Finally, two years of waiting ends tonight for Fnatic as they win the Intel Extreme Masters Katowice 2018 title against Faze Clan in an exhilarating 5 map series that boiled down to overtime in the final map.
A momentous comeback
Prior to IEM Katowice, Fnatic entered a short hiatus after their disappointing stint at the i-League StarSeries Season 4 where they lost 0-3 in the Swiss Format group stage, losing to Gambit, Renegades and Tyloo.
According to desk host Alex “Machine”Richardson, Fnatic went off, not talking to each other, neither played scrims nor practices after their poor performance. They just recently got back together before IEM Katowice began.
Interestingly, their last title prior to this was the IEM X World Championship also held in Katowice. Their win makes them the first team ever in CS history to own three IEM titles under their belt.
Map 1: Easy beating
Faze Clan lead by Håvard ‘rain’ Nygaard made quick work of Fnatic in Cache, thrashing them 11:4 on T side and eventually ending the map 16-5.
Map 2: Infernal Overtime
Both teams lived up the essence of a grand final as they both came up for a good show in Inferno. Faze clan led as much as 13:9 but Fnatic rallied with 5 consecutive maps to send the game to map point. As everyone thought Fnatic would be able to come back, Faze clutches the last 2 rounds to force overtime.
However, it is in-game leader Maikil ‘Golden’ Selim who came up big with a triple kill paving way for Fnatic to claim map point.
Map 3: Riding the Momentum
With momentum on their side, Fnatic continued to play well on Overpass, easily claiming the map 16:7. Ladislav ‘GuardiaN’ Kovács worked with highlight plays including a clutch ace but it was Jonas ‘Lekr0’ Olofsson who ended with the last laugh with his own quadkill to claim map point and eventually take a 2-1 lead against the tournament favorites.
Map 4: It’s Not Yet Done
A map behind from elimination, Faze stepped up ending the half with a comfortable 11:4 lead. Fnatic tried to stage a comeback with a 7 round run but it was GuardiaN doing his GuardiaN things; clutching rounds and saving maps – even if he’s already dead.
Map 5: One overtime is not enough
The hype train went full throttle as the game went to map 5. The first half was just as intense as the whole series, ending 8:7 in favor of Faze. They tried to establish a larger lead but Fnatic stitched six consecutive rounds to lead 13:10 before rallying with their own to take map point.
With their backs against the walls, Robin ‘flusha’ Rönnquist managed to steal Faze’s map winning round to send the game to overtime.
Fnatic ride their momentum as flusha delivers another clutch hold on CT side to tie overtime 17:17 denying Faze Clan any further round to claim the map and the title 19:17.
Things are yet to pay off
Faze Clan, built as the most expensive CS team to date came short once again to a LAN title. Prior to IEM, they already lost the ELEAGUE Major Boston finals to Cloud9, ESL Pro League Season 6 Finals to SK Gaming, and Intel Extreme Masters XII – Oakland to NIP after acquiring GuardiaN and Olof ‘olofmeister’ Kajbjer via contract buyouts.