Ninjas in Pyjamas had been in both grand finals of the CS:GO majors so far, but only to see other teams take the glory and the prize money away from them. Fnatic was the first team to send them down into somewhat of a unsuccessful time – were GeT_RiGhT and his mates on to pay them back for this painful loss on their home soil?
Cobblestone: An all-new start to the rematch
The pistol round saw Fnatic taking on the game with full force, its highlight being KRiMZ’s knife kill, which ended the round in their favor. The next two rounds saw NiP stocking up their eco and Fnatic taking the lead 3-0. Friberg was once again the one to secure the first round for the Ninjas, with Fnatic reacting by picking up another AWP for JW to support olofm. Nevertheless, NiP was able to pick up the following round to force Fnatic into a quickly ended eco, equalizing the score at 3-3. However, pronax and flusha were able to secure the following round for Fnatic, getting them into a leading position once more. With the following rounds going to Fnatic as well, the lead was extended to 6-3 in their favor, with NiP losing control of the match bit by bit. At a 9-3 lead, with NiP being on the verge of being completely broke, a very close round turned out well for the Ninjas as KRiMZ was unable to stop a plant and fell soon afterwards. However, flusha was able to make the next round a big one by causing NiP to spend too much time looking for him, making a plant impossible and only having three rifles in the final round of the first half. Fnatic were then able to bring the Ninjas down once more, extending the lead to 11-4 by the end of the first half.
Ninjas in Pyjamas picked up the pistol round, kicking off their attempt at another big comeback. Turning the game around, NiP were able to pick up round after round, pushing the score to 11-9 in favor of Fnatic in just a matter of minutes. The 22nd round saw Fnatic getting a plant in a 2on1 situation, which looked to end NiP’s streak. However, Friberg walked tall yet again to take the round, equalizing the score and leaving Fnatic wondering how to get the game back into their hands. However, even an almost-exploding bomb combined with a player advantage turned into NiP defusing the bomb and taking over the lead – even a flusha on fire couldn’t help to stop the Ninjas. 14-11 was the score when the game entered its final stage. Taking the 15th round with four match points left, NiP were able to leave Fnatic without a single round on the Terrorist side. Despite taking the B spot, NiP were able to take down the remaining Fnatic players one by one to end the half 16-11 – Fnatic’s Cobblestone pick gamble did not pay out at all.
Cache: Were Fnatic able to come back?
The pistol round saw NiP rushing over Fnatic, winning the round and showing them that they won’t give them a third map for free. However, another CZ75 eco round saw Fnatic come back to equalize the map early on, although NiP then came back to take their eco just like their opponents did before them. Making it three, another CZ75 round saw Fnatic equalizing the score yet again. Stopping this trend, both teams were able to equip in the fifth round, which saw Fnatic calmly take down the Ninjas to regain the lead at 3-2. JW also got the chance to stack up his stats, taking four kills in mid during another NiP eco. Pushing onwards and patiently waiting for NiP to make a move, Fnatic was able to pick up seven rounds in a row, extending their lead to 8-2. With rounds going back and forth, the first half ended at a 11-4 scoreline in Fnatic’s favor.
pronax and KRiMZ demolished NiP in the pistol round, extending Fnatic’s lead even further. Even the CZ75 eco didn’t earn more than two kills for NiP, followed up by another one without a single frag to NiP. At 14-4, Fnatic was on the verge of closing the game with an all-even third map. In NiP’s first equipped round, Fnatic once again mowed down their opponents to take the 15th round as well as eleven match points. The Ninjas were able to pick up five more rounds before Fnatic took the score to 16-8, taking the grand final to the third and final map!
Inferno: The ‘major map’ delivers the new champion
The start of the now all-even situation saw NiP take the advantage and the pistol round as Terrorists. However, once again a CZ75 and Scout combo made an eco round into a winning one as Fnatic equalized the score right away as well as picking up the round afterwards. NiP decided to buy in the fourth round but were stopped hard, causing them to have another eco round that went to Fnatic. However, with constant bomb plants f0rest and his mates were able to save up some money and buy in more rounds than you would normally expect at that scoreline. At 4-1 for Fnatic, we saw NiP buying again but being shut down without the chance to take down more than one Fnatic player. Afterwards, Friberg was once again the deciding factor in NiP’s play, taking down the entirety of Fnatic singlehanded. This was a crucial moment as from here NiP turned the game around, winning two rounds in a row as GeT_RiGhT and his team made some impressive kills, breaking Fnatic’s eco. The following round was a lucky win for NiP, taking the scoreline to an even 5-5. Fnatic responded with JW taking down the bomb early on and defending it all the way through to take the round. This seemed like a wake-up call for Fnatic, who then managed to take four rounds in a row and send NiP into a semi-equipped round right at the end of the half. Nevertheless, NiP managed to take the final round, bringing the score to 9-6 in favor of Fnatic.
Rushing on A, Fnatic were able to take the spot and the first round home. One very good anti-eco was followed by a bad one, which saw NiP pick up the third round and take the scoreline to 11-7 in favor of Fnatic. With two more rounds going to NiP, Fnatic was under pressure to take one themselves. A quick and effective fake paid off, resulting in B and the score reaching 12-9. However, NiP took the upper hand back once more, breaking Fnatic’s eco to come close to equalizing the score once more at 12-11. NiP were able to score their 12th round as Fnatic got shaky, missing shots that they had made confidently throughout the tournament. However, one great round gave them back the lead – only for it to be eliminated by Fifflaren, resulting in a broken economy for the important rounds. NiP surged ahead once more, Fnatic putting NiP’s 15th round at risk but failing to make their move work out. Fnatic now had almost no money left, with NiP managing their 15-13 lead with the calmness that Fnatic had themselves shown in the first half. However, one by one Fnatic were taken down, with NiP rising as the new champion of ESL One.
A cheering crowd celebrated the previously unlucky runner-up of both majors presenting them the trophy. Congratulations to Ninjas in Pyjamas as well as the CS:GO community for this historic event and new records set! With over 400,000 viewers, this game not only marks a historically close tournament final but also a huge increase in the all-time viewer record for CS:GO, which was set at just under 300,000 in Katowice earlier this year.
All CS:GO wrap-ups so far:
- NiP vs. LDLC: Could the Ninjas stop the French?
- Dignitas vs. Fnatic: who won the Scandinavian semi?
- Ninjas in Pyjamas vs. Cloud 9: a record-breaking series
- LDLC.com vs. Virtus.pro: Who won the Katowice rematch?
- Epsilon eSports vs. Team Dignitas: whose rise became a fall?
- Fnatic vs. Natus Vincere: the clash of generations
- Two big teams fall once more in the groups C and D of ESL One Cologne
- French Friday for ESL One Cologne’s groups A and B
- Did groups C and D go according to plan at ESL One Cologne?
- The first surprises in groups A and B of ESL One Cologne
- More CS:GO on ESLGaming.com
All results, brackets and more can be found on the ESL One homepage. What was your ESL One Cologne highlight? Tell us in the comments below!