FaZe defeat NAVI 2-0 to win PGL Major Antwerp
22:35 THAT'S IT! FaZe ARE YOUR MAJOR CHAMPIONS!
22:28 FaZe within touching distance
Once FaZe get themselves another buy, they get rain through secret and he finds a kill, throwing the Natus Vincere defence into chaos. Despite things coming down to a 2v1 for FaZe with both members on less than 20 health, they manage to close it out.
After some back-and-forth, FaZe are in touching distance.
rain continues his quest for a Major MVP award by picking up two openers to seemingly crush the second round force-buy, but Natus Vincere somehow find frags to make things close, and Valeriy "b1t" Vakhovskiy comes up with a miraculous 1v2 deagle clutch to give his team hope.
22:13 Natus Vincere recover towards end of the first half
Natus Vincere FINALLY find some traction on their offence.
karrigan can't find anything with an aggressive push outside, rain dies as well, and yet SOMEHOW Helvijs "broky" Saukants finds multiple kills to make the round close, only for Natus Vincere to eventually close.
21:03 rain continues to dominate
Round eight sees rain yet again come up huge, grabbing a 3k in the face of an upper hit with his team on a bad buy. He even cleans up the follow up pistol buy from Natus Vincere to put his score at 16-4.
Natus Vincere FINALLY silence rain when they get another full buy, but they struggle to capitalise on the space they gain and leave the site take FAR too late, allowing Robin "ropz" Kool to clean up the round with a 3k from decon.
Andrey "B1ad3" Gorodenskiy calls a timeout to try and remedy this, before it gets out of hand.
21:58 FaZe maintain early lead
When Natus Vincere get guns back up, a VERY late upper hit comes down to a 1v1 which Denis "electroNic" Sharipov duly wins. Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev deserves huge credit for a 3k that cracked open the site.
21:50 Close battle early doors on Nuke
21:45 The second map, Nuke, begins!
Nuke begins, with FaZe on the CT side.
21:25 FaZe TAKE INFERNO TO GO 1-0 UP
FaZe duly capitalise on picking up two CT rounds to open OT, grabbing two T rounds on the bounce to close map one.
The CS:GO world must be out of breath after that one, because it was a back-and-forth affair that went right down to the wire.
21:20 First half of overtime goes to FaZe
Things get really wild in overtime.
Natus Vincere head to B one more time, and this time find success.
After an 0-8 start, Natus Vincere can't complete a miraculous comeback to steal away their opponents pick.
21:04 Natus Vincere are back level
Ilya "Perfecto" Zalutskiy is putting this game on his back. Despite losing two on their way into the site, Natus Vincere can thank the aforementioned Russian for finding key frags to make the B hit work.
20:56 FaZe back in the driving seat
This game is wreaking HAVOC on the nerves.
When another buy comes around for FaZe they make no mistake, holding off a full five-man A execute to put themselves back in the driving seat.
20:48 Natus Vincere begin recovery
Natus Vincere manage to grab a couple of rounds early once the guns come up and break the FaZe economy, giving themselves some breathing room and a way back into this map. It is not easy going though, with each round throwing up some scares.
20:41 rain makes HUGE play to put all the pressure on NAVI
WHAT IS THAT?!
rain opens the pistol with a 2k at banana, only to FINISH the round with three more on the retake.
20:37 FaZe bring convincing lead into second period
Natus Vincere adjust, calling far less rotations than the early part of the half, and it does improve their holds and start netting them rounds.
FaZe are still able to find gaps in the defence, often with simple dry peeks based on timings and intuition, but with less success.
A lost round to a FaZe force-buy kills any momentum Natus Vincere built, letting slip the faint hope of recovering the half, even with the last going their way courtesy of Kirill "Boombl4" Mikhailov's MP9.
20:24 Natus Vincere finally get on the board
Natus Vincere nearly net their first round in round eight on a partial buy, a double hold of arch leading to a 4v3 advantage they can't quite convert.
20:18 Natus Vincere yet to get on the board
Natus Vincere are really struggling to get going on their defence here, the passive holds netting zero information.
FaZe have done nothing special yet, playing standard defaults and taking map control, but it is being done to a high level. The second gun round goes their way, and Natus Vincere take a tac-pause to try and figure things out.
20:12 FaZe take control of early part of Inferno
FaZe in control early.
20:03 FaZe start strong
FaZe pick up a convincing win with a quick mid pop to kick off Inferno, before we get a short technical pause.
The tension is IMMENSE.
19:54 The veto is in
Now we know the maps, who is the favourite?
The veto was as follows:
FaZe ban Mirage
NAVI ban Vertigo
FaZe pick Inferno (NAVI pick CT start)
NAVI pick Nuke (FaZe pick CT start)
NAVI ban Overpass
FaZe ban Dust2
Ancient is the decider (NAVI pick CT start)
Today history will be made. Natus Vincere take on FaZe at 20:00 . Either Natus Vincere will join an elite club of teams who have managed back-to-back Major trophies, or legendary IGL karrigan will pick up his first Major, finally banishing the demons of Boston.
Coming into this grand final many eyes will be on the star trios for each team, and if ratings are anything to go by it is Natus Vincere who sport a slight advantage. s1mple (1.28) and b1t (1.26) find themselves the top two performing players in the Major proper, whereas the highest rated member of the FaZe trio, ropz (1.14), isn't even in the top 10. In fact, rain (1.19) is actually the best performer on FaZe sitting pretty in the fifth spot.
As for the veto, it may well hinge on Vertigo – previously it was a map that neither team played, but FaZe recently floated it in the ESL Pro League Season 15 final against ENCE, and proceeded to win the map when it was picked. The other interesting map to consider in the veto is Ancient, a map that both teams sport a 100% win rate on in 2022; it seems likely we will get it as a decider.
The teams' lineups for this grand final are:
Andrey "B1ad3" Gorodenskiy (coach)
Edward "hanseoul0" Han (stand-in coach)