TWISTZZ BECOMES FIRST PLAYER EVER TO WIN TWO INTEL GRAND SLAMS
After 479 days, a new champion of the Intel Grand Slam circuit was crowned as FaZe took on Cloud9 in the grand finals of ESL Pro League Season 17. With that, Russel "Twistzz" Van Dulken is the only player ever to achieve a second Intel Grand Slam title after previously winning Intel Grand Slam Season 2 with Liquid in 2019.
The grueling best-of-five series started out on Cloud9's pick of Overpass, to which FaZe would immediately show their strength by jumping out to a strong 5-1 lead after winning the pistol, but losing the second-round force buy. Cloud9 would eventually find their way back into the match and take a fleeting 6-5 lead before the Europeans closed out the first half 8-7.
In a second-half surprise, it was Cloud9 to win the T-side pistol, but FaZe bounced back with force and took the next five rounds to place some distance between themselves and the Russians. At 13-8, it looked like FaZe would calmly close it out and despite a bit of a scare as Cloud9 got to their 11th round, Twistzz was there to help secure their opponent's map pick 16-13.
Now it was FaZe's turn to get their hands on their own map pick - Inferno. Starting on the defense, it was nothing short of a blood bath. Cloud9 were unable to get more than a single bomb plant in the first nine rounds as the Europeans ran it up 9-0. Cloud9 would find some rounds towards the end, but an 11-4 first half for the defense was incredibly strong.
The second-half would be extremely similar to the first. FaZe once again got off to a strong start as they won the opening pistol and the resulting gun rounds to extend their lead to 14-4. While they would see one or two hiccups before they closed it out, they ultimately got one step closer to that $1,000,000 prize by winning their map pick 16-8.
The third map, Mirage, started off with FaZe taking another pistol round and then the three following rounds before Cloud9 got one. After that opening, FaZe would find themselves down 7-5, as the Russian squad took control of the half with six rounds in a row. Despite the streak from Cloud9, Twistzz and his team would get to the half in the lead 8-7.
The second-half of Mirage saw FaZe take the fifth pistol round of the series in six possible, showing their supremacy on that specific kind of round. They won the eco-round from Cloud9 but didn't manage to get the bonus round. Once again Cloud9 would take six straight but FaZe only answered back with a single round before the Russians went back to controlling the half. Things were getting out of reach for the European squad, as C9 would not give them an inch, and ultimately, Twistzz's second IGS would be postponed to Ancient, as FaZe fell 16-11.
With Cloud9 forcing proceedings onto Ancient, FaZe began their CT-side in strong form as they won six out of the first eight rounds. Afterwards, Cloud9 worked to aggressively close the gap largely thanks to Dmitry "sh1ro" Sokolov to ensure that C9 were only trailing by a single round heading into the second half of Ancient. In the second half, FaZe looked to be in a dominant position as they won five rounds in a row before Cloud9 clinched the next four rounds in a dominant fashion to close the gap.
After making FaZe consider the thoughts of a fifth map, in a poetic fashion, NA's hero Twistzz switched into another gear as he powered FaZe to win the next three rounds, including match point with an ace, to ensure a 16-11 victory a second Intel Grand Slam for the Canadian legend!
|Cloud9||K - D||+/-||ADR||KAST||Rating 2.0|
|Sergey 'Ax1Le' Rykhtorov||76 - 75||+1||78.8||68.5%||1.11|
|Abay 'HObbit' Khassenov||82 - 76||+6||83.1||66.7%||1.10|
|Dmitry 'sh1ro' Sokolov||68 - 72||-4||62.9||65.7%||0.96|
|Timur 'buster' Tulepov||63 - 73||-10||65.4||67.6%||0.90|
|Vladislav 'nafany' Gorshkov||48 - 83||-35||62.0||58.3%||0.73|
|FaZe||K - D||+/-||ADR||KAST||Rating 2.0|
|Robin 'ropz' Kool||83 - 62||+21||83.8||80.6%||1.28|
|Helvijs 'broky' Saukants||85 - 62||+23||74.6||80.6%||1.23|
|Håvard 'rain' Nygaard||81 - 73||+8||80.8||68.5%||1.11|
|Russel 'Twistzz' Van Dulken||78 - 71||+7||82.6||69.4%||1.10|
|Finn 'karrigan' Andersen||48 - 74||-26||50.6||64.8%||0.71|