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Esports: The best CS:GO Major Grand Finals in history

There have been some thrilling CSGO Major Grand Finals over the years and here we detail our top five.

5. IEM Katowice 2019 - Astralis 2-0 ENCE

Although the Grand Final itself was a one-sided affair, this Major was the culmination of several storylines which made it one of the most enjoyable in history.

Underdogs ENCE, a little-known team from Finland, tore their way through the New Champions Stage in jaw-dropping fashion, defeating Team Liquid and Natus Vincere to reach the Grand Final.

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Astralis, who won their first major in Atlanta two years prior, were beginning to cement a legacy as the best roster in CS:GO history and they became just the second team to win back-to-back majors with a 2-0 victory over a plucky ENCE.

Six months later, they would become the only team to win three majors on the bounce.

4. PGL Major Antwerp 2022 - FaZe 2-0 Natus Vincere

Despite pioneering the international roster and building a number of ‘superteams’, a major championship had been elusive for FaZe and their in-game leader, karrigan.

The Dane, who rejoined FaZe in February 2021 after a previous stint resulted in several heartbreaks, brought together another elite-standard roster in the prior months and, after a dominant run to the Grand Final of Antwerp 2022, it looked as though little could stop FaZe.

Natus Vincere, who themselves had broken through at the prior major in Stockholm, were powerless to stop FaZe from bulldozing their way to their first championship, sparking emotional scenes for a number of players who were long-overdue the honour.

3. ELEAGUE Major: Atlanta 2017 - Astralis 2-1 Virtus.pro

Widely considered as the best Grand Final from a technical standpoint, Astralis versus Virtus.pro at the 2017 Atlanta Major was a masterclass in the tactical nuances of CS:GO.

In terms of quality, this was the best Grand Final we have witnessed and, depending on who you speak to, it was either historical or heartbreaking.

For Astralis, it was their first major and would set them on the road to creating the best roster in CS:GO history. For Virtus.pro, it signalled the end of an era for a roster that had given the game so much in its early years.

2. ESL One Katowice 2015 - fnatic 2-1 Ninjas In Pyjamas

One of the big early rivalries in CS:GO, the Swedish Derby always provided a spectacle and the 2015 ESL One Katowice 2015 Grand Final was the best of them all.

The first ever CS:GO Major was DreamHack Winter 2013, held in Sweden, and it would be fnatic that claimed the title over Ninjas In Pyjamas. Two Majors later, at ESL One Cologne 2014, Ninjas In Pyjamas would exact revenge on fnatic, and their encounter in early 2015 was another back and forth affair.

This particular final saw olofmeister put in an heroic performance for fnatic and, quite remarkably, he was the only player on his team with a positive 1.0 Rating. Despite the best efforts of allu and GeT_RiGhT on the opposing side, fnatic would clinch a frantic and chaotic series 2-1, ensuring revenge for that prior Cologne defeat.

1. ELEAGUE Major: Boston - Cloud9 2-1 FaZe

It would be an understatement to suggest that Cloud9’s victory at the 2017 ELEAGUE Major: Boston was a miracle run. Cloud9, on home soil, had to defy all the odds and remain the only North American team to reach the summit of CS:GO.

That began in the New Legends Stage, where they were put in the last-chance saloon almost immediately with defeats to G2 and Space Soldiers. Three victories in succession were required to keep them in the tournament and they did just that, defeating Virtus.pro, Astralis and Vega Squadron to reach the New Champions Stage.

The North Americans exacted revenge on G2 to reach the semi-finals and caused another shock by defeating the defending champions SK Gaming 2-1 to reach the Grand Final.

They would meet FaZe in the Grand Final, the best team in the world at that time. The international roster that karrigan had built was a “superteam”, composed of star players GuardiaN, rain, olofmeister and NiKo.

They reached the Grand Final without dropping a single map and, although Cloud9 pushed them hard on the opening map of Mirage, FaZe got over the line 16-14. With FaZe’s pick of Overpass coming up, the CS:GO world was already crowning the beginning of a dynasty.

Cloud9 struck back in empathic fashion, however, taking Overpass 16-10. What followed was an astonishing map of CS:GO on Inferno, one that went to overtime thanks to the heroics of Cloud9’s Stewie2K.

Double-overtime was required to determine the winner and it was Cloud9 who would take the Boston Major 22-19. The scenes of utter jubilation that followed still live fresh in the hearts of every CS:GO fan.

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