A wild tournament has concluded at Intel Extreme Masters Katowice. The latest ESL premier event for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is in the books and it's Fnatic standing tall. They defeated FaZe Clan 19-17 on Train to clinch a 3-2 series victory.
Both teams brought their best into the fifth and final map. They were neck-and-neck heading into halftime. Fnatic came out of the half ready to clinch. One of the big highlights was Robin "flusha" Ronnquist, who was a beast throughout this entire series. Here he is single-handedly wiping out FaZe's entire team:
FaZe Clan responded with an epic bomb defuse. Havard "rain" Nygaard just managed to avoid the red hot flusha's rifle, staying alive long enough to pull out the win for the Counter-Terrorists.
But flusha would not be denied. Undoubtedly the MVP of the series, he pulled out another clutch performance to force Overtime.
The series began with FaZe Clan pulling out a one-sided win on Cache. But it's the second map on Inferno where things quickly picked up. This map saw Fnatic come back from a 9-3 deficit to force Overtime. It was a struggle from there, but Fnatic was ultimately able to squeeze out a win in Double Overtime.
Game 3 on Overpass was FaZe Clan trying to come from behind, closing an early deficit. But Fnatic ran away with it from there, crushing FaZe 16-7 to take a 2-1 series lead. FaZe Clan responded in kind in Game 4 on Mirage, where they dominated Fnatic from the Counter-Terrorist side to take a commanding early lead. Fnatic furiously climbed back in the second half, but their hopes of clinching the tournament went up in flames (literally) when flusha was killed by a molotov as he was defusing the bomb. The bomb went off to give FaZe Clan the 16-11 win on Mirage, forcing the fifth and final map on Train.
This was Fnatic's first time making the IEM Katowice Grand Finals since 2016, but it's a position the team was previously comfortable with. They were back-to-back winners at this event in 2015 and 2016. Meanwhile, FaZe Clan walks away with another hard luck second place. This is their third straight ESL premier event (after IEM Oakland and the ESL Pro League Season 6 Finals) where they come away as the runner-up, which doesn't sound bad on the surface. But because winning the Intel Grand Slam (four of the most recent ten ESL/DreamHack premier events) rewards $1 million, the second place finishes have started to hurt a little more.
As part of their tournament victory, Fnatic walks away with the $500,000 grand prize. The next Intel Grand Slam event is DreamHack Masters Marseille, which is set to take place from April 18-22.