SK Gaming have won their first ESWC title by defeating Natus Vincere in the final 22-19 on de_inferno and 16-3 on de_dust2.
In the Grand Final of ESWC 2011 we had a chance to see a repeat from last year as Natus Vincere and SK Gaming crossed paths again. However, SK in the meantime brought three new players, which promised a different kind of match.
The first map was de_inferno and Natus Vincere seemed better prepared for the beginning as they took a 12-3 lead as Terorrists. However, SK won the pistol round that followed and went on a run of their own, taking 8 rounds straight before the Ukrainians were able to respond.
Na´Vi seemed to have been woken up by that, as they quickly climbed to match point at 15-11, but SK didn't give up and they managed to bring the match into overtime.
SK remained on the T-side for the start of the overtime and they finally went into the lead, which was increased to 17-15 when Christopher "GeT_RiGhT" Alesund won a 1vs3 situation. After that, Natus Vincere returned to the scoreboard and with the same score in the Ukrainians favor in the second half, the match went into second overtime.
Despite Natus Vincere going up first this time, SK won the next four rounds and thus the first map 22-19, leaving the Ukrainians to regret missing to capitalize on their match points earlier.
The second map was de_dust2 where SK completely outplayed the Ukrainians, particularly considering they started on the harder CT-side. The first half went to the Swedes' favor 12-3 and it was just a matter of time before they clinch the 16th round and secure the title, which they did with a flawless second half, for the final score 16-3.
ESWC 2011 final standings
1. SK Gaming - $12,000
2. Natus Vincere - $6,000
3. mousesports - $4,000
4. AGAiN - $3,000
5-6. WinFakt - $2,000
5-6. Moscow Five - $2,000
7-8. Lions - $2,000
7-8. Alternate - $2,000
In the third place match, mousesports defeated AGAiN after a long 3-map battle, which leaves the Poles with the 4th place for the second year in a row, while prior to that they won the ESWC title in 2007 and 2008.
This is SK Gaming's first ESWC title ever, and it is a continuation of their quite successful 2011 so far, as they won DreamHack Summer and GameGune previously.