G2, NiKo, hunter

Credit: Helena Kristiansson, ESL

NiKo deliver outstanding Grand Final to lead G2 to victory in Cologne

The star-studded roster took down ENCE 3-1 and has now won three $1M tournaments within the last year.

The last ever CS:GO tournament in the “Cathedral of Counter-Strike” in Cologne got a fitting ending with one of the all-time greats finally getting his hands on the coveted trophy. Even though Nikola 'NiKo' Kovač never got to win a CS:GO Major, the 26-year-old Bosnian ends the CS:GO era on a high winning both IEM Katowice and IEM Cologne in the final year of the game.

Against ENCE in the Grand Final in front of a sold-out attendance in the Lanxess Arena in Cologne, it was G2 and NiKo who took control out of the gate. Nuke was over almost before it had begun with G2 wiping out ENCE winning their opponents map pick 16-4.

On Mirage ENCE came back to put up a fight, but unfortunately it only lasted the first half. On ENCE’s T-side they kept running into Ilya "m0NESY" Osipov sniper riffle, who took down 18 players during the map leaving Snappi and his men in dire straits. A 16-10 loss left the audience in the Lanxess Arena wondering, if the bo5 match would only deliver three maps.

But on Anubis ENCE finally got their T-side to work. At 15-8 it seemed inevitable that we needed a fourth map in play, but G2 almost caught up on ENCE, who survived the scare winning 16-13.

Ancient ended out being the last map played in the Grand Final with G2 defeating ENCE 16-9 after an excellent second half, where m0NESY and NiKo played lights out to secure G2 the title in Cologne and the nice $400.000 that goes along with it. 

G2 – ENCE 3-1 (IEM Cologne 2023 – Grand Final)

Maps played:

Nuke: 16-4, Mirage: 16-10, Anubis: 13-16, Ancient: 16-9

MVP: Nikola 'NiKo' Kovač – 1.49 rating

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