Heroic sweep Vitality to complete ESL One Cologne miracle run
Heroic won ESL One Cologne’s European division after crushing Vitality 3-0 in the grand final of the $325,000 tournament. The Danish team, who had broken into the top 10 in the rankings only this week, made light work of the world No 2 to complete what Casper “cadiaN” Møller had already described as a “miracle run” before Sunday’s clash.
“In 2015, I was on the desk in Cologne, only dreaming about reaching a final,” the Danish in-game leader said after the match. “Now, we’re the champions. What a road for this team, what a road for me. I’m speechless.”
Vitality will look back at this match and wonder what hit them. Things began to fall apart in the map draft as they picked Inferno instead of Overpass or Vertigo – a decision that even surprised cadiaN, who had predicted a 3-1 victory for this team. The French team came close to winning that map, only to spectacularly collapse and let a 13-8 lead slip. The other two maps were rather straightforward as Heroic played as close to perfect as possible – a performance that showed just how far they have come since bringing Nicolai “HUNDEN” Petersen in as coach, just four months ago.
This defeat means that Vitality once again have to settle for second place after losing last year’s ESL One Cologne final to Liquid, back when LANs were still a thing. It’s also worth noting that this is the third consecutive runner-up finish by the French team, who had lost the BLAST Premier and the cs_summit 6 titles to Complexity and BIG, respectively, though those two finals had gone the full distance.
The best-of-five clash began on Mirage, one of Vitality’s worst maps in recent history (40% win percentage in the last three months). Heroic went behind early on but quickly recovered, winning the third round on the back of a trio of kills by Johannes “b0RUP” Borup. After getting their economy back on track, Vitality put together a string of rounds as Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut and Richard “shox” Papillon both stepped up to the plate, but Heroic continued their methodical approach and dominated the rest of the half to go up 9-6.
The second half brought more of the same as Heroic remained on the front foot and continued adding to their lead. Their streak of rounds was briefly interrumpted when Cédric “RpK” Guipouy pulled off a 1v2 clutch on the B site, but that was merely a small bump in the road as the Danes immediately picked themselves up and secured the map.
Heroic win ESL One Cologne and $150,000 – the team’s biggest prize
Heroic picked up where they left off as they jumped out to a 6-1 lead on the CT side of Inferno. The Danes lost their grip on the game as Vitality grew into the game, with the two teams separated by just one round heading into the break.
As expected, Vitality came out of the break firing from all cylinders, winning six rounds without response to get within touching distance of victory. It looked like the French team had the game under control, but then Heroic flipped the switch: the Danes picked up the pace and ruthlessly prised the Vitality defense apart with some flawless hits on both sites, going on an 8-0 run to lock up the map.
More misery was piled on Vitality, who lost control of proceedings after going 4-0 up as Heroic went on another dominant run reminiscent of their brilliant Inferno rally. After losing eight rounds in a row, the French team still pulled two back thanks to ZywOo before the final round went the way of Heroic.
Martin “stavn” Lund opened up the action in the second half with a trio of kills in a retake to kick Heroic further into the lead. Vitality responded by winning the first full gun round, but there was no follow-up as the Danes hit back immediately following some impressive Desert Eagle shots by René “TeSeS” Madsen. Heroic went on to hit championship point, with b0RUP providing the finishing blow just a few rounds later with a quad-kill in a semi-buy from his team.
ESL One Cologne 2020 – Europe final standings:
1. – Heroic – $150,000
2. – Vitality – $50,000
3-4. NiP – $25,000
3-4. G2 – $25,000
5-8. Astralis – $11,500
5-8. OG – $11,500
5-8. Sprout – $11,500
5-8. Complexity – $11,500
9-12. FaZe – $4,500
9-12. MAD Lions – $4,500
9-12. fnatic – $4,500
9-12. Natus Vincere – $4,500
13-16. MIBR – $2,750
13-16. mousesports – $2,750
13-16. Heretics – $2,750
13-16. BIG – $2,750