IEM Katowice 2018: Fnatic beats FaZe after marathon grand final match

Fnatic has returned to winning ways after defeating FaZe Clan by 3-2 in the IEM Katowice 2018 Grand Final in a series that lasted five maps and seven hours.

The first map on Cache was an almost unremarkable 16-5 stomp for Faze. The final score was 16-5 as both Nikola “NiKo” Kovač and Ladislav “GuardiaN” Kovács. But as they tried to pick up up where they left off on the second map, Cache, Fnatic where able to claw back and salvage six rounds on their T side.

FaZe once again took the lead early in the second half, but heroics from Robin “flusha” Rönnquist on the B site gave the Swedish team an opening, and subsequent poor trading from the FaZe players gave Fnatic the edge on the defense, handing the underdogs their first map.

Overpass was all about Fnatic, despite it being known as a regular FaZe stomping ground. Although the European teams had a decent 7-8 half on the T side, they failed to get a single round in the second, with the Fnatic players stepping up with multi-kills in pivotal rounds.

On Mirage, FaZe sped of to 8-1 start before a strong B-hit followed by a masterful 1v3 clutch gave Fnatic a chance to salvage the half, but it was thwarted by a full-eco from FaZe, which launched the latter toward an 11-4 half. After losing the second pistol round, things looked grim for Fnatic, and even when they finally gained momentum with some brilliant plays FaZe manage to close out the map 16-11 to extend the series to a final fifth map.

The map was back and forth as it should be on the deciding fifth map at Train. Both teams steal rounds from each other into a fitting overtime. In the end, fnatic and flusha proved too much for FaZe too handle, as the latter struggled to find openings in overtime.

In the end, after seven hours, five maps and 149 rounds, fnatic did the unexpected as they beat FaZe on the fifth map to the IEM Katowice World Championship title.

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