SK Gaming maintained their grasp over the ESL Cologne title after making a clean 3-0 sweep of Cloud9 in best-of-five series of the grand final.
SK’s Brazilian roster, after having had a fairly shaky start to the year has now rediscovered their form as one of the best teams in the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive scene, winning six out of their last nine Major/Premier tier tournaments.
Their mettle were barely even tested against Cloud9 in the Grand Final began at de_cobblestone, who, despite winning the pistol round were dumped behind to 10-2, and needed Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham to win a triple before securing the remaining rounds.
Although it then went back-and-forth after the break up to 13-9 with Jake “Stewie2K” Yip picking up an ace to give his team’s fans some hope, SK, who seemed to be on a cruised before simply doubled down and close the map at 16-9.
Cloud9 claimed the opening pistol round once more at de_train, and although they struggled up to a 4-3 score, a stunning DE triple by Timothy “autimatic” Ta began a hot streak for the North Americans to close the half by 10-5.
Down but never an inch out, SK then responded by picking up the pistol round, an ace and 10 rounds without a reply. At match point, the finishing blow from SK came in the 28th round, when Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo found three opening kills to give his team their 16th round, closing the second map at 16-12.
Desperate, Cloud9 pulled all their tricks and this time, managed to claim a seemingly unassailable lead of 9-1 at de_inferno. But after claiming the last five rounds and switching to CT, they quickly grabbed six rounds to even the odds, but Cloud9 managed to pull four precious consecutive rounds to keep their grand final just alive.
And that was all they mustered as SK swapped for a heavy defense mode and won the final five rounds to claim the final and the ESL Cologne trophy trophy.