After a weekend of fierce competition, SK Gaming stood tall by the end of ESL One: Cologne at the LANXESS Arena in Cologne, Germany on Sunday. Cloud9 put up a good fight but SK Gaming would not be denied, posting a 3-0 shut-out to become 2017 ESL One: Cologne champions.
The series started on SK Gaming's map pick of Cobblestone, which began with a smooth 10-2 run for SK despite losing the pistol. Cloud9 sniper Tyler "Skadoodle" Latham shut down the SK streak with a triple kill to help Cloud9 pull back a 10-5 deficit at the half. The second half started well for Cloud9, as it won the pistol and the pair of anti-eco's, but it was unable to break the Brazilian defense during its buy round. Down 13-9, Cloud9 in-game leader Jake "Stewie2k" Yip picked up an ace to try and inspire Cloud9. SK was resilient, however, striking a knockout blow with three rounds in a row to take Game 1 by a 16-9 margin.
Cloud9 then moved on to its map pick of Train, which SK has been dominant on in the past. C9's Mike "Shroud" Grzesiek opened the map with a triple kill to take the pistol and the first anti-eco round on a flawless A-split. The Brazilians came back to take a 4-3 lead, however, thanks to Marcelo "coldzera" David's two long range Desert Eagle kills to spark the team morale. Timothy "autimatic" Ta responded with a stunning triple Desert Eagle kill to help overturn a 2-vs-5 fight in C9's favor, beginning a phenomenal 10-5 to close out the half. The second half saw SK surge as Fernando "Fer" Alvarenga shutdown Cloud9's defense with a pistol ace. From there, Cloud9 struggled to hold off SK's blistering attack as the Brazilians won an impressive eleven out of thirteen rounds to take Train 16-12.
Taking the action to Inferno for Game 3, Cloud9 jumped out to a quick 9-1 lead. The newest SK member, Joao "felps" Vasconcellos, would recover ground for his team, though, winning four out of the last five rounds in the first half with great individual play. Cloud9 was in a great position to sweep through the second half for a quick win, but SK's solid start on the defensive side stopped C9 in its tracks. Winning its first six rounds to take a lead for the first time in Game 3, SK evened the playing field before Cloud9 came storming back to win four consecutive rounds. Cloud9 was so close to taking the map and keeping the dream alive, but SK Gaming tightened its defenses and won the final five rounds to complete a 3-0 sweep of Cloud9 take the title of ESL One: Cologne.