The finalists for the Faceit League global final have been set, and the field wasn’t found without some drama.
The final will see two teams from North America competing live with four European teams.
The two North American teams were the first to be set. Cloud9 found their way into the competition with relative ease, compiling a flawless run through the six-team round robin group to advance with a record of 5-0.
Things weren’t quite as easy for iBUYPOWER. While the team has long been seen as one of two American powerhouses along with Cloud9, they were challenged by Denial, one of the squads most keen to break the two-team stranglehold on North America.
In spite of recent controversies surrounding the team, Denial has been making a hard charge towards the top of the region. That path set them on a collision course with iBUYPOWER.
The resulting game was one filled with dramatics. Denial’s effort was keyed by Keith “Naf Fly” Markovic and Shahzeb “Shahzam” Khan, and was enough to take the game to overtime. Then another overtime. And eventually a third overtime, where iBUYPOWER was able to close things out.
The favorites were forced to play with a ringer, Nick “Nitro” Cannella, for much of the match in place of Keven “AZK” Lariviere. Clutch play from Braxton “Swag” Pierce helped keep iBUYPOWER alive until the third overtime period came about, at which point they were finally able to take firm control of the game and close out their victory by a score of 31-27.
The match was the equivalent of two consecutive regulations matches played out nearly to the last round, or three consecutive blowouts.
In Europe, Swedish team Fnatic nearly the table just as Cloud9 did in North America. They’ll be joined in representing the continent by Dignitas, LDLC, and Virtus Pro.
Notably missing out on the final are Titan and Ninjas in Pyjamas. The unsuccessful qualification is just the latest in a string of disappointments for the latter team following their victory at ESL Cologne, and rumors continue to persist regarding potential roster changes for the Swedish power.
The Faceit League final will be played Oct. 26 in Milan, Italy.