Two names stood out as being extraordinary in form as IEM Cologne 2022 started with 16 of the best teams in the world going head-to-head. Before the event had even kicked off, talks were had about a possible Grand Final between Natus Vincere and FaZe. Both teams have been extraordinary in the past three months and have looked almost impossible to beat. The Grand Final of dreams became a reality after FaZe managed to move past the otherwise in-form Movistar Riders. In just two maps, "karrigan" and his troops proved themselves the better roster and managed to overcome the creative and aggressive Spaniards of Movistar Riders. The 2-0 victory means a spot in the Grand Final against Natus Vincere tomorrow.
The first map of the brawl was picked by Movistar Riders and saw the Bo3-series kick off on Ancient. Finding a bad map for FaZe is something that is incredibly difficult at this current moment of time, however, with Vertigo banned and FaZe being even better on Nuke, Ancient seemed the best pick out of a bad bunch. Once Ancient got rolling it became clear from early on that one team had far more experience on big stages such as the Cathedral of Counter-Strike, than the other. A confident FaZe shut down the offense of Movistar Riders and seemed almost unbeatable in the first half of Ancient, scoring them an 11-4 lead before switching sides. After the two teams had switched sides, Movistar Riders seemed to come a bit more alive, however, not enough to get back into the game. Despite a great performance from Spanish "dav1g", topping the leaderboard on the server, Movistar Riders had to see themselves beaten on their own map pick at the scoreline of 16-12.
The second map of the brawl between FaZe and Movistar Riders was, of course, picked by FaZe and meant a trip to the concrete of Nuke. Having only lost once on Nuke in the past three months (10 games), it seemed a daunting prospect for Movistar Riders to force a third and final map of the Bo3-series. Starting on the arguably more difficult side of Nuke as the T's, FaZe carried through their confident play on Ancient and posted an all-in-all strong T-sided half, albeit behind at 8-7 at halftime. The second half saw FaZe put up yet another great defensive performance as it proved difficult for the Spaniards to break down the rock-solid FaZe defense. With star player "SunPayus" failing to show up on Nuke, as well as "ropz" playing a phenomenal game of Nuke on the other side, things looked bleak for Movistar Riders. And things were bleak. At the scoreline of 16-9, it was FaZe to close out Nuke, defeat Movistar Riders in just two maps, and secure themselves a spot in the Grand Final of IEM Cologne 2022.
Highlight of the Bo3-series:
FaZe - Movistar Riders 2-0 | IEM Cologne (Semi-finals)
16-12 (Ancient) | dav1g - 1.47 Rating / 28-17 K-D / 97.4 ADR
16-9 (Nuke) | ropz - 1.51 Rating / 23-11 K-D / 88.1 ADR
MVP: Robin "ropz" Kool - 1.28 Rating / 38-24 K-D / 73.0 ADR