With IEM Cologne 2023 coming along nicely, we felt it was the perfect time to take a look back at the greatest CS:GO Grand Finals of all time. Here, you’ll find matches in some of the most iconic stadiums CS:GO has to offer, with Katowice’s Spodek and Cologne’s LANXESS Arena both featured.
5. NAVI vs G2 | PGL Major Stockholm 2021
To this day, NAVI vs G2 is the most-watched CS:GO match of all time, peaking at 2.7m viewers. This was the day NAVI fulfilled their destiny to become CS:GO Major winners, so it’s no surprise.
The stakes are high in all CS:GO Grand Finals, but this one had some extra spice. You had s1mple and NiKo, two legends of the game, fighting it out for their first-ever Major trophy. That alone was enough to make this matchup a real barn burner.
4. Fnatic vs FaZe Clan | IEM Katowice 2018
When Fnatic vs FaZe Clan met in the Spodek in 2018, sparks were always going to fly. This was a Fnatic team perhaps not quite at their peak, after they won several CS:GO Majors in the years prior. Meanwhile, FaZe had an all-star roster that realistically should’ve won this every day of the week. GuardiaN, NiKo, olofmeister, karrigan, rain – it’s a travesty they never won more together.
CS:GO Grand Finals are rarely so simple. It certainly wasn’t here, as Fnatic put FaZe to the sword in one of the best CS:GO Grand Finals we’ve ever seen. There’s a lot to be said about FaZe Clan’s ability to consistently take part in these incredible finals. It’s impressive, to say the least, even if they don’t always come out on top.
3. NAVI vs FaZe Clan | IEM Cologne 2022
FaZe Clan vs NAVI. Two giants of the game, at the peak of their powers in the Cathedral of Counter-Strike. Of all the IEM Cologne Grand Finals, this stands alone as the greatest of them all, leaving IEM Cologne 2023 with a lot to live up to.
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With Counter-Strike 2 just around the corner, the time has come to write what could be CS:GO’s final chapter in the LANXESS Arena. IEM Cologne 2022 is the perfect reminder of the magic it can produce.
2. Virtus.pro vs Astralis | ELEAGUE Major Atlanta 2017
The day Astralis won their first-ever CS:GO Major, with Kjaerbye in place of the later addition Magisk on the greatest roster the game has ever seen. They were up against Virtus.pro, with their iconic roster that put Polish Counter-Strike on the map. There are some nostalgic names here, with the likes of snax and pashaBiceps on the server.
Despite the team being involved in several CS:GO Major Finals in the years afterward, Astralis were so far ahead of the competition that the later matches just weren’t as competitive as the Virtus.pro duel. While Astralis might not be at the same standard these days, it’s still great to look back to the days before dev1ce, Xyp9x, gla1ve, and dupreeh had written their name into CS:GO legend.
1. FaZe Clan vs Cloud9 | ELEAGUE Major Boston 2018
Was it ever going to be any other match? FaZe Clan vs Cloud9 is not only the greatest of all the CS:GO Grand Finals, but it’s likely the greatest game of Counter-Strike ever played.
Everything about FaZe Clan vs Cloud9 was just perfect. After FaZe took the opener on Mirage, Overpass was supposed to be a walk in the park. They were the best Overpass team on the planet, so Cloud9 shouldn’t have posed any real threat. Cloud9 emerged victorious in a surprise map, taking the series to an Inferno decider.
What happened next was a true miracle. At 15:14, FaZe looked set to win the entire Major. They attacked the B bomb site at the end of the round, guarded only by Stewie2k and his AWP. He took down every single FaZe player, with the exception of karrigan, who was lurking on the other side of the map. Overtime was secure. Cloud9 went on to win in overtime, a match which still haunts NiKo, who to this day remains the best-ever player to never win a CS:GO Major.