ESL One Cologne 2017 - SK Gaming reign supreme in the grand finals
SK Gaming reign supreme against Cloud9 with a whopping 3-0 score and lift up the ESL One Cologne cup for the second year in a row.
de_Cobblestone - 16:9 (10:5, 6:4)
The best-of-five grand finals started with Cloud9 on the defensive side and SK Gaming on the offensive side. Timothy "autimatic" Ta started well with two key frags onto SK and Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert finished off the round with two kills of his own. Cloud9 looked like they were primed to grab the anti-eco as well, but due to their carelessness, Marcelo "coldzera" David clutched a 1v2, bringing the score to 1:1. The Brazilians secured themselves the two anti-ecos, finishing both rounds with five players alive, which gifted them a lot of economy to work with in the future. As soon as C9 had money to acquire a sufficient buy, Marcelo "coldzera" David crushed their dreams by coming out on top in another clutch situation. At 5:1, Cloud9 finally got the game going for them after Jake "Stewie2k" Yip found the first pick. But Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo answered right back with a pick onto Jake "Stewie2k" Yip and C9 were in a dicey situation. Marcelo "coldzera" David stepped up with three kills from Drop and destroyed their rivals from the North once again. Cloud9 finally got a second round on the board but was reset immediately after and SK stretched their lead to 10:2. Things started looking up for C9 in the thirteenth round and they followed it up by escaping a horrible reset in the fourteenth round, thanks to Tyler "Skadoodle" Latham finding an early pick onto Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo. Cloud9 ended the first half with a victorious fifteenth round, but SK still stood strong with a five round lead.
Now on the offensive side, C9 picked up the pistol round and escaped the force-buy nightmare in the next round. They almost lost the round against the hard-eco-ing SK players after failing to check the corner in A ramp but Mike "shroud" Grzesiek saved the day. The North Americans brought themselves to eight rounds on the board before SK Gaming bounced back and broke their enemy team's economy. At 13:8, it was the last chance for C9 to get into the map. A player who has been lackluster thus far, Jake "Stewie2k" Yip miraculously found all five kills onto the SK players and showed hope for C9. But a pattern that repeated one too many times returned: SK immediately reset C9 in the next round. SK reached map point and C9 didn't have the economy needed to strike back. They tried a few upgraded pistol rounds but it wasn't enough to come back and SK got their first map in their pocket in the overall best-of-five series.
de_Train - 16:12 (5:10, 11:2)
Now on Cloud9's map of choice, the pistol round started with multiple trade frags between the teams. The clutch master of Cloud9, Mike "shroud" Grzesiek arrived with three kills, deep in the A site and C9 picked up their third pistol round win so far in the grand finals. However, the hard part was the next round. C9 were in no condition to afford losing the next round force-buy after being a map down in the series. Thankfully for the North American fans, they didn't. Mike "shroud" Grzesiek got the first pick and pushed out the Counter-Terrorists. SK gave away the bomb site and bowed out of the round with four players alive. SK's saved Scout and Deagles came in hand in the next eco round, as they severely halted C9's push to the B site. In the 2v4 post plant, the two C9 players had the weapon advantage. However, Marcelo "coldzera" David's Deagle found the heads of Cloud9 and things looked grim for the North American players. At 3:2, C9 took the round after Jake "Stewie2k" Yip found two impact kills. But they were crushed in the following round, as SK won it with all five players alive. With nothing but pistols and a few utilities, C9 were about to give up another round but Timothy "autimatic" Ta found three frags with the Deagle, bringing his team from a disadvantageous 2v5 to a win. In the following round, SK still had enough money to buy in but C9 had woken up. Jake "Stewie2k" Yip started it with an opening pick, followed up by one from Tyler "Skadoodle" Latham. With two players advantage, C9 escaped the reset and broke SK's economy. When SK finally acquired enough money to buy decent gears and utilities, the round came down to a post-plant 2v2. A successful flank by Timothy "autimatic" Ta brought the round to a 2v1 but Fernando "fer" Alvarenga decided to tap the bomb and stick to it. He almost got the defuse but Timothy "autimatic" Ta saved the day for Cloud9. If he had missed a single shot, SK would've ran away with the round. Cloud9 reset SK's economy and Cloud9 earned their eight round on the board. In the next round, Cloud9 ran down the clock a bit too much and got picked off one by one under the pressure of time. SK got their fifth. Fernando "fer" Alvarenga started the subsequent round well with a pick in Popdog but was answered immediately. C9 took control of the B site with three players alive and four SK players were on a retake mission. Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert stepped up huge with three kills onto SK and broke SK's economy once again. With no money to buy in, SK lost the last round of the half and it ended with the same 5:10 score from the previous map. But this time, it was C9 who were on the better end.
SK started the second half with a beastly ace by Fernando "fer" Alvarenga. SK followed up the pistol win with two anti-eco wins and the score came to 8:10 for C9. The first gun round of the second half started with C9 getting the first pick but the Brazilians' explosion onto the A site was too much to contest and Tyler "Skadoodle" Latham backed out with the AWP. Even when Cloud9 saved up enough economy to buy, they just couldn't fight against the Brazilians. Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo was putting up huge numbers for his team and SK reached mappoint before Cloud9 could get a round on their CT side. Cloud9 were able to get two more rounds, bringing their score to twelve. But even then, Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo put a huge dent in their economy with four frags in a single round. That was the end of the road for Cloud9 and SK wrapped up Train with a 16:12 score and sat with a 2-0 score in the Bo5 grand finals.
de_Inferno - 16:14 (5:10, 11:4)
The third map started well for SK, as they picked up the pistol round. But Cloud9 gave SK a taste of their own medicine by winning the force-buy after Timothy "autimatic" Ta found a careless player in Mid with the Scout. They also won the anti-ecos, as well as the first gun round. Because SK got the bomb down in the fifth round, SK were able to buy into the sixth round. But they couldn't make it work as Mike "shroud" Grzesiek found three important kills from Pit. Cloud9 were finally looking alive and got nine rounds on the board before SK could get their second. At 3:10, SK had forced in with a few AK-47s and upgraded pistols and that was just enough to take over the B site. The three Cloud9 players backed off to save their rifles in hopes to get a shot in the next round. But they were unsuccessful and the half ended with 10:5 in favor of Cloud9
After finishing the first half strong with a comeback form 1:9 to 5:10, SK kicked off the second half with a pistol round win. They also got the anti-eco rounds and brought the scoreline to 8:10. The nineteenth round came down to a 3v4 attack on the A site. Two players from C9 decided to enter the side through Apartments but Epitacio "TACO" de Melo shut them down from bottom of Balcony and SK were a single round closer to tying it up. SK successfully tied the scores and eventually took the lead. But after a few missed shots by the SK guys, Jake "Stewie2k" Yip opened up the B site with the TEC-9 and gave the lead back to the hands of C9. At 12:11, Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert found a crucial quad-kill on the B site and broke SK's economy. As SK had to hard-eco in the next round, Cloud9 moved up to fourteen rounds. In the 26th round, Tyler "Skadoodle" Latham were left in a 1v2 in the post-plant after Marcelo "coldzera" David successfully protected the A site from Pit. He wasn't able to clutch for his team and SK were another round closer to tying the scores. C9 successfully infiltrated the A site but Epitacio "TACO" de Melo found two important frags onto C9 and brought the 3v3 to a 3v1. He also picked off the last player and the score came to 13:14. In the 28th round, C9 had four players stacked in Upper Banana. When they finally pushed into B, a single flashbang completely destroyed Cloud9's push and SK tied the score. With no money on C9, they gave up another round and allowed SK to get to mappoint and tournament point. Cloud9 had a chance to take the map to overtime but that was for another time and SK Gaming won their third mad, bringing the grand finals score to a dominant three-zero. SK Gaming rightfully took the storied ESL One Cologne cup for the second year in a row and showed their true mastery of Counter-Strike and their true dominance of its esports scene.
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