Virtus.pro overcame fnatic in the first best-of-three series 2-1 (16-14 de_season, 9-16 de_inferno, 16-13 de_cache) to win ESEA Invite Season 18 Global Finals and $70,000.
Starting off on de_season, Virtus.pro kicked things off with a nearly flawless Terrorist side, as they switched sides at 12-3. fnatic survived the first five rounds and closed the deficit to four only, but soon found themselves down 15-10.
Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer then picked up an amazing one-on-four to save fnatic from going down 0-1 in the first best-of-three, and helped them get to 13-15 with a triple in a two-on-three. One eco from Virtus.pro later, the Swedes finally gave in due to a crossfire from Wiktor "TaZ" Wojtas and Paweł "byali" Bieliński for a 16-14 win.
The second map of the first series, de_inferno, went much better for fnatic in the beginning - at least after the map restart due to a caster accidentally dropping a kit for Virtus.pro, helping them win the first round.
With Jesper "JW" Wecksell's quad-kill and a one-on-two in the pistol, fnatic went up 3-0 before Virtus.pro climbed back with four rounds in a row in the bag. The Swedes' aggression was too much to handle though, as Markus "pronax" Wallsten's squad got to play as Counter-Terrorists with a good three-round lead at 9-6.
|Virtus.pro win their second title of the year photo hltv.org|
Despite losing the second pistol, a response in the following round opened doors wide open for them, as they only let three rounds slip away also partly thanks to Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson's quad-kill at 12-9, helping fnatic tie the first series at 1-1.
Map three was set to be de_cache, and it was Virtus.pro taking a quick 7-1 lead as Counter-Terrorists this time around. Slowly but surely, fnatic started climbing back to have a chance on the other side, as they exchanged the next four rounds evenly before taking all three remaining for 6-9.
The second pistol round evened things out at 9-9 for fnatic, and a couple of gunrounds extended their run to six before Virtus.pro took a stand. With three rounds in a row for Wojtas and company, the score was even yet again at 12-12.
Problems with money didn't help things for the Swedish side, as another two gunrounds in the bag for Virtus.pro put them on a very desperate buy, which was the last nail in fnatic's coffin.
ESEA Invite Season 18 Global Finals standings:
1. Virtus.pro - $70,000
2. fnatic - $25,000
3. Titan - $15,000
4. mousesports - $10,000
5-6. CLG - $7,000
5-6. Nihilum - $7,000
7-8. Cloud9 - $5,000
7-8. Luminosity - $5,000