FaZe take down NAVI 3-2 in mammoth grand final in Cologne

Everything was on the line for the final match of the season, with two behemoths of the game fighting it out for supremacy.

22:59 : FaZe have done it! THEY WIN IEM COLOGNE!

Europe FaZe 16-14 Ukraine Natus Vincere

Natus Vincere have a scuffed buy, but it doesn't matter anyway as Russel "⁠Twistzz⁠" Van Dulken barrels off the roof of mini and secures an unanswered double-kill, putting his team on 15.

If the previous buy was bad, the next is abysmal for Natus Vincere, and an upper hit is not stopped by the CIS giants as FaZe take the IEM Cologne title!

 FaZe K - D +/- ADR Rating 2.0
25 - 17 +8 88.2 1.40
23 - 18 +5 81.8 1.20
18 - 19 -1 69.2 1.07
19 - 20 -1 71.2 1.00
12 - 19 -7 47.8 0.68
 Natus Vincere K - D +/- ADR Rating 2.0
25 - 18 +7 88.6 1.37
24 - 20 +4 93.0 1.23
17 - 20 -3 54.4 0.87
14 - 21 -7 64.9 0.86
13 - 18 -5 58.9 0.82

22:56 : Game stays neck and neck

Europe FaZe 14-14 Ukraine Natus Vincere

FaZe find themselves a 5v3 advantage, only to squander it and drop yet another round.

A smooth, fast-paced upper hit finally gets FaZe back on the board, and most importantly it breaks Natus Vincere's money; they save two guns, which are vital.

We get a long tech pause. What a time to be left stewing in your own thoughts.

22:50 : Natus Vincere tie the game in the dying stages

Europe FaZe 13-13 Ukraine Natus Vincere

FaZe stumble with an upper hit, and Helvijs "⁠broky⁠" Saukants can't win the 1v3 with the bomb down.

A Tec-9 buy is next on the docket for the European squad, and holding W all the way down secret catches Denis "⁠electroNic⁠" Sharipov with his pants down. FaZe get the bomb down, an absolutely frenetic retake goes down with kills traded back and forth; Ilya "⁠Perfecto⁠" Zalutskiy comes out on top to rescue Natus Vincere and tie us up.

22:46 : FaZe edge closer to victory

Europe FaZe 13-11 Ukraine Natus Vincere

Natus Vincere reinforce ramp and this nets a positive trade, but FaZe head lower and manage to crunch the defence; Twistzz is still needed to win a superb 1v2 to get things over the line.

FaZe continue exploiting yard, getting Håvard "⁠rain⁠" Nygaard into secret and Twistzz up in heaven, and they turn it into an upper crunch; just when it seems FaZe are going to win it, Viktor "⁠sdy⁠" Orudzhev finds a multi-kill and snatches the round.

There is enough money for a Galil on Robin "⁠ropz⁠" Kool in the next, but that is pretty much all FaZe bring to the party and they are confidently handled by Natus Vincere.

22:39 : FaZe put Natus Vincere under yet more pressure

Europe FaZe 12-9 Ukraine Natus Vincere

FaZe get down secret but lose a man, and can't get much done bar the bomb plant as Natus Vincere find their first defensive round.

Back to secret FaZe go and they find a one for one trade, losing rain but getting electroNic, and they reroute to ramp. Valeriy "⁠b1t⁠" Vakhovskiy gets wrecked on the way, and FaZe win the post-plant in a 3v3, with broky closing 1v2.

This puts Natus Vincere's economy on the ropes, and despite losing a man FaZe make an upper hit work, some whiffed shots from sdy and Oleksandr "⁠s1mple⁠" Kostyliev crucial in allowing the bomb to go down.

22:32 : FaZe take pistol and convert to put pressure on Natus Vincere

Europe FaZe 10-8 Ukraine Natus Vincere

FaZe take early ramp control and head lower in their pistol round, and it's traded down into a 2v2; FaZe manage to close it out to tie up the scores.

b1t goes down at ramp early and loses the lower site, and Natus Vincere decide early to save what they have.

FaZe head ramp once again and succeed without much resistance once again, getting themselves to 10 rounds.

22:22 : Natus Vincere take a slender 8-7 lead into their defensive half

Europe FaZe 7-8 Ukraine Natus Vincere

The chaos continues as Natus Vincere force again and electroNic holds W, sprinting down secret and all the way into control room, catching two FaZe players in the process and securing a round.

FaZe get a two man advantage in the next round, only to throw it away almost immediately and a 3v3 ensues. The round comes down to whether or not Natus Vincere can cross outside, and both Finn "⁠karrigan⁠" Andersen and broky lose duels to give Natus Vincere yet another win.

The final round of the half sees FaZe get aggressive outside, which finds a two for one trade in their favour. Natus Vincere get down secret, and karrigan grabs two as the first responder, putting sdy in a 1v3 that he can't win.

22:15 : FaZe tie things up!

Europe FaZe 6-6 Ukraine Natus Vincere

Natus Vincere sacrifice two players but get the bomb down lower on a force, and with a 5v3 advantage FaZe just about get the retake done.

The plant allows Natus Vincere to buy again, but they look lost after taking map control and simply fall over without getting a single kill in return.

22:11 : Rounds traded back and forth as chaos ensues

Europe FaZe 4-6 Ukraine Natus Vincere

Things are getting scrappy now.

sdy finds an opener but Natus Vincere can't capitalise with an upper hit, rain and broky grabbing multi-kills.

A partial-buy from Natus Vincere ensues, and they trade two for one in yard early to get a 4v3 advantage. Natus Vincere slow the round down, things get wild and trades lead to a 1v1, which s1mple duly wins against broky.

FaZe can cobble together a buy, and ropz uses the distraction caused by fighting outside to push lobby; things trade out into a 3v2 in their favour that they close.

22:05 : FaZe find traction, but Natus Vincere still lead

Europe FaZe 2-5 Ukraine Natus Vincere

On the first gun round Natus Vincere take early ramp control, finding a gap in the defence, and they turn it into a lower hit. sdy gets a clean entry on ropz, and the round is already over.

FaZe go for a partial-buy with the loss bonus, but Natus Vincere find successful duels across the map and quickly quell any resistance.

The next round sees FaZe go for an aggressive setup in yard, and it nets rain an opening kill. Natus Vincere go for a late upper execute and get crushed.

Both teams buy again, electroNic gets caught going for an early drop into mini and suddenly everyone on Natus Vincere drops in separate duels.

21:57 : Natus Vincere get out to early lead on Nuke

Europe FaZe 0-3 Ukraine Natus Vincere

Natus Vincere lose the knife round and are forced to start on the offence.

They manage to get down secret and grab an entry on the pistol which confuses the FaZe defence, allowing the CIS team to head back to upper and win the round.

Twistzz grabs a double as Natus Vincere hit upper but that's all FaZe get on their force.

Natus Vincere duly deal with the resulting save and take a 3-0 lead to kick off the decider.

21:31 : FaZe secure a decider!

Europe FaZe 16-9 Ukraine Natus Vincere

FaZe go for a force-buy and a quick A execute, which bears fruit and they take the round.

Natus Vincere answer with a force of their own, but they don't expect another quick A execute and FaZe find a single defender, netting them an easy win.

The CIS squad are left on a terrible buy for FaZe's map point, and another attack towards the A site gives the European squad their 16th and takes us to the decider of Nuke.

 FaZe K - D +/- ADR Rating 2.0
23 - 12 +11 88.1 1.54
24 - 14 +10 102.6 1.50
21 - 14 +7 102.8 1.42
21 - 16 +5 76.2 1.31
9 - 17 -8 40.6 0.67
 Natus Vincere K - D +/- ADR Rating 2.0
24 - 19 +5 102.8 1.38
20 - 19 +1 76.6 1.07
14 - 19 -5 60.0 0.82
11 - 22 -11 53.2 0.56
4 - 19 -15 37.7 0.39

21:26 : Natus Vincere narrow the gap

Europe FaZe 13-9 Ukraine Natus Vincere

FaZe manage to get the bomb down on B on a half-buy to get themselves all the money they need for the following round.

With guns back up FaZe go for mid control and find a frag on b1t, head towards the A site where a hectic battle results in a 1v1, which broky wins.

This forces Natus Vincere onto a less than ideal buy, and a chaotic round occurs where FaZe take both bombsites; frags go back and forth but FaZe lose the bomb on A ramp with Twistzz on B, and they lose the round to time.

21:20 : Natus Vincere win unlikely force to prevent the game getting away from them

Europe FaZe 12-7 Ukraine Natus Vincere

Natus Vincere go for a retake setup on A in the pistol and it flops, putting FaZe very much on the front foot.

The force-buy doesn't net Natus Vincere the round but they do get some damage in, and save some equipment for the next.

s1mple finds an opener with his deagle in window and FaZe walk into the blender on A, as Natus Vincere win with a very weak buy.

FaZe force back and get space on the A site, manage to trade and get the bomb down, before broky is forced to allow Natus Vincere to defuse in a 1v2.

21:10 : FaZe head into second half of Mirage with a healthy lead

Europe FaZe 10-5 Ukraine Natus Vincere

A Natus Vincere half-buy gets a little dicey for FaZe as the CIS squad get the A bombsite, but a quick flank from ropz drops the bomb and they clean up.

ropz pushes A ramp on the following Natus Vincere buy and finds a kill on sdy, and FaZe get another kill, but electroNic puts the round on his back and takes a 4k towards B to find an unlikely round for his team.

Natus Vincere go for a similar play in the next, showing presence on A before going back to B, but Twistzz drops the bomb as it tries to rotate and grabs FaZe a 9th.

In the final round of the half Natus Vincere don't have the money for full rifles, and FaZe clean things up for a 10-5 half.

21:01 : FaZe start to pull away

Europe FaZe 7-4 Ukraine Natus Vincere

FaZe pivot into a more passive A hold in the next Natus Vincere buy, and the CIS squad find the gap to grab the A site and a 4v3 advantage, forcing their opposition into a save.

A switch into a double-AWP setup is next on the cards for FaZe, and each finds a pick; Natus Vincere manage to find some kills of their own to put s1mple in a 1v3 that he cant quite manage.

FaZe go back to their forward positions on A which allows a lean toward B, which results in an easy shut down of a Natus Vincere B split.

Natus Vincere take a timeout, and manage to make a full eco costly in the next, taking three kills.

With FaZe threatening to pull ahead, Natus Vincere go for an early A execute; it's stopped easily by FaZe.

20:49 : FaZe get right back into the map

Europe FaZe 3-3 Ukraine Natus Vincere

With guns up, rain catches s1mple trying to creep onto A before Twistzz also catches a man in middle, giving FaZe their first round.

Natus Vincere have the cash for another buy and a slow default gives way to an A take, but despite finding the entry Natus Vincere get caught in a crossfire and fall.

FaZe comfortably brush aside an eco, tying up the score.

20:44 : Natus Vincere grab early advantage on Mirage

Europe FaZe 0-3 Ukraine Natus Vincere

FaZe catch electroNic at top mid with nades out, but a messy B hit with two entries from sdy comes through for Natus Vincere and they trade into a round victory.

Natus Vincere hit A early and quickly dispatch the FaZe force-buy, also dealing with the following eco to go 3-0.

20:40 : Mirage, pick of Natus Vincere, up next

Series score: Europe FaZe 1-2 Ukraine Natus Vincere

Mirage, the second map pick of Natus Vincere, is up next. Can FaZe take away their opponent's pick and force a decider?

20:11 : Natus Vincere take map DESPITE epic FaZe CT comeback!

Europe FaZe 16-19 Ukraine Natus Vincere

Natus Vincere slap down a fast A hit on their first CT round, needing a retake to finish things, putting themselves once again on map point.

FaZe go slow in the next, ending with a hectic B hit that trades out into a 2v2. s1mple makes a perplexing decision to walk through a smoke, dying for free, but b1t posts a cracking 1v2 clutch to secure his team the map.

Mental, eh?

 FaZe K - D +/- ADR Rating 2.0
32 - 26 +6 93.3 1.32
26 - 22 +4 85.3 1.24
27 - 21 +6 65.1 1.10
25 - 24 +1 76.1 1.05
20 - 23 -3 74.8 1.04
 Natus Vincere K - D +/- ADR Rating 2.0
29 - 27 +2 94.0 1.21
23 - 25 -2 68.2 1.08
23 - 26 -3 68.7 0.94
22 - 24 -2 58.4 0.89
19 - 28 -9 66.1 0.80

20:05 : NAVI take slender lead in OT

Europe FaZe 16-17 Ukraine Natus Vincere

s1mple finds a blind entry kill onto Twistzz in middle to kick off OT, and sdy catches karrigan aggressing down banana - Natus Vincere convert this into a round win, ending an 11-round streak from FaZe

A very slow, methodical default ensues in the next, with a late B hit netting Natus Vincere another round, the win coming thanks to a 3k from sdy.

FaZe decide enough is enough, and get aggressive everywhere to shut the last round down in mere seconds.


Europe FaZe 15-15 Ukraine Natus Vincere

Natus Vincere look completely lost, and the final two rounds pass by in a flash as FaZe handle them with ease.

Can Natus Vincere recover their heads for OT?

19:52 : FaZe close to getting to overtime

Europe FaZe 13-15 Ukraine Natus Vincere

FaZe swat aside a pistol purchase to get to 11, with the team starting to look confident on the player cams.

s1mple gets an AWP for the first time in the next round, but FaZe find a favourable trade in mid and broky shuts down the GOAT's peek towards B.

Natus Vincere try an A execute with pistols, and it's stopped.

"Not a single plant" chimes Chad "⁠SPUNJ⁠" Burchill. Natus Vincere are struggling now.

19:46 : FaZe recover all the way to double-digits

Europe FaZe 10-15 Ukraine Natus Vincere

FaZe clean up an eco to take their seventh, and go for a double-AWP setup for the next Natus Vincere buy. Early trades result in a 4v3 for FaZe, and they repel the late B take.

Early mid aggression from FaZe shuts down a Natus Vincere half-buy.

With the CIS squad on full guns in the next FaZe still elect to get aggressive, finding the opener in cave, and they crush the late A hit to get to double-digits.

Game on, now.

19:37 : FaZe keep the game alive, despite Natus Vincere being on map point

Europe FaZe 6-15 Ukraine Natus Vincere

FaZe absolutely needed the pistol, and they didn't get it despite finding a 2v4 advantage at one point.

A late A execute crushes the FaZe force-buy, but FaZe force again and stop a B rush to stem the bleeding.

rain is caught out pushing banana in the next, and Natus Vincere quickly overwhelm the B site to put themselves on map point.

FaZe manage to repel a B attack to stave off the first map point, and clean up the following force-buy to keep themselves alive... for now.

19:25 : Natus Vincere take commanding lead into the second half

Europe FaZe 3-12 Ukraine Natus Vincere

An A rush is shut down by Natus Vincere, but FaZe do find a 4v3 advantage in the next with some mid aggression. They manage to get a B split going through red room, and finally find their second round.

FaZe go for an early B pop in the next, and they get the plant but not the round as electroNic sweeps through on the retake.

electroNic barrels through a molly to pick karrigan in mid early in the final round, but rain manages to find a timing to take B on his own. Twistzz stands tall to repel the Natus Vincere retake, giving his team a vital third round.

19:17 : The recovery begins for FaZe, only to be shut down by Natus Vincere

Europe FaZe 1-10 Ukraine Natus Vincere

electroNic eats a flash in cave and goes down to karrigan, and FaZe find an unlikely first round on a bad buy hitting B.

sdy picks up a double in cave to open the next, FaZe get control of red room in the 3v5 but can't do anything with it.

FaZe can cobble together a reasonable buy, but s1mple denies broky's attempt to pick B and Perfecto catches the attempted trade. FaZe then lose rain taking B, an unlikely Twistzz triple kill in the 2v5 gives ropz a winnable clutch, but s1mple sticks the defuse.

Close. Very close.

19:11 : Domination early for Natus Vincere

Europe FaZe 0-8 Ukraine Natus Vincere

FaZe go A on a partial-buy and get no joy.

They return to the late mid control in the next gun round, karrigan gets caught in banana, but the late time forces FaZe to go B. They trade into a 2v3 and get the bomb down, but as is becoming the norm Natus Vincere complete a flawless retake.

rain finds an early entry in mid next round, karrigan is traded by a grenade, and despite again getting the bomb down, Natus Vincere retake on A.

Natus Vincere crush FaZe early in the following round with mid aggression of their own. FaZe look like they may be starting to run out of ideas.

19:04 : Natus Vincere maintain early advantage

Europe FaZe 0-4 Ukraine Natus Vincere

Natus Vincere deal with the FaZe force with ease, but get themselves in a pickle in the following eco as s1mple is punished creeping banana and sdy falls in cave. FaZe can't win the round, but they do plenty of damage.

In their first gun round FaZe take late mid control, and despite finding an under-staffed B site they can't get anything done, electroNic finding a 3k.

18:59 : Natus Vincere pick up their first pistol round

Europe FaZe 0-1 Ukraine Natus Vincere

A quick mid take turns into an A split for FaZe and they get the site in a 3v3, but Natus Vincere once again succeed in the retake to grab their first pistol of the series.

18:37 : Natus Vincere take Overpass!

Europe FaZe 13-16 Ukraine Natus Vincere

A slow FaZe default allows broky to catch b1t in the long-side of bathrooms, and they execute on A to take another convincing round, killing every member of Natus Vincere in the process.

The CIS squad take a timeout, but it seems to do nothing for them in the next round as FaZe punish early peaks in connector and from short B to get a 4v3 advantage. However, FaZe elect to finish on B, and Perfecto manages to complete the retake in a 1v1 to give Natus Vincere their map victory.

 FaZe K - D +/- ADR Rating 2.0
25 - 21 +4 86.1 1.12
20 - 22 -2 84.5 1.09
13 - 17 -4 54.1 0.87
17 - 20 -3 63.2 0.87
13 - 18 -5 43.8 0.81
 Natus Vincere K - D +/- ADR Rating 2.0
25 - 18 +7 97.7 1.33
20 - 15 +5 76.5 1.22
18 - 17 +1 61.3 1.03
17 - 17 0 65.6 1.01
18 - 22 -4 73.1 1.01

18:29 : FaZe stay alive against map point

Europe FaZe 12-15 Ukraine Natus Vincere

b1t pushes all the way up long and bests Twistzz to find an opener. FaZe manage to recover and take B in a 3v3, but Natus Vincere instantly perform a clean retake.

karrigan sprints to take early mid control in the following round, and the reshuffling of the Natus Vincere defence allows FaZe to take B. Natus Vincere retake before the bomb even goes down, and clinch a 14th.

FaZe once again get the B site, this time with a weak buy, but Natus Vincere yet again retake cleanly to give themselves map point.

s1mple is punished aggressing middle, and an incorrect stack on B loses Natus Vincere their first attempt at map point.

18:20 : Natus Vincere regain the lead

Europe FaZe 11-12 Ukraine Natus Vincere

Natus Vincere clean up the eco, and in the following round FaZe get bathrooms control but s1mple takes four kills to stop the hit.

The CIS giants clean up another eco to grab the lead back.

18:15 : Twistzz wins an INCREDIBLE clutch, but Natus Vincere respond

Europe FaZe 11-9 Ukraine Natus Vincere

Quick map control is taken by FaZe and they trade into a 3v3 on the B site. Natus Vincere find two early kills on the retake, but Twistzz wins a simply sublime 1v3 clutch to win a near-impossible round.

You wonder if that will break Natus Vincere's mental, but the CIS squad force-buy and win it to recover immediately.

18:11 : FaZe grab the lead

Europe FaZe 10-8 Ukraine Natus Vincere

Another pistol goes the way of FaZe as they get up close in bathrooms and explode onto A, taking their tally to 4/4 for pistol rounds.

Natus Vincere force, but an aggressive setup in connector nets nothing and FaZe take the win; sdy does manage to save an AK for his team.

sdy finds an opener at long with his AK in the following round, but FaZe trade two kills back and survive some damage from the USPs to maintain their lead.

18:02 : Natus Vincere take narrow lead into the second-half

Europe FaZe 7-8 Ukraine Natus Vincere

sdy finds a solo entry at B, and the rotations this causes allows Natus Vincere to swing back to A and take the site, getting a 4v2 advantage which they convert.

karrigan makes a great call in the following, stacking his team at the B site, with ropz finding an opener at construction before the hit comes and his team eventually close the round.

s1mple punishes broky peeking connector in the next round, and Natus Vincere take the B site to tie up the scores.

The final round of the half sees more FaZe aggression, rain is caught pushing connector but karrigan finds a kill back with his push through monster. Natus Vincere come back to A and crush the hold, taking the lead into the second period.

17:51 : FaZe find the lead mid-way through the half

Europe FaZe 6-5 Ukraine Natus Vincere

FaZe aggress in middle early, with rain and broky each grabbing a kill, giving their team a 5v3 advantage. Natus Vincere somehow trade on B into a 2v3, and Perfecto grabs two key kills on retaking CTs to secure the round.

A weak buy comes next for FaZe but broky picks up two openers from connector to give his team an easy round.

FaZe are starting to get very aggressive, and again they find an opener and limit Natus Vincere to preciously little map control; Natus Vincere trade their way into a 2v3 again, but can't finish things this time around.

This finally breaks the CIS side's economy, and FaZe clean up the round to take the lead.

17:43 : Rounds are traded in a close first half

Europe FaZe 3-4 Ukraine Natus Vincere

FaZe get aggressive in connector when they get their buy and they grab two entries without reply to get the round in the bag, keeping four alive.

Natus Vincere have money for another go, and a creeping default nets the opener when b1t hits a nutty one-tap on a jumping broky at long; this gives them enough space to take A, and FaZe choose to save in a 4v3.

The saved guns facilitate a buy, and Natus Vincere are punished for a very slow round, getting crunched in bathrooms.

17:35 : Natus Vincere hit straight back with a hero AK purchase, take early lead

Europe FaZe 1-3 Ukraine Natus Vincere

Natus Vincere bounce back immediately via a 3k from s1mple's hero AK on B, and the CIS squad are in business.

Things get scary for electroNic and co. in the following round, as broky grabs a multi-kill with his M4A1-S, but Natus Vincere just get the round over the line at A.

Natus Vincere clean up the following eco to take control early.

17:30 : Map two gets underway with a FaZe pistol victory

Europe FaZe 1-0 Ukraine Natus Vincere

rain takes an early frag in middle before FaZe stop the B execute with ease.

17:22 : Overpass up next as Natus Vincere look to bounce back

Series score: Europe FaZe 1-0 Ukraine Natus Vincere

The analysts on the desk were not sure about the Overpass from Natus Vincere, with Janko "⁠YNk⁠" Paunović stating it is "not a NAVI pick" and Mathieu "⁠Maniac⁠" Quiquerez opining that rain on the CT side will be vital for FaZe.

Can Natus Vincere get back into the series at the first time of asking?

17:09 : Map one Inferno goes to FaZe as they take early advantage in the grand final

Europe FaZe 16-13 Ukraine Natus Vincere

karrigan picks up a 3k at banana to stop Natus Vincere in their tracks and earn his team their 15th round.

Early banana aggression nets a 2k for electroNic and keeps Natus Vincere alive, but a late B execute in the next falls as karrigan and rain hold effectively to take map one 16-13.

 FaZe K - D +/- ADR Rating 2.0
24 - 19 +5 89.0 1.30
20 - 20 0 78.3 1.07
19 - 22 -3 78.1 1.01
18 - 20 -2 61.3 0.98
18 - 19 -1 64.4 0.96
 Natus Vincere K - D +/- ADR Rating 2.0
25 - 18 +7 88.1 1.38
23 - 19 +4 87.9 1.16
16 - 21 -5 69.2 0.95
19 - 23 -4 72.9 0.85
15 - 19 -4 51.0 0.78

17:01 : FaZe take control late in the game

Europe FaZe 14-12 Ukraine Natus Vincere

FaZe crush a partial-buy and karrigan gives a cheeky look and point to the camera, starting to work the crowd. Natus Vincere take their first time-out.

A one-for-one at banana gives Natus Vincere a 4v4 in the following, they trade into a 2v2 at the A site, before rain grabs a 2k on the retake to tie the scores.

broky sprays down four from behind on a flank of banana in the next round, giving FaZe the lead, and they clean up following eco to get to 14.

16:53 : The game continues to be a back-and-forth affair

Europe FaZe 10-12 Ukraine Natus Vincere

FaZe get a better buy despite losing the previous round but they can't complete a 4v4 retake on the B site, even after getting the opening kill.

The European squad take an eco on the chin, and broky and Twistzz hold well on the A site in the following round to put s1mple in a 1v2 he doesn't manage to win.

An important round for FaZe to win, and they solidify that victory with another to put Natus Vincere on a bad buy.

16:45 : The game stays close early in the second half

Europe FaZe 8-10 Ukraine Natus Vincere

FaZe lose two early in the second-half pistol, but somehow recover and stop the attack towards A to start their defence with a win.

Natus Vincere take a bit of a Kévin "⁠Ex6TenZ⁠" Droolans-style timeout by hanging out near their spawn on the resulting eco, and an early entry on rain at banana allows a successful A-hit to come through for the CIS squad on their first buy.

16:35 : The lead goes to Natus Vincere for the first time as the first half draws to a close

Europe FaZe 6-9 Ukraine Natus Vincere

The guns are back out for both teams, and FaZe's heavy emphasis on short continues; they trade into a 3v3, but leave the bomb at spawn which ruins the round. It seems FaZe may be trying to target sdy.

A half-buy comes next for FaZe and back to A they go, but a well-timed rotation from s1mple shuts everything down.

Both teams have a full-buy for the final round, broky punishes Natus Vincere's early banana aggression, but a full B execute is thwarted by Perfecto from the flowers boost.

Advantage Natus Vincere.

16:28 : Natus Vincere tie the game

Europe FaZe 6-6 Ukraine Natus Vincere

FaZe get back on the horse, winning with another A take through short, ropz closing with some clean headshots.

Natus Vincere buy again and answer right back, stopping a very similar A-short hit and putting FaZe back on a bad purchase, which they duly deal with.

16:22 : Natus Vincere close the deficit

Europe FaZe 5-4 Ukraine Natus Vincere

Natus Vincere clean up an eco and from there begin to stabilise their defence. FaZe take an early timeout after taking a few losses.

s1mple seems in good form, which the CIS giants will need if they want to win this game.

16:17 : Natus Vincere get on the board

Europe FaZe 5-1 Ukraine Natus Vincere

Natus Vincere can't complete a B retake in a 3v3 on the first gun round, but they do ensure everyone on FaZe dies and save themselves an AWP on s1mple.

This allows a decent buy in the next, but once again FaZe trade themselves into a 3v3, this time on A, and they repel another retake attempt.

The resulting half-buy from Natus Vincere sees a huge play from s1mple's deagle net them an unlikely round.

Game on.

16:10 : FaZe take early lead

Europe FaZe 3-0 Ukraine Natus Vincere

FaZe survive a couple of scary moments to convert to 3-0, a s1mple 2k with a p250 grabs Natus Vincere a couple of free guns for their first full buy.

16:06 : Inferno begins, the grand final is live!

Europe FaZe 1-0 Ukraine Natus Vincere

Inferno is the first battleground here in Germany, and a huge Twistzz triple kill with the glock starts the FaZe offence off right, despite attempted heroics from b1t on the retake.

15:45 : The veto is in

We have the maps for our best-of-five final, with YNk shocked at the fact Natus Vincere took Overpass as their first pick.

Who do we think this veto favours?

1. FaZe ban Dust2
2. NAVI ban Vertigo
3. FaZe pick Inferno (Map one)
4. NAVI pick Overpass (Map two)
5. FaZe pick Ancient (Map three)
6. NAVI pick Mirage (Map four)
7. Nuke was left over (Map five)

15:25 : Who leads the race for the HLTV x BitSkins MVP medal?

Unsurprisingly, it is s1mple who leads the way in the MVP race, with a staggering 1.34 rating thus far at the event and a monstrous 1.43 impact rating.

It will take a huge performance from one of the FaZe stars to clinch the MVP medal, with ropz best placed to do so after an excellent showing against Movistar Riders yesterday.

15:19 : The show is now LIVE

The pre-show for the final is now live, tune in to the stream embedded at the top of this post to get yourself ready for a barn-storming game.

Pay attention to this live post for an update on the HLTVxBitSkins MVP race shortly.

15:00 : The show starts in just under 20 minutes

Grab your refreshments and get comfortable, because the build up to the last grand final of the season starts in just under 20 minutes.

Read on for a quick preview of the final match of the season, where there is more than just a trophy up for grabs.

Cologne so far

IEM Cologne 2022 plays host to the final event of the season, the last moment for teams to prove their worth heading into the summer player break. We have already had plenty of shocks and surprises, highly-touted names like Cloud9 and ENCE suffering early upsets whilst underdogs like MOUZ and Liquid made playoff runs and Movistar Riders and Astralis grabbed themselves unlikely top-four finishes.

Cologne has delivered fascinating storylines so far

The grand-final matchup we find ourselves awaiting was far more predictable. The two teams that have shown the highest ceiling so far this year, competed for the PGL Major Antwerp title and are currently battling it out for the top spot in the world rankings, FaZe and Natus Vincere, are set to do battle for the last trophy on offer for the first half of 2022, in a matchup Perfecto and karrigan themselves have stated will decide the best team in the world.

Read more
Perfecto: "This tournament will decide who the number one team is"

The two titans came into Cologne in differing fortunes, FaZe having just recovered from a shaky patch of form to reach the final of the online Roobet Cup, and conversely Natus Vincere having just produced their best performances of the season to clinch the BLAST Premier Spring Final title, but both have been at their imperious best in Germany. There have been no series losses for either squad, and in the case of FaZe not a single map has gone against them thus far.

FaZe have spread the fragging across their numerous stars, with ropz and broky stepping it up in the playoff series against Movistar Riders, whereas Natus Vincere have been driven by the ever-reliable s1mple. Both teams have done their best work on the CT side, where they sport the highest win percentages of the event by far, almost 10% ahead of their nearest rivals.

So who will fulfil their destiny in the Cathedral of Counter-Strike and confirm their status as the number-one team in the world heading into the player break? Tune in to this live post for updates on the end-of-season spectacle.

Time is adjusted to your selected timezone
Latvia Helvijs 'broky' Saukants
Helvijs 'broky' Saukants
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Estonia Robin 'ropz' Kool
Robin 'ropz' Kool
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Ukraine Valeriy 'b1t' Vakhovskiy
Valeriy 'b1t' Vakhovskiy
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Denmark Finn 'karrigan' Andersen
Finn 'karrigan' Andersen
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Serbia Janko 'YNk' Paunović
Janko 'YNk' Paunović
No team
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Russia Ilya 'Perfecto' Zalutskiy
Ilya 'Perfecto' Zalutskiy
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Australia Chad 'SPUNJ' Burchill
Chad 'SPUNJ' Burchill
No team
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Russia Denis 'electroNic' Sharipov
Denis 'electroNic' Sharipov
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Switzerland Mathieu 'Maniac' Quiquerez
Mathieu 'Maniac' Quiquerez
No team
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Norway Håvard 'rain' Nygaard
Håvard 'rain' Nygaard
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Canada Russel 'Twistzz' Van Dulken
Russel 'Twistzz' Van Dulken
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Ukraine Viktor 'sdy' Orudzhev
Viktor 'sdy' Orudzhev
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Belgium Kévin 'Ex6TenZ' Droolans
Kévin 'Ex6TenZ' Droolans
No team
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Ukraine Oleksandr 's1mple' Kostyliev
Oleksandr 's1mple' Kostyliev
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
2022-07-17 15:01
16 replies
Brazil flytw4tp
to ez for s1mple
2022-07-17 16:22
10 replies
Pakistan Piano
Navi fans excuse list: War Stand in played bad Saving strats for major Already won cologne s1mple choked
2022-07-17 22:19
9 replies
2022-07-17 23:04
1 reply
Nice throw Navi
2022-07-17 23:35
Moldova flymans
Great final. Sad to be a NaVi fan, but match was great!
2022-07-17 23:04
2022-07-17 23:08
Nah, i accept Faze is the better team rn. They proved it Karrigan's calling and twistzz god plays were too much in the end
2022-07-17 23:12
You forgot "FAZE LUCKY" XD
2022-07-17 23:42
1 reply
It was done since the beginnng because of Jesus in the crowd who definetly affected on Twistzz skill
2022-07-18 01:01
forgot "smoke kills"
2022-07-18 02:07
2022-07-18 09:17
Yugoslavia Acceb
Reddit simple riders in shambles.
2022-07-17 23:12
What I learned from this grand final: 1. Karrigan is goated IGL for sure 2. s0mples prime is over
2022-07-17 23:14
3 replies
name doesnt check out, Big L , go next.
2022-07-17 23:26
NAF | 
Asia aref81
flair.name nothing more to say
2022-07-18 00:08
in a way gl1ave. in a way karrigan. but damn karrigan despite being older can still run for goat while gl1ave looks like he gave up.
2022-07-18 02:08
Indonesia dharmasura
Ez faze 3-0
2022-07-17 15:01
1 reply
Indonesia Xclave
2022-07-17 15:06
2022-07-17 15:02
2022-07-17 15:02
Czech Republic stand1c
NAVI 3-0
2022-07-17 15:02
Norway Aurelian
Faze 5-0 easy for faze klan
2022-07-17 15:02
1 reply
I think it will be much closer, maybe 5-4 faze
2022-07-17 16:15
2022-07-17 15:02
2022-07-17 15:08
2022-07-17 15:12
Brazil luisgmb
who picks the first map?
2022-07-17 15:13
2022-07-17 15:14
i better wake up to a 3-1 navi win
2022-07-17 15:22
4 replies
New Zealand Chicken_RD
You're going to need to sleep for a long time.
2022-07-17 16:16
3 replies
it'll probably end by the time I wake up if it goes the distance
2022-07-17 16:38
2 replies
Australia imissdevvy
Lol so true
2022-07-17 21:51
1 reply
fck would've 3-0 if didnt throw inferno gg :(
2022-07-18 00:20
Idc who takes it, absolutely love both teams and I'm just happy that the 2 giants of CS:GO clash for the last game of the season. GL HF <3
2022-07-17 15:24
2 replies
Ireland yoboisteve
2022-07-17 15:48
1 reply
Hell yeah mens)) enjoy the match! (:
2022-07-17 17:23
Pog veto
2022-07-17 15:45
2022-07-17 15:51
why Faze didn't pick Nuke instead of Ancient
2022-07-17 15:54
3 replies
Both teams are very good on nuke, Picking nuke is giving free ct side for Navi ( and so is opposite) So last map will be knife decider probably
2022-07-17 16:01
2 replies
Well, they gave CT side on Ancient which is even worse
2022-07-17 16:03
1 reply
True, but Navi Vs Og/Heroic Got 7-9 Ct rounds so its not like their ancient is really good, but we'll have to see) glhf
2022-07-17 16:06
United Kingdom Jonty04l32
Na'Vi 3-1 is my prediction but it honestly could go either way. Best of luck to both teams.
2022-07-17 16:15
Absolute gods. The amount of firepower on the server today is just insane. Individually these are probably the best CSGO players in the world (sans CarryGun and SDY). Truly a clash of titans. It's almost painful to watch how precise and quick they are.
2022-07-17 17:34
2 replies
Im 50 % agree with you , but let’s be honest , Karrigan is a mastermind even if is aim is f up faze need him , and sdy doing he’s best for his second event you can’t expect more . Btw it’s a f nice game to watch . Let’s goooo naviiiiiii ( sans = without ;) )
2022-07-17 18:45
Karrigan had a great match too with several multikills in clutch moments. Punched above his weight today and made the difference when ropz was struggling (i.e. nuke). But, yeah, the level of CS was insane. Truly greatest match of CS to have been played to date.
2022-07-17 23:56
Go navi
2022-07-17 17:46
Highest lvl of play CS:GO has ever seen Absolute banger
2022-07-17 18:41
1 reply
Man that’s true omg what a game to watch
2022-07-17 18:46
BO5 is too long i cant lie
2022-07-17 18:44
Perfecto playing the game of his life , he is the true factor
2022-07-17 18:47
GL mens
2022-07-17 18:48
FAZE just must get rid of karrigan. Then they can be No.1
2022-07-17 19:42
6 replies
You’re joking right?
2022-07-17 20:16
4 replies
hell no, he is just average player, no impact on game, 0,91 ranking. Worst player in team.
2022-07-17 20:22
2 replies
Finland oskarifps
Smartest Slovakian CS player
2022-07-17 23:23
You really dont know CS, that is obvious. I almost feel sorry for you.
2022-07-18 11:17
Slovakian CS brains at their finest
2022-07-17 23:18
perhaps, but look at the teams that have removed him in the past. only astralis made it work for a longer period of time from what i remember. meanwhile he built how many teams in the meantime that had potential to contend in top3? i believe at least 2 that removed him and faded, more roster changes or disbands. while he may not be the best aimer, he's clearly bringing something else while the team can compensate for his aim. i am not his fan just how i've seen his road during the years while barely following the scene in the last 3.
2022-07-17 23:06
ropz | 
Slovakia nvrn06
amazing grand final !
2022-07-17 19:53
Man I need to sleep, still have to go to work in about 5 hours, this bo5 is crazy so far Btw fun fact: a couple of boom4l lookalikes in the audience seats
2022-07-17 20:17
1 reply
Australia imissdevvy
It is clones
2022-07-17 21:49
Ok, now FaZe won
2022-07-17 21:34
I hope that Nuke is going to be good and close game
2022-07-17 21:37
2022-07-17 22:59
United Kingdom Jonty04l32
Best BO5 ever!
2022-07-17 23:00
2022-07-17 23:00
Romania Pecea
gg wp
2022-07-17 23:00
Hong Kong Odravkeo
2022-07-17 23:00
So much delay
2022-07-17 23:01
Portugal dracø
GG, WHAT A FUCKING FINAL Hands down the best bo5 of all time
2022-07-17 23:01
1 reply
+111 ggwo
2022-07-17 23:30
Twistzz MVP of the final
2022-07-17 23:01
Sadly it wasn't a bo3 so NaVi could win on that unreal ancient. 7 hours just to watch NaVi lose 14-16 on decider is heartbreaking. But gg Faze anyway, the better team took it. Sdy deserves a place in the roster. Electronic has a lot to do as IGL.
2022-07-17 23:01
1 reply
They probably wouldn't have played Ancient in a BO3. Probably Inferno, Mirage/Overpass and Nuke.
2022-07-17 23:53
Good games! GG karrigan!
2022-07-17 23:03
Shame 4 Navi S1mple was literally sleeping in Nuke.
2022-07-17 23:04
2022-07-17 23:04
poop astralios best
2022-07-17 23:05
What a game
2022-07-17 23:05
India aR__
2022-07-17 23:05
Hong Kong HaRRie
2022-07-17 23:05
Naturally, gestures and hairstyle from the anime did not help s1mple to win. He just wants to fill his fan base of mentally ill anime fans and not win tournaments) Faze are titans)
2022-07-17 23:06
GG's Lets gooo FaZe!!! <3
2022-07-17 23:06
what a game
2022-07-17 23:06
2022-07-17 23:06
2022-07-17 23:07
Navi era indeed :D
2022-07-17 23:08
720 | 
Estonia Kukkel
Easiest win for FaZe
2022-07-17 23:09
Twistzz robbed from MVP.
2022-07-17 23:09
if u unable to win nuke with 8t round, better u should leave the arena trophyless.
2022-07-17 23:10
2022-07-17 23:11
Great show by faze both teams. :D Best finals I have seen, cologne delivers again. Give them major kthxbye.
2022-07-17 23:11
Congratulations Team Faze <3
2022-07-17 23:12
Twistzz or Broky MVP
2022-07-17 23:12
Romania Coxmin
Twistzz robbed :(
2022-07-17 23:12
Portugal dracø
TOP1 vs TOP2, in a bo5 final and they fucking delivered. What a match to watch, if we are going to have BO5 finals, I wish they are all like this.
2022-07-17 23:12
United States Artsywyo
First 5 man to win a Cologne Kato and Major, Goats?
2022-07-17 23:13
What a match! congrats faze
2022-07-17 23:15
jesus fucking christ was it an awesome final, pedal to the metal all day long. twistzz delivering in hardest moments will be memorable, he carried ends of maps so hard
2022-07-17 23:15
Congrats FaZe
2022-07-17 23:16
GG 4 am at my country and need to go tomorrow Gg for faze especially twist
2022-07-17 23:17
Azerbaijan werezzz
it was crazy. happy for faze. gg
2022-07-17 23:17
2022-07-17 23:17
ggs both teams played excellent cs, faze deserved it
2022-07-17 23:17
France Gloomyz
Congratz, FaZe, that was really close, both teams deserve the #1 spot right now. Interesting to see what NaVi will bring in the 2nd part of the season.
2022-07-17 23:18
United Kingdom _xC4ctus
2022-07-17 23:18
FaZe Up baby let’s go!
2022-07-17 23:18
great one
2022-07-17 23:18
One of the best finals, thanks very nice sunday like this gg goodnight all
2022-07-17 23:19
I Was Here Pog
2022-07-17 23:19
twistzz for MVP pls
2022-07-17 23:19
This is it baby!!!
2022-07-17 23:20
Germany Mknzy
GG what a glorious final!!!
2022-07-17 23:21
ez for FaZe, Na'Vi such a fluke team lol
2022-07-17 23:22
Heartbroken :(
2022-07-17 23:24
Crazy series. Hopefully ropz will step up after the break
2022-07-17 23:24
amazing finals, god twistzz.
2022-07-17 23:24
2022-07-17 23:25
Best game ever watch!!! Fcking insane final full of everything and awesome ending, start watch cs since 2017 and cheering for rain and Faze since that and this half of the year was epic, worth to wait that long :) Love that Faze roster! GG to Navi for that great game too, 2 best teams at the moment without doubt!! Only Grand Slam left now :) GG to everyone who watch this insane final!! Lets go Faze!!! :)
2022-07-17 23:26
hey no twistzz MVP? KEKW
2022-07-17 23:26
1 reply
2022-07-17 23:34
Just sad ..
2022-07-17 23:27
One of the best finals of all time, gotta be top 10.
2022-07-17 23:27
Lithuania SH4NKER
what a final
2022-07-17 23:28
China zchaui
Congratulations to GOD CLAN. Also, s1mple data is good, give him MVP is okay. After all, it is not VALVE, not official enough.
2022-07-17 23:29
Apparently Katowice Final is no-longer the most watched non-major match in history hltv.org/news/33356/iem-katowice-final-b.. Cologne 2022: escharts.com/tournaments/csgo/iem-cologn..
2022-07-17 23:29
1 reply
+11 this was indeed the best non-major final ever
2022-07-17 23:33
Gg , well played to both teams. Faze deserved the win. But I don't understand the hate for Navi. Considering that their country is still at war and members have been on the road and playing with new IGL and a standin they did outstanding.
2022-07-17 23:31
Congrats to Faze, today they were better, but Navi didnt reach der full potential at all sadly. Twistzz for sure MVP of the Final, crazy.
2022-07-17 23:32
6 replies
Na’Vi potential unknown at this moment, for me they could reach heights no team has ever reached with their current lineup But FaZe also didn’t reach their full potential, however in my book Na’Vi’s could be greater
2022-07-17 23:54
5 replies
well but u saw what b1t did in Stockholm compared to today, or even compared to yesterday. Ofc both Teams could have been even better but i think Faze today was way closer to their max then Navi. I mean u can see S1mples average Rating compared to today.... they threw two 2v1 clutches on nuke alone, while usually beeing super good in trading.... So i think Navi sadly choked a bit, not Faze beeing way better.... I hope Navi can comeback strong, im just scared s1mple wants a break after this ngl...
2022-07-17 23:58
4 replies
Actually half of your reply was what i was trying to state, but you did a better job at expressing it
2022-07-17 23:59
Just to clarify Na’Vi is a team that can always reach finals FaZe is a team that has to put everything they got to do the same
2022-07-18 00:04
Its on both sides mate Faze threw some huge players advantages 4v2 5v2 and loot of clutches too for navi.. Also ropz is definitely not so sharp as he was at the start of the season.. There is always something on both sides
2022-07-18 00:12
1 reply
True but b1t overall had a lower rating than karrigan e.g. u wont see that very often.... He just underperformed today, SDY didnt have the best Rating but had really crucial moments, so all good. But b1t really missed alot of Shots he usually doesnt There will always be mistakes on boths sides, but Navi was still more behind from their peak than faze was today imo. But thats CS, today Faze was better. But after the break when they hopefully sign SDY and get used to each other more they can be at the top again :)
2022-07-18 01:32
Canada Jonesyk
Twist putting NA on his back
2022-07-17 23:39
2022-07-17 23:40
Portugal joaosenra
Twistzz decision of leaving The dead team Liquid was the best decision of is life.
2022-07-17 23:54
2 replies
2022-07-17 23:58
Yea, im so happy for him
2022-07-18 00:32
Excellent bo5, congratz to both
2022-07-17 23:59
best series in a long time, lots of love to both <3
2022-07-18 00:03
United States RyoGTO
GG FaZe and NaVi Thank you for an incredible Grand Final and way to end the season. I called FaZe becoming #1 over a year ago when they first made the roster changes with karrigan and Twistzz. I was dead on! CONGRATS FAZE CLAN LET'S GET STOCKHOLM AND THAT GRAND SLAM !
2022-07-18 00:07
Without a doubt the best final in the history of CS:GO. Two #1 teams fighting over imo the second most prestigious trophy in cs and in the most prestigious arena. GG WP to both FaZe and NaVi. 7 hours of tight action packed games. Imo both teams would deserve to win but FaZe prevailed. Glad that s1mple got the MVP. Can't wait for the summer break to end. Hopefully we will get another NaVi vs FaZe final soon.
2022-07-18 00:10
Congrats Faze
2022-07-18 00:18
Karrigan bot carried on the back by the team and still think it's good lol...🙄 But congratulations to the other members of the Faze team... 🤙🏻
2022-07-18 00:52
Lithuania VyyK
Twissst MVP roobed by Simple.....again
2022-07-18 01:00
broky got robbed by s0mple asslickers
2022-07-18 01:09
sry but i don't like this format HLTV uses for grand finals, i feel is way better to just read regular news about the match, with the classic complete boxscore of the series and a short story about each map with link to match page, instead of dozens of information almost round to round about a series that lasted 8hours or so.. looks so clustered and confuse imo
2022-07-18 02:05
2 replies
2022-07-18 03:58
2022-07-20 15:15
Faroe Islands Eredin
Now that's what you call a bo5
2022-07-18 04:30
In my opinion, we should give credit to new Navi who manage to reached final game after losing their experienced player + IGL - boombl4 in late May and reinstated the team with inexperience IGL Electronic and new inexperience player - SDY who doesnt have experience in major competition. Whereas Faze have a stable team with all experienced members and very experienced IGL. If boombl4 still in the team, the end result maybe different I guess.
2022-07-18 06:08
1 reply
They didn't lose him, they dropped him. They had to get rid of a third Russian player to become a Ukrainian team. No ifs.
2022-07-18 14:16
Guess it's confirmed Faze are NAVI nemesis especially in the finals.
2022-07-18 08:33
faze up
2022-07-18 11:44
Easily one of the best grand finals in recent years, if not all time. GGWP to both teams, they put on a real show.
2022-07-18 11:52
The fact that spunj and machine again cast the grand final and all the five maps makes my blood boil. And god their casting is so boring in terms of language and analysis. I only fully watched the first map because I couldn't tolerate them any longer. Switched to a language I didn't understand to finish the last four maps. Not understanding at all is better than listening to them. Sorry to say that but among T1 casters they are far from the best.
2022-07-18 14:21
2 replies
I agree although I like them in general. However, they should divvy up the games between casters. Keeps it fresh for a long series.
2022-07-18 17:31
1 reply
I remember they alternated casters between maps just recently, no idea what even was that. I liked that. Maybe it was even the play-ins for ESL Cologne.
2022-07-18 19:02
GG Faze!
2022-07-18 17:19
FaZe up
2022-07-18 18:09
NaVi did good, but FaZe is just the best this year and have era Hopefully NaVi gets better
2022-07-18 18:12
faze the best ever, goat
2022-07-18 18:14
NAF | 
United States Chuee
Eg finna win the next major
2022-07-20 00:49
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