FaZe Clan have won IEM Sydney 2018 by defeating Astralis 3-0 in the grand finals, thereby denying the Danes from getting a second consecutive title after their dominant run at DreamHack Masters Marseille.
The grand final series started on Cache, picked by FaZe, with the European mixture taking the pistol round, courtesy of a triple kill by Håvard ‘rain’ Nygaard. Astralis, on the CT side, were quick to respond and took the next three rounds. The five-round winning streak for FaZe that followed forced Astralis into a tactical pause. The score was 8-3 in favour of FaZe, when Astralis managed to win two rounds back-to-back. The Danes’ catch up run was stopped by a 1v2 clutch courtesy of Ladislav ‘GuardiaN’ Kovács and FaZe were able to end the first half with a 10-5 advantage.
After the switch, the Danish team took the pistol round and after winning 6 of the following 8 rounds managed to equalize at 12-12 thanks to a 1v3 clutch by Andreas ‘Xyp9x’ Højsleth. Astralis continued to take rounds and eventually reached map point, but failed to close the map in the following two rounds. A triple kill by GuardiaN moved the map into overtime, where FaZe won three of the first four OT rounds. A 1v2 clutch from Finn ‘karrigan’ Andersen closed the map at 19-17 in favour of FaZe.
Overpass turned out to be the most contested map in the series. It was Astralis’ pick and the Danes secured a 3-0 lead after taking the pistol round with a triple kill from Xyp9x. Nevertheless, FaZe swiftly got back into the game and won the next three. FaZe’s strong defence throughout the first half on the CT side denied any attempts by Astralis to turn things around and the European mixture was sitting on a comfortable 10-5 lead at halftime.
Now on the CT side themselves, Astralis won the opening round as well as two out of the following three, closing up on FaZe at 11-8. Then FaZe got three rounds in a row, but the Danes followed up with a strong defence in the next five rounds. It took a triple kill by karrigan in round 28 for FaZe to finally reach map point, but Astralis took the next two rounds and forced the map into overtime. The two sides could not establish a winner in the first overtime, so the map went into a second OT. Astralis then lost three rounds as Terrorists, and a triple kill in the next round by Nikola ‘NiKo’ Kovač closed the map in FaZe’s favour.
The third map, Train, which was picked by FaZe opened with the pistol round for Astralis and the Danes, who started off on the CT side, quickly climbed to a 10-0 lead. It took a 1v3 clutch courtesy of GuardiaN to put FaZe on the board and the team then won the next three rounds. A defuse by Astralis in the last round sealed the first half at 4-11 in favour of the Danish team.
This time on the CT side, FaZe confidently took the pistol round and the following anti-ecos, closing in on Astralis at 7-11. Astralis struggled to repeat their run through the first half as FaZe managed to put a strong defence. After the Danes took their fourteenth round, FaZe did not give them a chance to get to the map point until the very end. Håvard ‘rain’ Nygaard’s team went on to take six rounds in a row, closing the map 16-14 and lifting the IEM Sydney 2018 trophy.
This is FaZe’s first title for 2018 and second that counts in the race for the $1,000,000 Intel Grand Slam.