After two semifinals that had way more action to offer than the 2-0 scoreline might suggest, we went into the third CS:GO major grand final, which saw Ninjas in Pyjamas and Fnatic meet head on. So far, each team had one title after winning DreamHack Winter 2013 (Fnatic) and ESL One Cologne 2014 (NiP) respectively. Now they had to fight not only for the lion’s share of the US$250,000 prize pool but also the honor of being the first team ever to take home a second CS:GO major title…
MAP ONE: Dust2
Ninjas in Pyjamas got to play their map choice first, so Fnatic got to chose to play CT first. A fast pistol round saw NiP getting control of the A spot and picking up the first round of this grand final. However, Fnatic were able to strike back and take the next rounds to their own, bringing the scoreline to 3-1 in their favor. Fnatic were on a streak and showed how much they wanted to take this second CS:GO major title, taking three more round before NiP were able to take the B spot and forcing Fnatic to save their weapons, setting the scoreline to 6-2 in Fnatics favor. Rounds were traded seeing NiP catching up as the scoreline showed Fnatic still being in lead by 8-4. One more round went to the Ninjas, before Fnatic took the remaining two to finish the first half at a 10-5 lead.
Fnatic were able to get the bomb down but as olofmeister took down the defusing players one by one, but it was too late and he saw NiP take the round anyways. The following two saw Fnatic trying to score an eco, but not succeeding. NiP were able to pick up two more rounds, closing in on the ten rounds scored by Fnatic. pronax had their strat for the next round set and it was working out, taking the score to 11-8 in their favor. Fnatic were coming back from here, picking up two more round before it came to NiP buying on the last budget they had. This round worked out perfectly for NiP, taking out Fnatic one by one and taking over from here. They brought the scoreline to 13-10, still in favor of Fnatic, but had them struggling to find the right move to score once again. Three more rounds went to NiP, bringing the game to an all even 13-13 with Fnatic looking out of ideas how to break the Ninjas lines. It was another Tec-9 round to bring back Fnatic after a timeout to take their 14th round, before NiP clutched the following round to make the score even again. A late push of Fnatic, seeing their players showcase their individual skills, saw Fnatic go to match point with just one round remaining to decide about win or overtime for them. With another fast played round Fnatic mowed over NiP to take Dust2 by 16-14.
MAP TWO: Cache
Next up was Fnatics choice, and Ninjas in Pyjamas got to pick the T side to start on and kick off their still possible comeback in this grand final. NiP did use this fresh start to pick up a hard fought pistol round and taking the game to three rounds for them with losing only little weapons. In the fourth round, Fnatic was able to buy up again but didn’t succeed in taking a spot, losing the round and seeing NiP extending their lead to 4-0. One more went to NiP, before flusha pushed his team forward with four kills to take their first round. From here on Fnatic found into the game, scoring eight consecutive rounds, finding back into the game and taking over the lead by 8-5, before NiP scored another round. They did not leave the last round to Fnatic and took the score to an promising 8-7, still in favor of Fnatic.
NiP continued their run from the last two round in the pistol round and took out Fnatic to defuse the bomb. Another Tec-9 round did bring the second plant to Fnatic but saw the Ninjas scoring their second round to take over the lead once more. They extended it onward with a total of seven straight rounds won on CT half. At 14-8 Fnatic were able to gain the upper hand once again, and got their first round scored after a total of nine rounds in a row from T to CT side. But GeT_RiGhT took them down again after a good opening to score the 15th round and taking Fnatics map to match point for NiP. The ESL One Cologne champion had six rounds to take off the first map of Fnatic at ESL One Katowice. Fnatic took the following semi-buy round off NiP, but NiP secured the map in the following round by 16-10, taking the grand final to the third map.
MAP THREE: Inferno
Starting on the CT side, Fnatic had to step it up once more to not give the series out of hand. The pistol round was well played and saw them coming out on top, but had to see NiP coming back right away. Fnatic picked up just enough equipment to strike back as well, taking the score to 2-1 in their favor. This trading went on for two more round, before Fnatic were able to take a second round in a row and bringing the scoreline to 4-2 with NiP being forced to eco. Two more rounds were scored by Fnatic, before the Ninjas came back with their third round. Nevertheless, Fnatic stood strong and took the scoreline to 8-3, looking way more comfortable now than at the end of Cache and the early Inferno rounds. They took the following two rounds before NiP managed to take the A spot and take their fourth round, but Fnatic were able to stop them there, bringing the halftime score to 11-4 in favor of Fnatic.
A well timed pistol round push from Fnatic saw Ninjas in Pyjamas being overwhelmed, taking the game to 14-4 showing some well reads by pronax and a good overall performance by olofmeister who scored the crucial frags for his team. But f0rest and Allu were able to stop this streak with great individual plays. This enabled them to come back from being ten rounds behind, bringing the scoreline to 14-8 still in Fnatics favor. The next rounds saw Fnatic playing a quick apartment push, interrupted by a double kills by GeT_RiGhT with a molotov, but not stopping the Fnatic train from taking their 15th round. With seven match points in this grand final for Fnatic, NiP had a long way to go to take this match into overtime. NiP were able to take the game back from here and score straight three round and setting the score to 15-11. Showing more great CT play, Ninjas in Pyjamas did some impressive retakes and took round after round from Fnatic. However, Fnatic were able to score this last one round they needed to win the title at ESL One Katowice 2015.
We definitely saw two teams showcasing what Counter-Strike: Global Offensive got to offer. Cheered by the fans at Spodek Arena we saw Fnatic lifting their second trophy at a CS:GO major as the first team ever to achieve this. For KRiMZ and olofmeister it is the first title as they got picked up just one year ago, bringing Fnatic back in the position to take this title with another outstanding performance.