This is the final of the sixth season of the ESL Pro League and the enthusiasm for this tournament was great, after we knew the grand finale teams : SK Gaming and FaZe Clan.
SK defeated FaZe 3-1 (Inferno 13-16, Overpass 16-11, Mirage 16-9, Train 19-16) to win ESL Pro League Season 6.
The grand final of ESL Pro League Season 6 started with a bang, as Ladislav “GuardiaN” Kovács was able to clutch a 1v3 situation to earn FaZe the Terrorist pistol on map one, Inferno. The European side went to grab a 6-1 lead, with Epitacio “TACO” de Melo’s double kill in round seven allowing SK to add their second round to the board.
TACO was also key to his side’s follow up round win, securing another double and staying alive in pit to allow the retake to come in. SK then started grabbing a hold of the match, with a mid-round banana retake paying off and seeing them tie the score at 6-6.
FaZe still finished the first half with a minimal, 8-7 lead, thanks to a fast force buy round working out on A, and extended it by winning the CT pistol and cleaning up the anti-ecos without any losses. The state of the economy early into the second half was pulling the game into FaZe’s favor, but SK managed to win with limited buys to get themselves back into the game.
As the score was 12-10 in favor of FaZe, the map could’ve gone either way, and the force-buy madness started. Olof “olofmeister” Kajbjer’s banana flank with a saved AWP and GuardiaN’s CZ-75 triple kill in arch were replied to by SK’s B site force-buy wins, but the European side was able to take it over the finish line in the end, winning Inferno 16-13.
olofmeister single-handedly shut down SK’s approaches towards the B bombsite, claiming the CT pistol round on Overpass, but FaZe weren’t able to build on that, losing the subsequent round to force buy. The Brazilians earned a 3-1 lead before Finn “karrigan” Andersen stepped up for his side on the A site defense in two back-to-back rounds, tieing the score at 3-3.
A fast double-entry from TACO got SK back in the lead, and then a chaotic round followed, which in the end came down to Marcelo “coldzera” David clutching the 1v1 and making up for the team kill he did earlier in the round (6-4). FaZe bolstered their defenses and managed to take the lead going into the second half, with Håvard “rain” Nygaard’s 1v2 clutch on A being key in that effort.
When the sides were switched, karrigan’s squad went for B in the pistol but weren’t able to hold off the 5v5 retake. The bomb plant allowed them to go for an early but limited buy, with which they struggled to do much, so SK got back into the lead (11-8). Ricardo “boltz” Prass was a rock for SK on the defensive side, combining perfectly with Fernando “fer” Alvarenga’s aggression that caused a lot of issues for FaZe.
As the score got to 14-9 in favor of the Brazilians FaZe, were able to trade out boltz in bathrooms, but once again couldn’t handle fer’s A long flank, which funneled them towards Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo and TACO, who locked down B to move on to match point. FaZe put up a bit of resistance towards the end of the map, but fell 16-11 in the end.
boltz continued his strong play in the series on Mirage, kicking off the map with three USP-S kills on the A site defense. After cleaning up the anti-eco’s and early buys, SK was 4-0 up, and then FaZe replied with a round win of their own. However, with the Brazilian side saving some equipment and TACO winning the 1v1 against GuardiaN in the following round, the European side found themselves in a rough economic situation, which SKexploited.
A similar situation repeated when FaZe earned their second round, a economic reset followed and saw SK run away with the first half, finishing it with a 13-2 lead. Nikola “NiKo” Kovačstruggled throughout the Terrorist side, finishing it with just one kill, while SK were spearheaded by the likes of FalleN and TACO, who were both influential with the AWP.
After a miserable first half, rain’s hat-trick of frags in the second pistol gave FaZe some hope on Mirage. NiKo also started waking up in the second half, and the Europeans started making a comeback as CT’s, bringing the score back to 14-9. However, mid-aggression against pistols backfired, and saw SKwin that round and reach match point. The map was resolved in the next round, as coldzera clutched out a 1v2 on the A site to take the lead in the series.
The match moved on to Train, a map that started perfectly for SK. Despite losing the first two entries in the T pistol, the Brazilians recovered with boltz and coldzera combining for all five frags. FalleN was doing a lot of work for his team that secured eight straight rounds before FaZe could get on the board, thanks to rain locking down ladder room. That started a series of round wins for FaZe, with GuardiaN, NiKo and then rain again having highlight-worthy moments to pull back the score to 8-7.
The streak of round wins for FaZe continued into the second half, with the pistol going their way and the European side making it 11 rounds straight before SK nabbed one with a force buy and some impressive Deagle shots.
SK got a 14-11 lead after fer shut down two players that contested the ladder room. The same scenario repeated two rounds later, giving SK match point, but a desperation buy worked out for FaZe thanks to GuardiaN who clutched the round with a CZ-75 and a knife kill, eventually pushing the game into overtime.
The added rounds were traded back and forth, but in the end, FalleN’s triple with the AWP in round 33 and and SK’s B site offensive in the followup allowed them to close out the game 19-16.