FaZe Clan outlast Natus Vincere in epic final at IEM Cologne

FaZe Clan rallied from a 2-1 deficit to beat Natus Vincere 3-2 in the grand final of the Intel Extreme Masters Season XVII event Sunday in Cologne, Germany.

The American organization, which fields a CS:GO team in the Europe region, continued its winning ways after capturing the PGL Major Antwerp in May. They took home the $400,000 grand prize, while NaVi settled for a $180,000 check for second.

The best-of-five grand final went the distance, with most maps decided by narrow margins. FaZe opened with a 16-13 win on Inferno before NaVi fought back with a 16-13 victory on Overpass and a 19-16 overtime win on Ancient.

FaZe kept their hopes alive with a 16-9 win on Mirage to force an all-or-nothing fifth map, Nuke. NaVi scored five straight points to take a 14-13 lead late in the map, but FaZe tallied the final three for a dramatic 16-14 win.

FaZe’s Helvijs ‘broky’ Saukants of Latvia led all players in kills (115) and kills-to-deaths differential (plus-20). He got major help from teammates Håvard ‘rain’ Nygaard of Norway (110 kills, plus-12 K-D) and Russel ‘Twistzz’ Van Dulken of Canada (109 kills, plus-14 K-D).

For NaVi, Russia’s Denis ‘electroNic’ Sharipov led the way with 113 kills and a plus-15, and Ukraine’s Aleksandr ‘s1mple’ Kostyliev had 109 kills on a plus-10.

FaZe was one of eight teams to earn a direct berth into the Group Stage, the second of three stages at Cologne. They ran the table from there, not losing a single map on their way to clinching first place in Group B.

Both finalists swept their opponents 2-0 in Saturday’s semifinals. FaZe Clan defeated Movistar Riders and NaVi took out Astralis.

The $1 million IEM Cologne event began with 24 teams, with 16 advancing from the Play-In to the Group Stage. The top six teams qualified for the Playoff Stage. The initial playoff matches were best-of-three before Sunday’s best-of-five grand final.

Intel Extreme Masters Season XVII — Cologne prize pool and points distribution:
1. $400,000, 3,200 BLAST Premier points — FaZe Clan
2. $180,000, 1,600 BLAST Premier points — Natus Vincere
3-4. $80,000, 1,000 BLAST Premier points — Astralis, Movistar Riders
5-6. $40,000, 300 BLAST Premier points — MOUZ, Team Liquid
7-8. $24,000, 300 BLAST Premier points — Ninjas in Pyjamas, FURIA Esports
9-12. $16,000, no BLAST Premier points — Team Vitality, G2 Esports, Cloud9, Team Spirit
13-16. $10,000, no BLAST Premier points — Heroic, ENCE, 00 Nation, Outsiders
17-20. $4,500, no BLAST Premier points — Sprout, BIG, Imperial Esports, TYLOO
21-24. $2,500, no BLAST Premier points — paiN Gaming, Complexity Gaming, ORDER, MIBR

–Field Level Media

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