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G2 Breaks the Curse, Wins BLAST World Final 2022

Zakaria Almughrabi

The final Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament of the year has come to a close. After a dominant showing throughout playoffs, G2 Esports have taken home the BLAST World Final trophy, beating Team Liquid 2-0 in the Grand Finals. This is a historic win for the roster and organization, breaking their three-year title drought and their eight-map losing streak in Grand Finals matches.

G2 BLAST World Final

Image Credit BLAST Premier

An Intimidating Group

G2 Esports’ tournament started in Group A where they were to face both Major champions of 2022. In their opening match against FaZe Clan, G2 took their opening map of Nuke 16-10. They very nearly had the 2-0 sweep, but Inferno ended up in overtime where FaZe narrowly won 19-17. On the tiebreaker of Ancient, G2 looked helpless as FaZe crushed them 16-4.

Now in the elimination match, G2 faced off against Outsiders. The Rio Major champions looked sluggish throughout, as G2 took Inferno 16-12 before nearly perfect gaming them 16-1 on Mirage. Just like that, G2 had earned a spot in the BLAST World Final Playoffs.

Ramping Up

G2’s quarterfinals match was against their rivals Team Vitality. Just like in the FaZe match, G2 got to open with their preferred Nuke. They easily locked in their map pick 16-4, then moved onto Vitality’s Vertigo. Once again, G2 nearly had the 2-0 sweep, but Vitality managed to push it to overtime just like FaZe had. The home team then cleaned things up 19-15 to extend the series to Anubis.

This time however, G2 would not crumble under the pressure. After a nearly even first half, G2 mounted an oppressive offense to secure nine of 12 rounds and advance to the semifinals off the 16-11 result. Awaiting them was a rematch against FaZe Clan for a spot in the finals.

The map veto went the exact same way for the first two maps, Nuke for G2 and Inferno for FaZe. FaZe had clearly refined their Nuke game, pushing G2 to the edge. They needed someone to step up big, and Justin “jks” Savage was up for the task. Through one-man holds and late map heroics, G2 secured their map pick 16-14.

Now was time for Inferno, the map that G2 lost in overtime before. Things looked dire early on, with FaZe rocketing out to 11 rounds on their T side. As FaZe moved to the favorable CT side with a seven-round lead on their home turf, a map three was the expectation. However, G2 had other ideas. They did one better on offense, earning 12 rounds in the time FaZe could secure two. The 16-13 upset completed G2’s revenge and pushed them into the Grand Finals.

Breaking the Curse

The final hurdle in G2’s road to redemption was Team Liquid. These two were both from Group A, but hadn’t had a chance to face each other until now. Liquid’s first action was banning away Nuke from G2. The response was an instant Inferno pick, as G2 had grown comfortable on the map likely thanks to the sparring with FaZe. The training was paying off in big ways, with G2’s oppressive T side doing work in map one of the Grand Finals.

The map started off scrappy, with both teams fighting for economic supremacy. G2 came out ahead in round five thanks to a clutch triple kill out of Nikola “NiKo” Kovac.

With the force-buy war won, G2 had the momentum to bring the halftime score up to 11-4. Liquid didn’t have the same propensity on the map as their opponents and quickly fell flat. G2’s 16-7 win pushed them just one map away from the trophy that had evaded them for so long.

Ending the Year on a High Note

Liquid chose Mirage for their map. They lost the pistol round, but quickly found their way on the board by winning their first buy round. G2 were no slouches though, and quickly wrestled back control of the map. With a score of 9-3 in favor of G2, Liquid managed to salvage the half by winning the last three in a row.

With only a three round gap and Liquid moving to the CT side, G2 extended their lead by winning the second pistol round. However, Liquid started coming back when they had weapons in hand. They tied the score at 11-11 and had all the momentum on defense. With full economic advantage as well, Liquid was poised to bring the series to a third map.

Here, in-game leader Rasmus “HooXi” Nielsen employed a barrage of Mid-focused round opening strategies. The next five rounds all started with G2 finding the opening kill either in Mid or on Catwalk. AWP boosts, HE Grenade stacks, and angle posting were all in the playbook for G2, and it brought them up to championship point. With Liquid on a low-buy for round 28, G2 hit them with a slow-played A site execute to secure the BLAST World Final trophy.

This win marks so many important milestones for this G2 lineup. It’s the first trophy that cousins NiKo and Nemanja “huNter-“ Kovac have earned together. It’s the first S Tier trophy won by HooXi, who had faced more scrutiny than any player in CS:GO since his arrival. Ilya “m0NESY” Osipov earned his first trophy and MVP award since leaving his home country of Russia at age 16. And jks ended 2022 like he started it, winning a trophy, this time as a core member of the roster. There was no better time for G2 to have earned this victory, and they’ll get to enjoy every minute of it as CS:GO heads into the holiday off-season.