Photo via ESL

Natus Vincere has won the best-of-five grand-finals against BIG at the Lanxess Arena, in Cologne. Na’vi removed Cache while BIG banned Mirage. Later, Na’Vi picked up Overpass and Train, whereas, their counterpart picked up Dust II and Inferno. Nuke was left over.

Na’Vi lost the opening match of the group-stages against G2 14-16 and reached the grand finals all the way from the lower-brackets. Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev and co. went onto a spree defeating Gambit Esports 2-0, Cloud9 2-0 and ENCE eSports 2-1 to go past the groups. Na’vi demolished fnatic 2-0 and Astralis 2-1 in the playoffs to secure a slot in the grand-finals.

On the other hand, BIG surprised Liquid 16-7 in the opening match while they, later lost to fnatic 0-2 and took a step down entering the lower-brackets. BIG defeated Renegades and MIBR 2-1 to enter the playoffs. Being the underdog, BIG shocked G2 and FaZe in quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively to meet Na’Vi in the grand-finals.

Overpass, being the Na’Vi’s first pick, they started on the Terrorist side while the Germans decided to choose to defend the bomb sites. BIG began with a B-site retake structure in the pistol round, letting Na’Vi plant the bomb. Later, they were able to retake the bombsite pretty efficiently to grab the first round in the bag. It was a back and forth half where Na’Vi eventually lost to force-buys, twice and the first half ended 8-7 favouring Na’Vi. Na’Vi, on the CT side, pushed a-long in the pistol round to get an edge over the Germans and they won the pistol round convincingly. The Ukranian squad didn’t crumble in the following two rounds against the pistols, leading to a 11-7 scoreline. tiziaN and nex won the twenty-second round in a 4vs2 scenario. Although, Na’Vi took over the first map 16-10.

Dust II has been one of the best maps for BIG. Na’Vi started off on the CT side winning the pistol round and the following two rounds against the pistols. BIG won the first buy-round but unfortunately, they lost the following round. Nex begin the sixth round with two impressive entry kills at the A-bomb site. Later, Na’Vi crumbled against the force-buy and they first half slightly favoured BIG 8-7. tabseN begin the second pistol round by getting all five defending the A-bomb site. BIG concluded the following two rounds against the Ukranian force-buys. In the twenty-first round, nex turned the tables with an incredible ace, getting four kills near the mid-doors. In following rounds, electronic-inspired an incredible post-plant 1vs4 clutch at the B-bombsite making the score-line 13-11 favouring his opponents. Since then, Na’Vi couldn’t fight back and the home team won Dust II 16-11.

Third map was train and BIG started on the defensive side on Na’Vi’s pick. Na’Vi went for an outer take but BIG outclassed Zeus and co. BIG won four straight rounds untill Edward clutched an intense post-plant 1vs2 on the outer-bombsite. The tenth round had no encounters until the bomb-plant and BIG had to retake the B-bombsite against five alive terrorists, which obviously, they couldn’t. The first half ended up 8-7 with in favour of the home team. BIG rushed the inner bombsite in the pistol round and started off winning the pistol. The scores tied up 10-10 after the twentieth round. Later, BIG couldn’t grab anything and the map went into Na’Vi’s bag 16-10.

Inferno was picked up by BIG although Natus Vincere is pretty comfortable with the map. In the pistol round, Germans for a quick banana control on the T-side, a quick triple kill from electronic saved the day for Ukranian squad. Once again, scores tied at 4-4 after the eighth round. For the fourth time, the scoreline after the first half was 8-7, but this time, favouring Natus Vincere. The half ended with an impressive quad-kill at B-bombsite from none other than s1mple. Germans could only bag one round in the second half and Na’Vi closed down the map 16-8 to triumph over the Germans.

Final Score : 

  • Overpass: Na’Vi 1610 BIG

  • Dust II: Na’Vi 1116 BIG

  • Train: Na’Vi 1610 BIG

  • Inferno: Na’Vi 168 BIG

ESL One: Cologne 2018 final standings & prize distribution:

1. Natus Vincere – $125,000 USD

2. BIG – $50,000 USD

3-4. FaZe – $22,000 USD

3-4. Astralis – $22,000 USD

5-6. fnatic – $11,000 USD

5-6. G2 Esports – $11,000 USD

7-8. ENCE eSports – $7,500 USD

7-8. MIBR – $7,500 USD

9-12. Renegades – $6,000 USD

9-12. mousesports – $6,000 USD

9-12. Cloud9 – $6,000 USD

9-12. North – $6,000 USD

13-16. Ninjas in Pyjamas – $5,000 USD

13-16. Team Liquid – $5,000 USD

13-16. Gambit Esports – $5,000 USD

13-16. B.O.O.T-d[S] – $5,000 USD