Published: January 13, 2019
G2 Esports vs. YG Sharks (Semi-Final #1)
G2 Esports, in their first LAN attendance with the new all French lineup, managed to do more damage than expected even though they lost against forZe in the group stage. However, they managed to qualify and faced HellRaisers in the Quarter-Final. It was a very close game between the 2 teams but G2 Esports clinched the win 2-0 and moved on to face a team they never faced before, YG Sharks.
YG Sharks, the winners of the South American PLG Open Qualifier, faced the best Asian team coming from China, Tyloo, in the Quarter-Final. An insane comeback on Cache and a relatively easy win on Mirage gave the win to YGSharks 2-0.
The Semi-final was very interesting between the two teams. YGSharks picked train and dominated it. G2 Esports picked Dust2 and dominated it. Both were really comfortable playing their maps and had no trouble in winning them. However, no one expected the decider map to go down that way.
G2 Esports had everything working out perfectly for them on the 3rd map, Nuke which ended in a whopping 16-0 score. Trade kills, everyone playing their role perfectly and especially Shox going aggressive in the right moments and hitting his shots. Also, the experience on the G2 Esports squad proved to be essential in defeating YGSharks. It was a good run overall for the Brazilian/Portuguese squad and a huge confidence boost going in to 2019. As for G2 Esports, their new lineup proved to be skillful and synchronized and a successful beginning for what’s to come in the new year.
Fnatic vs. forZe (Semi-final #2)
Fnatic, the highest rated team in the PLG Grand Slam and at that point 9th on the global ranking , made their way without any trouble to the semi-final after defeating team ECL in the Quarter-Final 2-0.
forZe, the Russian squad and winners of the European PLG Open Qualifiers, surprised everyone at the PLG Grand Slam. No one expected them to reach that far but they proved to be a pleasant surprise. They completely bashed team INTZ from North America 16-3 16-4 in the Quarter-Final to move on and face the Swedish giants, Fnatic.\
Mirage, Fnatic’s map pick, didn’t go as expected for the Swedish team. The match was back and forth. Little details and heroic plays by “almazer” and “xsepower” are what made the difference in defeating Fnatic 16-14 on their map pick.
Overpass, forZe’s map pick, went horribly wrong for the Russian squad. Fnatic completely dominated the map with “KRIMZ” playing so well which left forZe with no options whatsoever to lose their map pick, 4-16.
Inferno, the decider map, was surely the best map out of the whole event. Pressure was on and mainly on Fnatic since forZe technically had nothing to lose being the underdogs. The first half ended 8-7 in favor of Fnatic. In the second half, Fnatic had a lead of 14-12 which extended to 15-13 short of a round to win the map but forZe showed great resilience and strength and forced overtime thanks to “facecrack” individual great performance. The map went to triple overtime ending at a 25-23 score in favor of “KRIMZ” and co. in what seemed to be a marathonic match.
forZe kept doing comebacks but eventually their energy got drained and experience went in favor of the Swedish squad to clinch the win. ForZe earned the respect and admiration from everyone who watched the match and no matter the result, they definitely won the hearts of everyone.
Fnatic vs. G2 Esports (Grand Final)
It was the dream final for the fans all over the world. The Swedish giants against the newly reconstructed French squad competing for a 70,000$ first prize in Abu Dhabi, Yas Island’s Du Forum.
The match started with G2 Esports picking their favorite map, Dust2. The match was a brawl as both teams were trying to control the flow. The rounds kept being exchanged and it was only fair that the first half ended with a 8-7 score for G2. 2 pistol rounds were won by Fnatic and a good 4 round lead start for Fnatic’s side only to be stopped by “KennyS” triple kills back-to-back to even up the score 10-11. G2’s heroic plays couldn’t stop the attacks of Fnatic which gave the win to Fnatic 16-11.
Mirage, Fnatic’s map pick, started well for G2 Esports who had a perfect CT-side pistol round. “KRIMZ”, however, tied up the score 1-1 after getting 3 kills with the AK-47 in the following round. Rounds kept going back and forth until Fnatic managed to break G2’s economy and controlled the pace of the first half leading to a score of 10-5. G2, once again, managed to win the pistol round and successfully won the anti-eco. The 2nd half was as good as the first with rounds being exchanged but only this time G2 were winning round after round to take the lead up to 14-12. The swedes never gave up and managed to comeback and turn the score around from being down 12-14 to leading 15-14 ahead of the last round. G2 had a shattered economy and couldn’t do much in the last round as Fnatic’s CT hold was on point giving them the victory 2-0 to be crowned the champions of PLG Grand Slam in Abu Dhabi.
Expectations pointed at Fnatic being the champions of PLG Grand Slam prior to the event but their road to victory wasn’t easy as they stumbled upon a very strong forZe in the semi-final and a great contender with a bright future, team G2 Esports. This was Fnatic’s 3rd championship throughout 2018 and they ended their year in Abu Dhabi as fans celebrated their victory at the venue and online all over the world.