After a surprising set of semi-finals, BIG and Natus Vincere emerged to face off in the ESL One Cologne Grand Final, with an unpredictable match up the cards.
No one would have predicted the (mostly) German roster of BIG to be anywhere near a grand final, but after a series of remarkable upsets they somehow found themselves in the biggest match of their careers.
Perhaps with England’s surprise success in the FIFA World Cup, having Englishman Owen “Smooya” Butterfield on the squad was maybe the lucky charm that BIG needed.
On the other side of the impressive ESL stage was a determined and confident Na’Vi side, who had caused an upset of their own in the semi’s by eliminating tournament favorites Astralis.
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And Na’Vi did look generally the better of the two teams in map one, but just as fans have come to expect from BIG, they never seemed fazed and kept the map close.
And while Na’Vi weren’t flawless and made errors, they eventually strung a few rounds together to take map one 16-10.
There were signs of encouragement for BIG though, and once again they kept it very tight in map two on Dust II, their pick, even edging out a slender lead.
Just as they began to search for victory, electronic pulled off an insane 1v4 to halt them temporarily, but BIG remained composed to take it and tie the series 1-1.
Map three took the match to Train, which BIG already proved they were more than capable on with their 16-13 win over FaZe in the semi-final.
But after the first twenty rounds were traded back and forth, Na’Vi came to life and BIG looked out of ideas, letting Na’Vi take it 16-10.
Map four took it to Inferno, the map Na’Vi edged out Astralis on for their spot in the grand final. But Zeus was needed to have an uncharacteristically good game to manage it, and BIG had also won Inferno vs FaZe in their semi-final.
But despite taking a one round lead into the second half, BIG couldn’t keep their momentum up as s1mple, electronic and flamie lit up, steamrolling their way to a 16-8 win to secure the championship.