Team Vitality and Team Liquid blew the status quo at the top of the competitive CS:GO pyramid wide open with a grueling, thrilling grand final at ESL Pro League Season 16. The French outfit had been heavy favorites coming into the fixture on the back of their 5-0 group stage record but were made to work for their win with the North American outfit taking Vitality to all five maps. Check out Gamelevate as we run through this historic EPL Season 16 grand final.
Victory For Vitality
Team Vitality’s transition from all-French powerhouse to their first international lineup hasn’t always been the smoothest thing to watch over the past year or so, however, EPL Season 16 might just prove to be the turning point the org has been waiting for.
Their first tournament win for the side since the additions of Dupreeh, Magisk, Spinx, and zonic as head coach, Vitality set the tone for their campaign with a flawless 5-0 record in Group A. With the group also containing NaVi, Fnatic, NiP, Spirit, and Endpoint, it was an impressive run, but it would only be built upon when the side hit the EPL Season 16 playoffs.
Five maps and 155 rounds later though, the French org had recovered from a one-map deficit and taken the last two maps to crown themselves EPL Season 16 champions.
With their win in Malta, Team Vitality have bagged themselves $200,000, spots at IEM Katowice 2023 and the BLAST World Final 2022, and blown the odds for the upcoming Rio Major wide open.
ZywOo Returns Back To The Top
Following Vitality’s win over Team Liquid, ZywOo was named as the ESL Pro League Season 16 MVP.
The Frenchman broke his 10-month streak without an MVP award with a stellar 143 kills and a 1.39 rating in the five-match grand final against Liquid. The 21-year-old finished the tournament with a 1.42 rating overall, as well as claiming the best records for Kill/Death ratio (+207), impact rating (1.52), and rounds with more than 1 kill (56.3%).
Liquid Show Their Strengths
Team Liquid had needed to beat Cloud9 2-0 in the final round of group fixtures to book their place in the EPL Season 16 playoffs, however, that grittiness would pave the way for the NA org to showcase their strengths right up until the final few rounds of the tournament’s grand final.
Wins over Fnatic, MOUZ, and Cloud9 again booked them a place in the grand final. Liquid won the first map on Inferno 16-7 and pushed Vitality all the way to a triple overtime win on Mirage 25-21. The side only needed to close out either Overpass or Vertigo to take the trophy but, whilst Vitality would require overtime on the former of those, it would prove to be a step too far for the North American outfit.
CS:GO is always a far better scene when it has as many regions playing at as high a level as possible. Fingers crossed Team Liquid are able to fly the flag for the NA region at the upcoming 2022 Rio Major and beyond.
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