An Epic CS:GO Final

The history of major sporting competitions is littered with stories where the final showdown is a relative let down.  It seems every year football fans talk about how the ‘real’ super bowl game was the AFC or NFC final.  In the world of esports where the typical tournament bracket format can put the two best teams against each other in the first round this is a serious problem. 

Good thing that didn’t happen at IEM Oakland.  The Counter-Strike: Global Offensive finals wrapped up Sunday night.  Saturday tough competitions saw Ninjas in Pyjamas triumph over SK Gaming 2-1 while FaZe Clan beat Cloud9 2-0.  The Grand Final was a best of five affair and Ninjas in Pyjamas and FaZe Clan fought it out over all five rounds.  The final, played at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, was truly epic. 

NIP took round one with a score of 16-10 only for FaZe to come back and take round two 16-7.  NIP would take the third round with the same score but FaZe would win round four with an impressive 16-6 result.  


Five hours after the Grand Final had begun no victor had emerged.  Tied at 2-2 the teams prepared to enter into a fifth and final round to determine the victor.  Over 180,000 viewers from home were watching the final match on Twitch.  Ninjas in Pyjamas are the raining champions going into the final, having won this same contest last year.  FAZE will be looking at getting their second win of the four they need to take the Intel Grand Slam Season 1 and the $1,000,000 prize that come with it.  

The Match

This 5th game went back and forth as NIP and FAZE traded bullets and round wins.  Despite world class play from players on both teams they stayed close in rounds as both teams fought for the 15 wins that would make them the champions. Finally, the winds shifted in NIP’s favor as they moved to 8-6 and got a better control of the economy and began to accumulate round wins to finish the first half. 

Coming out of the half NIP was up 9-6 over their opponent but FaZe came out swinging.   They won the first, second, and third rounds of second half to tie things back up. NIP went back up in the next few rounds moving to 11-9 in the 21st round and once again taking charge of the economy.  NIP pushed this advantage winning the next few rounds as chants of N-I-P! N-I-P! sounded throughout the hall. 

FaZe Clan gave it everything they had and won the 25th round bringing them into the double digits even as the N-I-P chants continued.  With the score now 15-10 the pressure was on for both teams as overtime loomed in the future.  It was the time for heroics for Faze but it was not to be.  In the 26th round NIP won to secure the win, triumphing over Faze, 16-10. 


This was truly a competition worthy of a championship.  Both teams played some of the best Counter-Strike I’ve ever seen.  Congratulations to Ninjas in Pyjamas on the win 3-2 over FaZe Clan.  Becoming the IEM CS:GO champions two years in a row is no small feat.  NIP will take home not only a trophy but a $125,000 prize as well.  

If you haven’t seen the match yet do yourself a favor and get over to the ESL_CSGO twitch channel at:

About The Author

James Verzuh

James 'CorporalV' Verzuh was a real corporal once. Now he plays too much Overwatch and writes about esports.