G2 almost let the ball drop to Heroic on Inferno, the decisive map of the first PGL Stockholm Major semifinals of the day, but they exorcised their demons and made it through to the grand finals of the first CS:GO Major in over two years.
It was a nerve-racking match for G2 fans from the start, with G2 losing the first map of the series. Heroic won Nuke (16-12) and G2 tied the series after Mirage (16-10), even though the Danes had a 6-1 lead.
These maps had great moments, but the best happened in Inferno, a map that historically has presented some of the most entertaining episodes of CS:GO esports. G2 were winning by 13-6 in their T side and had a huge economic advantage when Heroic fixed their defensive setup and started to win rounds.
You could see the tension on G2’s players’ faces, but star Nikola “NiKo” Kovač was keeping his nerves. The team were letting rounds slip even in great after-plant situations, and some fans predicted a classic G2 choke was going to happen in the Avicii Arena in Stockholm.
Heroic took the lead 15-14 and G2 had just one AK-47 in play in the last round of the regulation, saved by NiKo in round 29. He used the rifle the best he could, securing two kills and helping Audric “JaCkz” Jug grab two as well, pushing G2 to overtime.
NiKo celebrated like he had won the match. The momentum shifted towards G2 after in-game leader Nemanja “nexa” Isaković won a one-vs-two clutch in the first round of OT. The French-Balkan lineup took the reins of the match and played it to perfection, closing Inferno 19-15 to qualify for the finals.
The whole G2 lineup deserves credit after today, but NiKo arguably deserves more than others. G2 wouldn’t be able to beat Heroic today if it wasn’t for the Bosnian’s efforts. He was their top-fragger in all maps (25 kills on Nuke and 24 on Mirage), and played exceptionally in Inferno, finishing with 32 kills—seven more than nexa, the second with the most frags. His mechanical prowess and the ability to get multiple opening kills throughout the series were too much for Heroic to handle.
With this victory, NiKo will get to play the second CS:GO Major grand finals of his career. He was the main star of the FaZe Clan lineup that choked to Cloud9, who were massive underdogs, at the ELEAGUE Boston Major in 2018. As for G2, this will be the first Major grand finals in the organization’s history.
Despite the loss, Heroic still deserves credit. The Danish side lost 10 rounds in a row in Inferno and fought back to reach map point before G2. They never gave up, and helped to make this the most exciting series of the PGL Stockholm Major so far.
The second semifinal of PGL Stockholm Major takes place between Natus Vincere and Gambit. Whoever wins it will face G2 tomorrow at 2pm CT.