Four teams were competing for the ELEAGUE Invitational 2019 title and the main prize of $80,000 in Atlanta. In the end, FaZe Clan managed to get back in form and lift the trophy.
One of the biggest Esports organization, ELEAGUE decided to hold the first invitational event, and one of the two biggest tournaments this year. They invited four different teams to take part in the competition. The prize pool of the ELEAGUE Invitational 2019 was $150,000, which attracted some of the best CS:GO teams in the world. Therefore, fans could watch FaZe Clan, Cloud9, BIG, and compLexity Gaming fighting for the first spot.
As you can see, three out of four teams played at iBUYPOWER Masters and all of them failed to reach even Knock-Out Stage. So ELEAGUE Invitational 2019 was a good chance for them to improve overall impression and to boost their confidence for the rest of the season. If you missed reading about format and rules of the ELEAGUE Invitational 2019, you can check it here: What’s The Distance Between XANTARES Face and His Screen?.
Semi-finals: Close match between FaZe and Cloud9
As there wasn’t Group Stage, teams kicked off in Semi-finals. According to draw, FaZe Clan faced their rival from ELEAGUE Major Final from last year, Cloud9. On the other side, BIG from Germany played against NA team, compLexity. So, we had two teams from Europe, and two teams from North America.
The first match between FaZe and Cloud9 was pretty intense and close. The first leg took place on Overpass where Cloud9 was dominating throughout most of the match. After 17 rounds, NA team was leading 14-3. Almost any other low and mid Tier team would have just given up and saved some energy for the next map; not FaZe. European team did something unbelievable. They lost just one of the 13 remaining rounds and entered the game in Overtime. However, they were very exhausted, and paid the price for such a comeback, as they lost all four rounds in Overtime. Therefore, that match finished with the result 19-15.
In the other match, we saw an almost identical scenario. Anyway, this time, FaZe was in a tiny better situation than on the previous map. This time, Cloud9 won 14th round after 20 rounds instead of 17. Nevertheless, FaZe managed to get back in the match once again. Therefore, the game went into Overtime again. However, FaZe won just one round more than last time, so Cloud9 advanced further in Upper bracket final.
BIG outplayed compLexity
In the other Semi-final, we didn’t see such close match as in the first one. BIG and compLexity players started the match on Overpass, too. BIG had a very comfortable lead after 9 rounds (8-1), but at that stage of the match, compLexity started playing better. Before half-time, NA team get close to BIG, but then, German team won four rounds in a row. So, winning the leg was a very long shot for compLexity. The match was finished with result 16-13 in BIG’s favor.
Afterward, players moved to Cache. CompLexity had a head start as they won opening five rounds. Stanislaw from compLexity brilliantly won the clutch 1v4 in pistol round. That was a great boost of confidence for whole compLexity squad. It looked like they were going to play a great game.
Regardless, the German team just destroyed compLexity in the rest of the game. The NA team managed to win only one round until the end of the match. Smooya played a phenomenal game with 28 kills and 86.4% KAST. He was rated 1.83. So, BIG booked meeting with Cloud9 in the final, and compLexity went to the Lower bracket to meet FaZe.
Cloud9 defeated BIG in Upper bracket final
In Upper bracket final, we saw a duel between 13th and 14th CS:GO team in the world. Both teams played very good initial matches, and fans expected a big fight. They surely got what they wanted. BIG kicked off on the first map excellently. The result on half time was 12-3 in BIG’s favor. Anyway, Cloud9 didn’t throw in the towel. They fought back and eventually won the first leg.
The second map was Overpass. That leg was full of upsides and downs on both sides. Teams were winning the matches in rows, and no one could assume how the end was going to look like. After the 26th round, the result was equal, and then BIG won the round on time. Although it was a tense situation, Cloud9 managed to get consolidated and they finished the match in great style winning three remaining rounds.
FaZe went through Lower bracket to Grand final
BIG had to face FaZe hoping they were going to meet Cloud9 one more time in Grand final. But, European team who struggled a lot at the end of last year didn’t allow BIG to do that without a fight. After beating compLexity 2-0 in Lower bracket first round, NiKo and company were eager to beat BIG. We again saw a big fight and a great match. FaZe won Cache 16-14 after BIG almost catching the lead. On Train, FaZe was the squad that was close to entering the game in Overtime, but BIG prevailed.
In the final leg, FaZe played much better and didn’t allow BIG to get close to them. GuardiaN sniped down four BIG’s players on A site for the match points, which FaZe then converted to the win. In that way, FaZe secured another match with Cloud9.
Grand final: FaZe overcame Cloud9; GuardiaN at his best
Somehow, Grand final lacked tension. The American team won Mirage very smoothly, considering the final result was 16-3. Again, most of the teams would have been mentally down, but FaZe is from another league. They won Inferno 16-12, with olofmeister performing on a high level. Anyway, what GuardiaN did in final leg overshadowed any other player’s performance. Not only that he led his team to the win and first title in the season with incredible stats, but he won 1v4 clutch Ace on in the sixth round with AWP. It was an amazing display by FaZe’s player that he is going to remember for a long time. Alongside that, he had 34/4/9 score and 84% KAST.
Anyway, ELEAGUE Invitational 2019 champion is not the only title that GuardiaN takes home. He is also announced to be MVP of the ELEAGUE Invitational 2019 thanks to the great overall showing. But definitely, his performance in Grand final had the biggest impact on his overall impression.
As said, FaZe struggled a lot at the end of the last year, and they made several changes in the roster. They brought AdreN from Gambit and YNk from MiBR, and these changes turned out to be good even though FaZe dropped out from iBUYPOWER Masters in an early stage. But changes requires some time to get effective. Now, they can enjoy the fact they won ELEAGUE Invitational 2019 and additional $80,000.
IEM Katowice [UPDATE]
In meantime, we got the names of the remaining two teams that will compete at IEM Katowice this year. ViCi Gaming and Winstrike Team upset North and Team Envy in 3rd place Play-In event and they will take part in the first Premier of the season.