ESL One Cologne is in the books, but the Finals for the latest Counter-Strike: Global Offensive major was contested by a couple of unlikely teams. In the end, Natus Vincere prevailed by a final score of 3-1 against the home country underdog of BIG.
The contest was close throughout, with BIG keeping things closer than the map scores might have indicated. In particular, BIG hung tough in the first halves. But even with an 8-7 first half on Inferno, Na'Vi settled down and closed the German team out with ruthless efficiency, as they took the final map 16-8 to win at ESL One Cologne.
Na'Vi was not favored entering the weekend, but their CS:GO squad has proven to be a formidable force. Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev was the clear MVP of the weekend, not only leading his squad throught the Finals, but also playing a big role in knocking out the favored Astralis in the semifinals.
BIG's presence in the Grand Finals was a much bigger surprise. Even with a second-place finish at DreamHack Open Denver 2017 under their belts, not many casual followers of the CS:GO scene are familiar with this roster. That's because BIG was only formed back in January 2017 by a trio of former NRG players. BIG's road to the Finals was astounding, as they knocked off MIBR (the former SK Gaming roster), G2 Esports, and FaZe Clan en route to an impressive second-place finish.
Next for the CS:GO scene is July's ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier, which is set to begin on the 21st.