The CSL 2019 Grand Finals was easily the most exciting grand finals we’ve ever seen in CSL CS:GO. With a different playoffs format than the previous years, double elimination BO3 with BO5 grand finals, it easily lent its way to the most exciting matches that collegiate CS:GO has ever had.
Coming into the event, many would say that Robert Morris University was the favourite to win the entire tournament. With a star-studded lineup with no real weak links, RMU was extremely confident in their ability to take the trophy. However, without koga in attendance, things were tougher than they expected. UC Santa Cruz came in as the underdog of the event, as even the players themselves had no expectations of going far. UCSC came out swinging on the first map, catching RMU completely off guard. RMU replied back with a map win on Nuke, which brought it down to the 3rd map: Vertigo, a map that’s been recently introduced into the map pool over Cache. Neither team had any real experience on it, but UCSC came out on top and upset the favourites of the tournament, and moved onto the grand finals.
Both York and RMU met online in the upper bracket for a slot to qualify to the LAN finals, where RMU came out on top. This was York’s opportunity to get revenge for that loss, and they came out with a huge 16-8 victory on the first map, Nuke, which was RMU’s map pick. Anyone who was at the event would agree that RMU looked like they were down and out, but they fought their way to a 16-10 victory on Overpass, which was York’s pick. It all came down to the third and final map of the day, Inferno. Throughout the entire year, Inferno has always delivered great final matches, and this was no exception. Both teams fought as hard as they could, but York ultimately closed it out, sending themselves to the grand finals, and knocking RMU out at 3rd place.
UCSC were awarded a 1 map advantage in this best of 5 as their reward for coming through the upper bracket, while York had to secure all 3 map wins to take it home. The first map was Inferno, and as always it delivered. The map went to overtime thanks to saiyo’s great 1v3 clutch: https://www.twitch.tv/cstarleague/clip/BoldHonestStinkbugBIRB, but it wasn’t enough as York pulled through with a 19-17 victory. In Map 3, it looked like Train was simply UCSC’s playground. York were completely out of their element and were constantly getting caught off guard on their CT side due to UCSC’s brilliant T side calling. UCSC went up 2-1 in the series after a 16-7 victory on Train. On Map 4, Mirage was the answer for York as their T side was simply too much for UCSC to handle, much in the same way that UCSC dominated on their T side of Train. Mirage went in the way of York, 16-10, with big performances from kXn and tennLs. The 5th and final map of the entire event ended up being Vertigo, which could may as well have been a coin-flip with how new the map was. However Skelly completely took over in this map, finishing with 32 kills and bringing home another collegiate CS:GO title to York University. He, along with tennLs, add a CSL title to their belts, which sits with their AVGL title from last year.
(Courtesy of HLTV.org)
Reality had a great individual event, despite his team placing 3rd
Andersin finished with the highest ADR, as a back-up for his team
Skelly’s +47 performance; +20 came from the final map of the Grand Finals
shike finished with the most opening kills, as one of the newest competitors to the CSL
The battle of the AWPers on each team: tennLs had a huge performance with the AWP, finishing with 82 kills, yohan had 63, and Welshy finished with 19
An amazing event throughout the entire weekend, and it was also a pleasure to cast for myself personally. What we’ve learned in this event is that anything can happen when it comes to collegiate CS:GO at LAN, with RMU being completely upset and crashing in 3rd place. Collegiate CS:GO is just getting bigger and bigger, and every year gets more and more competitive. Congratulations to all of the competitors this year, and I look forward to what next year has in store!