This past weekend the WESG 2017 World Finals came to a conclusion. Overall, the tournament treated us to some stunning upsets, exhilarating comebacks, and high quality Counter Strike. 32 teams representing five different regions gathered in China to fight over the $1.5 million prize pool. Pool play whittled the field down to an elite eight: Team Russia, MVP PK, Space Soldiers, Team One, Fnatic, AGO Esports, CLoud 9, and GODSENT. These weakest links were forced to abandon, and the semifinals saw exciting play between Space Soldiers vs Team Russia, and Fnatic vs Team One.
After stunning Cloud 9 in the quarterfinals, One hoped to pull off another upset against Fnatic. One started off with a decent first half, but ultimately ended up losing Mirage 16-7. Nuke began as a highly contested affair, but after winning 10 straight rounds in a row, Fnatic took the map 16-6, and the series 2-0. In the other semifinal, Space Soldiers took on Team Russia. The series began on Space Soldiers’ pick, Cobblestone, with a solid 10-5 victory for the Turkish side. Space Soldiers would go on to take the map with a dominating performance the second half, only allowing Team Russia one round. The next map, Nuke, began much the same way, with a 6-1 lead for Space Soldiers. Although Team Russia was able to narrow the gap and made the game even through 22 rounds, Space Soldiers were able to close out the map 16-11.
The final was a nailbiter between Space Soldiers of Turkey and fnatic of Sweden that will go down in the books. The best-of-three grand final began on Cobblestone with a T-sided victory, but could not capitalize on the initial victory, and lost the half 10-5. Space Soldiers won the second half pistol round as well, but could not convert the pistol round win into any momentum, and lost Cobblestone 16-12.
The series continued on Inferno, which coincidentally, is where the series began to heat up. Fnatic got off to a hot start to take a 4-0 victory, before going on to take the half 8-7. Space Soldiers came out swinging the second half and extended their map lead to a commanding 15-12 lead. Despite having three map points, the Turkish side was unable to close out Inferno, and the map would head to overtime. There, the underdogs would sweep the Swedish side, and take the map 19-16.
The grand finals would be decided on Mirage, where Space Soldiers got off to a quick 7-1 start. The Swedes staged a rally and narrowed the gap to 9-6 by halftime. The second half began with a hammering, and Space Soldiers ran the score up to 14-7, two rounds away from winning the entire tournament. Down but not out, the Swedes pulled off nine consecutive round victories to win the map 16-14 and claim the championship at the WESG 2017 World Finals.
Throughout the course of the tournament, Freddy “KRIMZ” Johannson put up some monster numbers and was the catalyst towards fnatic’s victory at the WESG 2017. Boasting a tournament wide second best Kill to Death difference of +102, KRIMZ stole the show in Haikou. In total, KRIMZ featured in seven of the event’s stats leaderboards, including Damage difference per round, total opening kills, success in opening duels, 1+ kill rounds and total headshots, in addition to his Kill to Death difference. This performance would not go unnoticed, as KRIMZ was awarded the MVP for the tournament. This likely would have been his second in as many events, were it not for flusha’s godlike Aces in Katowice. Time will tell if KRIMZ historic start to 2018 will continue throughout the rest of the year.
This past weekend was a thrilling display of Counter Strike with a fitting final between Space Soldiers and fnatic will be one for the ages. With the next large event being Dreamhack, approximately one month from now, we’ll have plenty of video to keep us entertained until then.
Featured image from hltv.org