There's nothing like a finals that goes to the wire. And that was the case this morning in Boston, with Faze Clan and Cloud9 going neck and neck for $US1 million in the grand finals of the Counter-Strike Boston Major.
The CSGO major events are always entertaining, but Cloud9 and FaZe Clan entertained the 1.3 million-plus viewers by taking the best-of-three finals into the third map. And if that wasn't enough, the two teams continued trading blows to drag the match into double overtime.
It was a tense end to what had already been a gruelling tournament. Running over the course of a fortnight, FaZe entered the grand finals on a seven-game winning streak. Cloud9, the hometown favourites, started the tournament strong by finishing top of the first stage, but found themselves having to dig deep throughout the rest of the tournament.
That tenacity proved useful in the grand finals, after FaZe took the first map in the final round. Cloud9 then staved off a second half comeback on Overpass to take the grand finals into the third map, Inferno, but after racing to an initial 5-1 lead they soon found themselves down 15-11.
The match continued to hinge on a knife edge from that point, with Cloud9's roster making crucial plays to pull the game back to 15-13. But the intensity ramped up in the penultimate round when Cloud9's Stewie2k, trapped in the back corner of the B bombsite, hit some crucial AWP shots to take the game to the final round:
Cloud9 carried the momentum through to the first half of overtime, going 18-16 up (with 19 rounds needed to win). On a high from the previous half, Cloud9's Stewie2k put himself in a position to win the major, but FaZe's karrigan managed to grab the kill with a sliver of health remaining.
But that would just be the start of a string of nail-biting clutches. Left to his own devices, the veteran Slovakian GuardiaN cleaned out two of Cloud9's players just in time to take the game to a second overtime.
The round immediately after, two of Cloud9's players lined up on the edge of a wall. It gave GuardiaN a crucial double AWP kill ...
... as the round ended up coming down to a 1v1. FaZe's NiKo ended up defusing the bomb with a sliver of time remaining, a fortunate circumstance given that he was the only player that round who had bought a defuse kit.
Not to be outdone, Cloud9 took the B bombsite the round thereafter. Tarik then grabbed an AWP, and proceeded to shut FaZe's retake down singlehandedly.
The crowd was then treated to a string of clever plays with smoke, like this nail-biting move from Skadoodle to get himself out of the corner of A:
The final round came down to a 1v2 in B, with GuardiaN hovering in the back of the site with his favoured AWP. But he hung out a fraction too far, giving Cloud9 the comeback victory and an incredible high for the hometown heroes.
The win means Cloud9 take home $US500,000 for their efforts, with FaZe winning $US150,000 for coming second. It was also a huge personal victory for one of the Cloud9 members, as a graphic on stream succinctly illustrated.
You can rewatch the entirety of the Boston Major CSGO finals on the ELEAGUE Twitch channel.