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We have words from our reporters live at the scene of the crime as well as all the news you might have missed because of Cologne.
We sent our boys to the Cathedral of Counter-Strike to report on all the goings-on around town and give you the lowdown on all the vibes.
There was just one problem: they had to find the cathedral first.
Once they were in, it was plain sailing.
napz spoke with both nitr0 and rain (more on that in next edition), Incipiens took some sweet pictures and aizyesque tried to communicate with some very drunk Germans. You’ll see what we mean, soon. Prost 🍻
But let’s have more on those pictures.
These look so good they look like they could have been taken by a professional, and not our little Irish friend. Ah, right. He is a professional. Could have fooled us.
IEM Cologne was as densely packed as the Major in Antwerp, but the cathedral feels so much bigger. And thankfully, more air conditioned.
It’s so aptly named; it truly is the pinnacle of esports stadia. Huge, imposing and giving off a feeling that no other place ever truly has.
Even the overt DHL and Muellermilch advertisements couldn’t ruin it, no matter how much they tried.
It truly is a pilgrimage that any CSGO fan has to embark on at some point in their life.
See you in 2023 xo
We almost forgot the rest of the CS world doesn’t stop because of IEM Cologne…
If you have heard that IEM Cologne is the third Major, and the first matches from the tournament you watched were the semifinals - we’re truly sorry for you.
When you have one player trying desperately to solo-carry his well-meaning, but largely ineffective team, you instantly think of s1mple trying to get Edward and flamie to a Grand Final, while electronic lends a hand here and there.
But we’re not in 2019 anymore, and instead it was blameF doing his best s1mple-cosplay, as Astralis huffed and puffed, but never really got close to a win against NAVI in their semifinal.
On Nuke the Danes managed one AWP kill. One.
Is it too much to say that Danish CS needs dev1ce to come back, and pronto?
farlig did come a little bit more alive on Mirage, but it was k0nfig’s sniping that looked the better of the two.
Astralis put in one of their trademark CT defenses, and got 12 on the board after losing the first few rounds. But then the pendulum swung, and hard, as NAVI plowed their way back, with b1t leading the charge.
The Danes squandered four map-points at 15-11, to lose 17-19 in overtime, but the victory never truly felt like it was in danger for NAVI.
FaZe barely broke a sweat following their arch rivals into the Grand Final, as they disposed of Movistar Riders in two swift maps.
The heater that the Spanish team was on got extinguished by Mr Kool, who simply rolled them over and showed them what real experience looks like.
11 CT rounds more or less sealed the win for FaZe on Ancient, as they closed it out 16-12 in the 2nd half. On Nuke it was even worse for Movistar Riders, as they conceded 7 T round losses, and FaZe didn’t waste any time as the defenders, taking 9 out of 10 rounds for a 16-9 victory.
Fair play to Astralis and Movistar, who had an amazing run, and thank god we get to watch a NAVI vs FaZe Grand Final.
7 hours, 5 maps. 18 clutches. But only 1 winner.
In the Battle of Cologne, all ten players had their moment, and none more so than the man in the hunt for the title of the greatest North American player of all time.
With a helping hand from the roaring LANXESS, at 13:14 on the fifth and final map of Nuke, Twistzz rushed off silo, onto main, and delivered one of the most impactful triple kills of all time.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
As Inferno began, and aizyesque mumbled about nade damage being ‘unskillful’, broky stumbled into a 4K that gave FaZe a 13:12 lead, one they converted. 1:0 FaZe.
On Overpass, though, NAVI stroke back. s1mple delivered another 25 frags — taking his tally to 50 already — but it was Perfecto who delivered a sermon on why the Five-Seven is overpowered as well as a soul-crushing B hold at the death. 1:1.
On Ancient, FaZe slumped to a 12:3, and then a 15:4 lead. But this isn’t the FaZe of old, or a TACO story — they didn’t give up. They needed 11 rounds in a row, and they did it.
And yet, it was all for nought. NAVI finally got their act together to win in overtime.
But FaZe carried confidence from their comeback to the fourth map, Mirage. All four of FaZe’s fraggers ending the map with more than a 1.30 rating. FaZe do not have a s1mple. But together, they can halt the GOAT in his tracks.
And they did. Storming to a 16:9 win in the most convincing map win of the final. But even that win wasn’t easy.
See here as rain scratches another 1v3 clutch out of the history books for s1mple, he will be having IEM Katowice 2019 nightmares tonight.
But thank god rain stopped s1mple…
Best of fives get a lot of flack — which is weird, considering they’re the reason we didn’t have to suffer through a showmatch — but when the stars align, with two evenly matched teams as good as these two, how can you be a fan and argue against this?
The decider, though, was Nuke: The map NAVI won PGL Stockholm on. And the map FaZe wrestled that crown off of NAVI’s head six months later in Antwerp.
That win, however, had many an asterisk, as well as a Russian tank-sized Instagram post of an elephant in the room. This time round, there was no such thing.
Just 20 points apart on HLTV’s ranking, it all came down to a best of one on Nuke. And both sides delivered. The game ebbed and flowed, before finally we came to a 14:14 deadlock.
The crowd roared, SIIUUUUd, and clapped their ‘bam bams’ as Canada’s finest export since maple syrup stomped his way to the top of silo, flying onto the roof of main. electroNic, deaf, didn’t budge — and paid the price. sdy in main, too, seemed unaware as Twistzz faded his screen to black.
It was a play that would only work on LAN. But this is FaZe we’re talking about. They only work on LAN too.
And they didn’t let slip. The next round was a formality. NAVI and s1mple weren’t just deaf, they were mute. 14:14 became 15:14, and then 16:14.
FaZe had won the battle for the ages. They go into the player break as CS:GO’s best team as champions of IEM Katowice, the Major, and IEM Cologne.
In the Cathedral of Counter-Strike, CS:GO’s best ever international team finally had their
💼 Flexible jobs
⛪🇩🇪 The Cologne crowd is clinically insane
🤔 How to get gud
⚡️ Too long, no time to watch