Image: Ubisoft/Joao Ferreira
The Six Jönköping Major grand-final saw France’s Team BDS face Brazil’s Team Liquid.
Both teams’ star fraggers were the ones to watch, as the match was billed as a Stéphane "Shaiiko" Lebleu versus Luccas "Paluh" Molina clash. The game was also a debut-stage grand-final for Théo "LikEfac" Mariano and an attempt for a second title for André "Nesk" Oliveira, Paluh, and Shaiiko.
The match itself was a best-of-five without overtime, with the four most recent Majors each having needed all five maps to find a victor. Here’s how the final Six Major of 2022 played out.
Liquid’s first pick should have been an easy win for the Brazilians.
BDS had played this map just three times in official competitions in their three-year history and it was one of their very worst maps. Since then, though, BDS picked up LikEfac and he has made a world of difference.
After a double-kill in round one from BDS’s rookie member, Liquid gained their first and only round win of the map as Nesk had four kills -- half of his team’s total.
Soon, BDS were up 5-1 as Gabriel "AsK" Santos and Paluh, Liquid’s two main fraggers, had one kill each to a combined 11 deaths. Meanwhile, Shaiiko had an 8-1 record himself.
Finally, Liquid’s terrible start to their first grand final in almost two years came to a 1-7 end. Despite Liquid managing to trade a quick BDS attack down to a 2v2 scenario, Shaiiko killed Paluh and both he and Bryan "Elemzje" Tebessi chased down the final kill rather than risk a plant.
Liquid started off positively on Bank, as Paluh immediately got two kills after BDS started planting in a 4v4 situation. His flank quickly led to the collapse of the attack, as Liquid closed in on the turned-around Frenchmen.
As with the first two rounds, the game continued to go back and forth purely depending on if the BDS plant attempt worked or not. In round three, Lorenzo "Lagonis" Volpi then managed to use a C4 to stop Loïc "BriD" Chongthep with 0.084 seconds remaining before the plant went and won a vital round.
After a 3-3 defensive half, Liquid looked much more like themselves. Nesk and AsK both found two kills in a dominant round seven, and they soon reached map point.
In the final round, both Shaiiko and Elemzje pushed Nesk, who they thought was preoccupied with looking through a breached hole. Nesk was well aware of them, though, and killed them both in one spray, putting BDS in a 2v4 situation that ended in a matter of seconds and tied the series.
From BDS to Liquid and now back to BDS, it was the Europeans that led on Oregon.
The Brazilians looked rather haphazard and uncoordinated on the attack, as they lost a particularly egregious 4v2 situation to Shaiiko and BriD in a now-lengthening list of missteps.
After this clutch, the following two rounds were blowouts in BDS’s favour and it looked like a repeat of Theme Park was on the cards -- until Liquid woke up.
By round eight, Shaiiko had 12 kills to four deaths, while LikEfac, Olivier "Renshiro" Vandroux, and Elemzje had five between them. Paluh, who had struggled on the attack, got his second kill of the game halfway through map three as he slowly shook off the shackles BDS had placed on him.
Liquid won seven rounds in a row after having been 0-4 down and Paluh ended as the map’s best player with 14 kills to Shaiiko’s 12 and Nesk’s 10 -- a map finally befitting the two-time SiegeGG Player of the Year.
Liquid would have known that they had to win Kafe if they wanted to avoid a map-five decider on Skyscraper, the map they lost 0-7 in the semi-final against w7m esports.
The series so far only had two clutches in three maps and barely any multi-kills. This changed immediately on Kafe, though, as Renshiro earned a triple kill on round one and Pablo "resetz" Oliveira won Liquid’s first clutch of the game over BriD.
But despite the early 2-1 lead, Liquid only found themselves tied at the halfway mark -- a problem, since they were about to attack.
Nevertheless, they took the lead anyway in their first attacking round, but Renshiro won a vital 1v1 round against a rampaging Paluh that only needed to land one bullet on the Frenchman.
Both teams knew how important this map was -- this was effectively the last chance for both to win -- and the score soon reached 5-5. But it was the Frenchmen who came out on top, as the Brazilians struggled to stay alive and Paluh died ignominiously to a Kapkan trap to send things to map five.
While Liquid had lost this map 0-7 yesterday, they did have an overall positive record on Skyscraper and was likely why they did not ban it today.
But the troubles began rightaway in the first two rounds of the game, as Shaiiko secured five kills and neared both a title and an MVP award. The round wins kept coming from BDS and Brazilian fans watched with dread as it looked like nothing had changed from the semi-final against w7m and Liquid found themselves 1-5 down.
Refusing to give up, though, Liquid added a second one before BriD, hiding in the shower, sent BDS to title point.
Things looked over, but Paluh once again stood tall and kept Brazil in the tournament with a tense 1v2 clutch against Renshiro and Elemzje. This then sparked hopes of a comeback, as Liquid won another 2v2 situation to make it 6-4, but a rush from them on round 11 was ill-advised and ended the tournament in BDS’s favour in front of a European crowd.
Shaiiko ended with 55 kills, the sixth-most in best-of-five history. Nesk, meanwhile had 46, the joint-19th highest ever. Paluh also recovered from a weak start to end with the game’s second-highest kill count on 40.
As a result, Shaiiko was also crowned the SiegeGG MVP for the entire Major, having recovered after a poor group stage to drive BDS through all three of their playoff opponents.
The win also comes after BDS swapped former coach Arnaud "BiOs" Billaudel for Samy "Stooflex" Smail, who has already masterminded his new team to a title.
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