounds kept going back and forth until it was 17-17, when NiKo's secondary AWP rang true as he grabbed five key kills over the last two rounds to give FaZe an advantage in the series at 19-17, 1-0.
Train followed with an early back-and-forth forcebuy battle, from which BIG came out on top as they went up 4-1 as Terrorists. Johannes "nex" Maget's 1v3 clutch with a well-timed molotov on the lower bombsite gave BIG another two rounds, but that seemed to be all they could do in the first half, as FaZe put their foot down.
With a double AWP setup, the European squad dispatched of several attacks in a row, while BIG were forced to save weapons twice and forcebuy alongside them. None of their attempts worked, as FaZe grabbed an eight-round streak to finish the half with a 9-6 lead.
BIG retook the lead after converting the pistol round and the first two gunrounds on the back of plays from Johannes "tabseN" Wodarz, before FaZe equalized things at 11-11 with an A play, which sent the German squad on a halfbuy.
The next two rounds were traded as tiziaN denied a bomb plant in the last five seconds, while Jorgen "cromen" Robertsen stepped up with an ace that included a massive 1v3 clutch, and BIG got reset while FaZe reached their 13th round. Owen "smooya" Butterfield was the hero then with a triple-kill in a 2v4 situation in an eco round, which inspired his team to close out the second map with four in a row to equalize the series and send it to the deciding map, Inferno.
There, BIG quickly took control of the first half as Counter-Terrorists, winning the pistol round as well as breaking their opponents in the fourth round, as gob b clutched a 1v2. From there, the hometown heroes added another four rounds to their name for a 7-1 lead before FaZe responded. Still, FaZe could only win two rounds before the half ended, as tabseN and smooya combined with fantastic plays towards the end to secure a dominant 12-3 score.
FaZe attempted to come back with a pistol round win, but the first three gunrounds went the way of BIG when tabseN stepped up to the plate again with five kills, and shortly after erupted in celebration after making the grand final at 16-6, 2-1 on the back of tiziaN's 1v2 clutch in the last round.
|FaZe||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Nikola 'NiKo' KovačNiKo||70 - 58||+12||80.8||1.18|
|Håvard 'rain' Nygaardrain||55 - 69||-14||78.8||1.00|
|Ladislav 'GuardiaN' KovácsGuardiaN||51 - 62||-11||66.1||0.88|
|Jorgen 'cromen' Robertsencromen||50 - 59||-9||62.0||0.88|
|Finn 'karrigan' Andersenkarrigan||45 - 65||-20||59.9||0.74|