Eight teams from around the world traveled down to Brazil to compete for a share of the $200,000 prize pool at ESL One Belo Horizonte in the Mineirinho Arena. After four days of numerous lopsided 2-0’s, it all came down to mousesports and FaZe Clan facing off in a thrilling best-of-five grand final on Sunday afternoon. Despite playing with a stand-in, FaZe walked away champion to claim their third title of the Intel Grand Slam.
mouz blank SK; FaZe Clan shrug off Team Liquid
Before we got to those grand finals, there was a pair of rather interesting semifinal sets. First up was mouz facing off against the hometown favorites of SK Gaming. The series kicked off on SK’s pick of Dust2 where mousesports dominated on the CT-side to rack up 11 rounds in the half, taking an 11-4 lead into the half. The second half saw SK begin to chip away at the lead, but only three rounds were claimed as Chris “chrisJ” de Jong and company sailed off with the half to take the 16-7 map victory and the series lead.
The series then landed on Train. To start, mousesports didn’t have the flying start they did on Dust2 as SK were the ones to go on the aggressive from the outset, taking a 10-5 score into the break. The sides switched and so did the momentum as mousesports looked stout on the defensive side to win 11 out 13 rounds to send SK Gaming packing, securing a spot in the grand final.
On the other side of the bracket, FaZe Clan came out to a hot start on Nuke, leaving Team Liquid no room for error in the first half as the mixed Europeans sealed their massive 13-2 lead going into the second half. Team Liquid continued to struggle against FaZe Clan, who only allowed one round to the North Americans in the 16-3 victory. Dust2 was highly contested as the first half saw Team Liquid take a 10-5 lead, but the game itself was much closer. After the half, the two teams then went back and forth, but Liquid managed to break FaZe’s economy to even the series with a 16-14 win on Dust2.
The series then came down to the decider, Mirage, where again the two teams clashed in a highly contested battle, but, in the end, it was FaZe Clan to take the 9-6 half to then press on to win seven in a row to eventually punch their tickets to the grand finals.
FaZe Clan end mousesports’ miracle run
The grand finals kicked off on mouz’s pick of Inferno where FaZe Clan jumped out to a comfortable 5-0 lead before mouz swung back to tie the game at six. FaZe Clan weren’t having it, though, and managed to stump mouz to take the 9-6 lead at halftime. It was all Faze in the second half as they won seven straight to claim the 16-6 victory and the series lead. The series then shifted to Cache, FaZe jumped out to a quick 11-4 lead at the half and looked poised to even up the series in a hurry. Mouz didn’t let the game slip away that easily, however, as they put FaZe’s backs against the wall by winning 12 of 15 rounds in the second half to even up the series at one game apiece.
Mousesports then marched into train with a convincing offensive first half to earn an 11-4 lead at halftime. FaZe Clan fought back in the second half to keep mouz on their toes, but a stable economy managed to carry mouz through the remainder of the second half to seal the 16-12 win and the series lead 2-1. FaZe Clan once again fired all cylinders to achieve a massive 12-3 lead at the half on Mirage, and after mouz tried for a comeback, FaZe Clan finally put a nail in the coffin to even things out at 2-2, forcing the decider on the classic Dust2.
On that final map, the action was once again hotly contested, with the teams jockeying for position during the entire first half. It was mouz, though, that ended up on top at the half with an 8-7 lead. But then FaZe Clan turned in a trademark performance in the second half as they walked all over mouz to secure the map 16-10 and pick up their third ESL title this year.