SK Gaming Win ESL One Cologne 2016

1468172527-5527

Photo Credit: HLTV

As Valve’s 9th CS:GO major drew to a close on Sunday, once again the Brazilian team, SK Gaming, stood as the victors. This marks the second time that a team has been able to defend their major title as SK Gaming, then known as Luminosity Gaming, won MLG Columbus back in April.

Groups

1467747713-0681

Photo Credit: HLTV

The groups were exciting to say the least with many interesting matches and situations arising. The biggest shock was Astralis losing their entry fragger, dupreeh, who was diagnosed with appendicitis and forced to stay at the hospital for treatment after their first game. Astralis were already using a substitute for one of their players and this forced them to use their coach, zonic, as a replacement for dupreeh. As a result, Gambit Gaming was able to win this group while Astralis was forced to play against fellow countrymen, Dignitas, for second place. In a tight three map series, Astralis managed to win against their fellow Danes and advanced as the second team from Group A.

Natus Vincere topping Group B was expected by almost everyone. However, it is the second place team that was a big surprise. Ninjas in Pyjamas fell to FlipSid3 Tactics 1-2 in a huge upset that ended the legacy of NiP always making it to the major playoffs. For the past eight majors, NiP has always been in the top eight, but this tournament ended that long history. On the other side, this marks the first time FlipSid3 has made it to a major playoffs. They have made multiple appearances in past majors, but have never been able to make a deep run.

Group C could be called the group of inconsistency as all of the teams there were a big question mark. Virtus Pro, EnVyUs, and mousesports have all been top teams in the past, but have seen a roller coaster of results in recent times. Liquid’s exact level were unknown due to their relatively revamped lineup. VP were the first team out of the group, defeating mouz and Liquid comfortably. In the decider match, Liquid easily breezed through mouz in two maps to take the second seed. This group marks the first time a previous major champion, in this case, nV, has gone out of the groups in last place twice. At both MLG Columbus and this major, nV failed to win a single map.

The most stacked group of the tournament was Group D. All of the teams in the group would have had a better chance in another group, but fate conspired to put them all together in the so-called “group of death”. The first casualty claimed by the group was G2. The famous Titan/G2 curse of never getting out of groups continued as they were first pitted against SK Gaming and then Fnatic, two of the world’s top teams. SK topped this group as expected while Fnatic took a close second, taking revenge on FaZe who beat them in their first game.

Playoffs

1468000635-9086

Photo Credit: HLTV

In the VP vs Astralis game, despite not having two key players, Astralis almost defeated the Poles. However VP barely took the series 2-0 with both maps going into overtime. SK and Fnatic scored 2-0 wins in their respective matches while in the Na’Vi vs Liquid match, Liquid managed to win the last two maps after dropping the first. This set the bracket with VP against SK while Liquid took on Fnatic in the semifinals.

Virtus Pro and SK traded the first two maps of their series to tie the score at 1-1. Going into the last map, VP started off hot with a 9-6 CT half on Mirage. However, SK showed why they were the best team in the world on Mirage by shutting down the VP offense to grab 10 rounds on the CT side and end the map 16-12 to advance to the finals. In the Liquid vs Fnatic match, Fnatic held a 13-11 lead on both maps before Liquid ran off 5 straight rounds both times to take Cobblestone and Cache 16-13. This marks the first time that a North American team has ever made it to the finals of a major.

Finals

1468167067-5402

Photo Credit: HLTV

Unfortunately, the excitement from the semifinals and quarterfinals did not really carry on to the finals. SK dominated the series, dropping only a total of 13 rounds across both maps. Once again, the Brazilian team who had risen up so much in the past year has achieved the highest accomplishment in CS:GO.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s