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MOUZ Wins Back-to-Back EPL Titles at ESL Pro League S19

Zakaria Almughrabi

MOUZ has claimed the ESL Pro League S19 trophy after crushing Team Vitality 3-0 in the Grand Finals. This win marks the second consecutive ESL Pro League trophy for MOUZ and their first tournament win of CS2. It also keeps MOUZ in the running for the Intel Grand Slam.

MOUZ ESL Pro League S19

Image Copyright: Helena Kristiansson, ESL FACEIT Group

Defending Champs Start Strong

MOUZ began ESL Pro League S19 in Group C. They quickly dispatched Bad News Kangaroos and GamerLegion 2-0, only one map against GL being close. In the battle for first seed, MOUZ met up against a threatening Team Liquid. The resurging NA org got one round away from taking map one, but MOUZ denied them and kept their sweep streak. MOUZ earned a top-eight without dropping a map.

After a long break, MOUZ entered the playoffs with a match against G2 Esports. Immediately, the Kovač cousins NiKo and huNter- took MOUZ down a peg. G2 stormed through MOUZ’s defense on Inferno, resulting in a 13-3 win for G2.

Still, MOUZ wasn’t deterred by their first dropped map. They took to Vertigo and did the same to G2’s CT side. With the series tied, the teams took to Nuke. Any chances G2 had were ripped away in an instant. G2’s defense couldn’t hold up against MOUZ’s onslaught. A commanding 13-4 victory sent MOUZ to the Semifinals.

Next up was Complexity. North America’s new hope was coming off a sweep of For a second straight series, MOUZ lost map one. Complexity’s impressive Vertigo was too much for MOUZ to contend with. Also, like their previous series, MOUZ came back quickly with a strong opening T side on map two. Nuke was quickly becoming a staple for MOUZ in the EPL playoffs.

The tiebreaker took the teams to Ancient, a map MOUZ was yet to play in this tournament. Despite the perceived unfamiliarity, MOUZ locked it down on their CT side, taking an 8-4 lead. That lead would only grow as MOUZ shut out Complexity’s attack to close out Ancient 13-4.

Back to Reclaim their Throne

In their second straight final following IEM Chengdu, MOUZ faced off against Team Vitality. Despite their consistently high level, Vitality had much going for them coming into the final. Notably, Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut was having a phenomenal tournament. His rating up to this point was an absurd 1.75. Everything was pointing to this being his trophy.

Many were hoping that this would be a hyper-competitive Grand Finals with superstars trading blows. First up was Vitality’s Inferno. MOUZ came in with a plan on the CT side, shutting down Vitality’s Banana aggression almost flawlessly. The home team only won three pounds on the T side.

On defense, Vitality could have brought things back. Despite losing the pistol, they put together a string of rounds. Unfortunately for them, MOUZ had ways to open the can. Ludwig “Brollan” Brolin earned a +5 entry kill differential, which helped MOUZ get their remaining rounds. His 1.69 T side rating closed out map one 13-9 for MOUZ.

For MOUZ’s pick, they took Mirage. Even though they began on the T side this time, MOUZ still rushed out to an early lead. In most rounds, vitality struggled to play through Mid, ceding map control to their opposition. To add insult to injury, a 1v3 clutch out of Dorian “xertioN” Berman near the end of the half turned what could have been a solid 7-5 lead into an impressive 9-3 score for MOUZ.

Vitality simply didn’t have the preparation or form on the day to make up the huge deficit. Despite the best efforts of Lotan “Spinx” Giladi, Vitality fell in map two 8-13. MOUZ was now one map away from the ESL Pro League S19 trophy.

Undisputed Pro League Kings

Vitality’s second map pick was Nuke. That said, the choice didn’t do them any favors. MOUZ has been competent on Nuke all tournament long. That form continued as they started on CT side. MOUZ’s defense was suffocating. Vitality could find nothing, only planting the bomb in three total rounds. The sheer confidence difference was blatant, resulting in plays like this from Ádám “torzsi” Torzsás, pushing and holding Lobby alone after MOUZ lost the first man.

When the dust settled, it was 10-2 for MOUZ at the half. Even some second half pistol round heroics did nothing for Vitality’s chances in the game. MOUZ simply got their weapons and took three of the last four rounds. A decisive 13-5 finish put a cap on MOUZ’s ESL Pro League run, solidifying the 3-0 sweep and their second straight EPL trophy.

MOUZ now holds the record for most ESL Pro League titles at three. They took the final EPL of CS:GO and now the first of CS2. And in Grand Finals matches, they have never dropped a single map.

It’s no secret that MOUZ is amazing in the studio. The young squad can play the best Counter-Strike in the world; they’ve just had issues translating it to the arena. If MOUZ can take results like this and bring it no matter the occasion, this team can continue winning trophies for a long time.