Article written by guest author Umesh "Kripz" Kripalani
ESL One Cologne was not a major, but it certainly did feel like one. The best CS experience that a fan could have asked for was served piping hot. Team Liquid proved to the world that they are indeed deserving of the title of the ‘best team in the world’, as they won the tournament convincingly. Vitality too can hold their heads high as they gave them a tough run. Liquid won the series 3-1.
It started on Overpass. Vitality took the pistol round, but Liquid put a hero-AK in the hands of Stewie2k and he immediately nailed 3 kills out of it to tie it up the match 1-1. They used the momentum to get to 5-2. Just when Vitality were stabilizing and closed the gap to 6-5, Twistzz pulled off a 1v4 clutch to break the bank of Vitality. Liquid somehow managed to close the half leading 9-6. But the second half was a one sided affair. Liquid won each and every round to quickly seal the deal at 16-6.
They did something similar to Na`Vi on the CT side of overpass yesterday. Clearly it’s incredibly strong.
Vitality responded by clinching Dust2, but the battle was hard fought. The two teams never really gave each other a long enough run to build up enough money. As a result, we got to see some pretty sick force-buy rounds which were converted into wins. The first half ended 8-7 with Liquid in the lead. RpK stepped up massively in the second half and got a lot of kills for his team. It was a high octane, action packed occasion worthy of a grand final.
RpK stepped up again in the last round when Liquid were on 15-14. He made the overtime possible. The overtime was even crazier. Elige went sneaky-beaky to perform a ninja defuse. But the french stars rose up in the end. Zywoo, who was missing in overpass, clutched out a 1v3
round to win the map for his team. Vitality wins 19-17 and tied the series 1-1.
Liquid blew Vitality to smithereens on Inferno - quite literally. As CTs, Liquid shut down Vitality in all sorts of gruesome ways. They had an average of 53 utility damage per round. That’s half a player killed without even taking a fight with anyone. Liquid were able to take an 11-4 lead.
Out of the four rounds that Vitality got in the first half, two of them were clutches from Zywoo. The young gun has indeed proved himself as a world class player. Vitality won both the pistol rounds, but it is never the pistol rounds that are a problem for them. Liquid have always won the second round of the half even, after losing pistols. The same story ensued on this map. Vitality tried a valiant comeback, but lost 10-15. Liquid were now ahead 2-1.
Liquid began their journey on the CT side of Mirage and picked up the first three rounds; it all seemed solid. Vitality had other plans for them as they abused the B site too often. Their standard B rushes were too much for Liquid to handle. As a result, they used it to win 7 rounds in a row. In the words of Sadokist, “If it ain’t broken, it’s up to Liquid to fix it”.
And fix it they did. Miraculously, Liquid managed to claw their way back into the game and take the lead 8-7.
Liquid’s T side was something completely different and refreshing. They managed to get opening picks perpetually towards the A site. It’s not an easy task to pull that off because they have to deal with RpK and NBK’s shotgun. After getting the manpower advantage, they were able to, time and again, exploit connector to crunch on to the A site. Almost every person on Liquid had a positive KDR.
Elige clutched an impossible 1v2 at 8HP to secure the match point. Soon after, they conquered Mirage 16-8, and were crowned the kings of Cologne.
The valiant kings maintained their thrown and destributed a lion’s share of $300,000, and five gold bars. They marked their name in the history of CSGO by winning the second season of Intel Grand Slam. Stewie2k jumped up on his desk after he won to celebrate, and that should be enough to tell you how overjoyed they are.
Check out our CSGO Hub for more ESL One Cologne coverage.
Image Courtesy of ESL