A week of intense battles and upsets culminated in BIG taking the crown, and $150,000 heading towards the BIG bank account.
With some big names at the tournament, ranging from FURIA to FaZe, Outsiders to OG and ENCE to Eternal Fire it was bound to be a good event and the upsets came early. Some examples were Outsiders being given an early exit, the team formerly performing under the Virtus.pro banner before the Ukraine/Russia troubles began in February got to play just two matches before being unceremoniously ousted bottom of Group D, with forZe & FURIA being all it took to see them out. Meanwhile the perennial Brazilian favorites FURIA met their match in 9z not just once, but twice to be eliminated, their own victory against the aforementioned Outsiders. Complexity's poor performances also continued, being knocked out by Astralis & Cloud9, them being less of a surprise, and quickly becoming the norm for them at this point.
However let's now take our focus to the final two, FaZe & BIG. Both teams escaped out of Group A successfully, with FaZe downing OG twice en route, although in a cruel case of foreshadowing their only group loss was to BIG in a closely fought 2-1 battle. After emerging from the dust of Groups. BIG would later come across Eternal Fire in the Quarter Finals, whilst FaZe bulldozed down ENCE 2-0. In the Semi F00inals Astralis was the chosen opponent for FaZe, and in another 2-1 victory for the latter squad. BIG saw off Cloud9 2-0 and that led next to the Grand Final. The final was even closer than the group match between these two stalwart teams. Up first was Dust2, where both teams traded bullet after bullet with BIG narrowly dodging in front with 16:13 to close the map. The trades came in even more closely on Nuke, with each team regularly managing to find the right tactic to overcome a specific play, doing so with such regularity the map ended 16:14, only just edged to FaZe's favor. Lastly was Mirage, where the two teams were once again unable to separate themselves decisively, this time so close that the map went to overtime. BIG however found that magical number 19, which saw them take the victory and the $150K prize.
For both of the finalists, the future is looking like both of these teams may come across each other many times for plenty of grudge match potential. FaZe are prequalified for IEM Cologne, meanwhile BIG will be in the Play-In's, and a likely contender to get into the final event. Then after the mid-year player break, both teams are in BLAST Premier Fall Groups as well as the upcoming season of ESL Pro League at the end of August could we see another Grand Final with both of these teams locked together once again? Only time will tell!