Everything was on the line when NAVI and FaZe walked onto the stage in the Lanxess Arena. A Bo5 would determine which of the two would lift the trophy and take down the $400.000 first prize. Probably going down in history as one of the craziest series ever, it went the way of FaZe after five maps of play.
'Twistzz' got FaZe off to a great 5-0 offensive start on the first map of Inferno, but as the hard-hitters of NAVI came into their own the FaZe started struggling. 'electroNic' and co. ended the first half on a spirit-lifting 9-1 run.
The CIS squad looked uncomfortable on the offense as they had massive trouble penetrating the FaZe's front facade. 'karrigan's troops were steadfast and repelled the NAVI forces to the tune of a 16-13 victory.
NAVI surprisingly chose to play Overpass as the second map, but we would soon come to understand why. The CIS squad delivered greatly on both sides and looked way more prepared than on Inferno. Though 'broky' and 'rain' put up a great fight throughout the map, the Ukrainian org. delivered FaZe the first map loss of the tournament.
The third map of Ancient looked like the first blow-out as NAVI reached map point at 15-4 after a magnificent defensive half from 'Perfecto' and 'electroNic'. But in a shocking turn of events, FaZe, with an iron will and the brute force of the head-taking 'Twistzz', took eleven rounds in a row to bring the map into overtime. Unfortunately, the enormous efforts of 'karrigan' and co. were wasted as NAVI dominated overtime and won 19-16.
After the devastating loss on Ancient, a lesser team's spirits might have been dimmed, but FaZe were right back at it on the defense of Mirage. All of the stars around 'karrigan', led by 'ropz' at 17-8 KD, were shining bright, and FaZe grabbed a five-round lead at halftime despite a monstrous performance from 'electroNic'.
In 2022, NAVI is statistically the best CT side team on Mirage, but in this Grand Final, they could not match the forces of FaZe. With raw power, FaZe quickly found the six T-side rounds they needed and tied the series at 2-2.
Nuke was left over as the decider of this epic series, and after losing the knife round, NAVI started on the offensive. This did not bother them, as 'sdy' and 'electroNic' led the team to a fruitful 8-7 halftime lead.
In fitting fashion, this epic series went the entire way. 30 rounds of regulation were needed before FaZe could close out the map. After being down 14-13, it was a couple of supremely impactful rounds from 'Twistzz' that finally sent FaZe past the giants of NAVI.
NAVI - FaZe 2-3 | IEM Cologne Grand Final
13-16 (Inferno) | s1mple - 1.38 Rating / 25-18 K-D / 88.1 ADR
16-13 (Overpass) | s1mple - 1.33 Rating / 25-18 K-D / 97.7 ADR
19-16 (Ancient) | Twistzz - 1.32 Rating / 32-26 K-D / 93.3 ADR
9-16 (Mirage) | broky - 1.54 Rating / 23-12 K-D / 88.1 ADR
14-16 (Nuke) | Twistzz - 1.40 Rating / 25-17 K-D / 88.2 ADR
MVP: Denis 'electroNic' Sharipov - 1.19 Rating / 113-98 K-D / 80.7 ADR