Image
Icon
Fabio | 11. October 2020

IEM New York EU: OG and FaZe Enter Grand Finals!

From all these participants, these two particular teams were perhaps the least likely to make it to the Grand Finals. But they’ve earned it and with some incredible performances against the other top teams, they have proven that they deserve a spot in the Grand Finals.

OG haven’t been this close to a trophy in a long while. Aleksi “Aleksib” Viroulainen and the boys were recently seen in the Quarter Finals of ESL One Cologne and closely missed out on the ESL Pro League playoffs. But during IEM New York, they hadn’t dropped a single map before the playoffs.

Going up against fnatic, it looked as though they would be able to keep this streak alive. With an 11-4 scoreline on the CT side of Train, they were set up well to secure the map in convincing fashion. But it took them a few rounds until they finally clicked on the T side. Eventually, they were victorious on a 16-13 scoreline.

Aleksib struggled mightily on Inferno. During this map, he only took home 10 kills and was overshadowed by the entirety of the fnatic roster. Ludvig “Brollan” Brolin and Freddy “KRiMZ” Johansson teamed up to deliver a striking blow to OG and put up a great show on the CT side. There, they got a 10-5 lead and helped fnatic to an eventual 16-11 win. So the teams headed to the last map, Mirage.

There, Aleksib made up for his Inferno blunder. All OG players managed to impress, but the Finn secured 26 kills and a 1.63 rating. For the first time since its creation in 2019, the mix team is now standing in a Grand Finals. Even better – they have already decisively beaten their opponents a few days ago.

KJAERBYE CARRIES FAZE INTO GRAND FINALS

This tournament has been a beautiful turnaround in the personal story line of Markus “Kjaerbye” Kjærbye. The Dane was signed by FaZe under the premise that he’d be able to find his Major MVP form again. Until now, this hadn’t worked out and instead he mostly took up space at the bottom of the scoreboard. Since the roster change, the team performance had also suffered massively.

But during IEM New York, he finally managed to show some quality CS. In the Semi Finals, FaZe had to go up against Team Vitality as the definitive underdogs versus the French superteam. But even Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut wasn’t prepared for what Kjaerbye would throw against them.

On Mirage, it was Håvard “rain” Nygaard who dominated the scoreboard. With an 8-7 score at halftime, FaZe only held a narrow lead, but ran away with their CT rounds. At the end, rain secured a 1.45 rating for a 16-10 victory, Kjaerbye being close by on 1.39.

On Inferno, FaZe also found a quick lead. Vitality brought this back on the defense and were about to even the scoreline again. After a 14-14 tie, Kjaerbye and company finally managed to jump on 16 points. The Dane ended the match with an average rating of 1.30, surpassing ZywOo and Nikola “NiKo” Kovač in the process.

DO FAZE STAND A CHANCE?

On one hand, they have already dismantled opponents like BIG, Heroic and Vitality. On the other hand, they have lost to OG before in a decisive fashion. Both teams’ star players are firing on all cylinders. FaZe benefit from a lack of demo material on their new roster. But can their strategies really compete with Aleksib’s preparation? The Finn has now led his team for quite a while and knows how to destroy a team of individual star players. OG are well-practiced and offer a much deeper map pool for this Best-of-Five. The Grand Finals will commence at 16:00 CEST and with these two rosters, the match will likely last well into the night.