FaZe Clan Wins IEM Cologne 2022 After Five Game Marathon Against NAVI
After 148 rounds, FaZe lift the trophy in the LANXESS Arena.
The IEM Cologne 2022 has concluded after two weeks of intense Counter-Strike action. The grand finals witnessed an eight-hour marathon between Natus Vincere (NAVI) and FaZe Clan.
What was set to be a revenge match between the finalists of the PGL Antwerp Major 2022, turned out to be one of the best CS:GO grand finals of all time as both teams exchanged countless blows without giving an inch until the 148th round of the series.
With a '3-2' series scoreline, FaZe Clan walked the center stage to lift the trophy in the legendary LANXESS Arena, being crowned as the champion of IEM Cologne 2022.
As a result of this victory, FaZe Clan has become the first team in the history of CS:GO to win IEM Katowice, IEM Cologne, and a Major, all three in the same calendar year.
IEM Cologne 2022: FaZe Clan lifts the trophy after a marathon grand final against NAVI
It was a grand final worth every second as both teams put their best foot forward taking the five-game series all the way down to a decider. It consisted of everything from numerous clutches, several defining moments, a whole lot of banter, and bucket loads of excitement.
The series started out with FaZe Clan stacking four consecutive rounds in its favor playing as attackers, before NAVI finally managed to break their streak and post a '9-6' comeback at the halfway mark.
This was followed by FaZe preparing its defense which proved to be insurmountable for the NAVI offense, despite different tactics being adopted to attain limited success.
FaZe Clan was able to close out the first map with a '16-13' scoreline, kicking the series off with an early advantage.
FaZe having won its map pick gave NAVI a big enough reason to do the same on the second map. Starting out as attackers NAVI somehow managed to get a single round lead by the halfway mark and closed down the map pretty confidently to even out the series.
Despite losing all four pistol rounds till, NAVI was able to shrug off the poor starts and fought hard to close out the map with a '16-13' score.
The map proved to be a huge boon for both the teams during their defending halves. In the first half, NAVI racked up eight wins in a row, leading the match with a comfortable score at the halfway mark.
However, FaZe Clan truly became the kryptonite for NAVI at the '4-15' mark, stringing together 11 rounds to take the map into overtime, before finally going down '16-19'.
NAVI despite a bleak start had managed to take the series lead and snatched FaZe Clan's second map from them in the process and gained an upperhand.
Sometimes you end up losing due to an extremely bad half and that is exactly what happened to NAVI on this map, but twice. FaZe after succesfully neutralizing its opponents attack, went on to hit them hard with its own.
NAVI simply did not have any effective answers to stop FaZe on this map and it always seemed as if it was a step behind, making this the only losing bout in an otherwise really tight series.
FaZe after a commanding '16-9' victory leveled the series once again to take the grand finals down to the final map.
There was a time when NAVI was seemingly unstoppable on this vertically stacked maze of a map. But not being its go to pick in recent times, this series was still an open affair that any team could potentially win.
Despite many cheeky attempts by FaZe to disrupt NAVI's flow during the attack, the latter managed a round's lead going into the second half. But constant changes in tempo and execution left NAVI struggling, who despite its best attempt could not stop FaZe Clan from running away with a '16-14' victory.
It was a huge moment for the two senior FaZe members Finn "karrigan" Andersen and Håvard "rain" Nygaard, who despite having attended IEM Cologne nine times in the past had never made it to the finals, and now they had managed to make history by winning the golden trio - Katowice, Cologne, and the Major.