In a stunning 2-1 series victory, #BadNewsEagles stunned the #CounterStrike community by ousting defending Major champions #FaZe from the #IEMRioMajor.
Bad News Eagles needed some exceptional individual efforts, particularly from Flatron #juanflatroo Halimi on Vertigo and Dionis #sinnopsyy Budeci on Mirage, to defeat the current world No. 1. The Kosovar team had already accomplished making another Legends Stage, but they made sure their Major wasn’t done just yet by pulling off a magnificent upset.
Given that FaZe had previously won the three largest tournaments so far this year, this was a colossal defeat for them. They made uncharacteristic errors frequently throughout the series, but especially when the stakes rose near the end of Mirage. This is inconceivable for a squad known for their ability to perform under duress. One of the worst outcomes ever for a reigning Major champion is a single map victory.
The Match Recap
FaZe chose to leave Vertigo for Bad News Eagles to pick in the veto, a map that is typically their perma-ban and one they haven’t played since the ESL Pro League Season 15 playoffs in April. This decision created curiosity before the players even connected to the server.
The series was officially kicked off by Vertigo, and right away Bad News Eagles’ brash offense frequently destroyed FaZe as the European mix failed to get most of its players going, especially Helvijs #broky Saukants. The Eagles, propelled by the tremendous juanflatroo, still grabbed a few more rounds to take a 9-6 lead into the second half, despite Andersen and others mounting a slight recovery in the middle of the half.
After successfully using their T pistol, FaZe stumbled, allowing Bad News Eagles to advance to 12, and it appeared they were about to suffer the consequences for letting Vertigo override the veto.
They managed to string together five straight to keep the score close, but they blundered on a low-eco purchase from Bad News Eagles, allowing the Kosovar team to reach 15. A spectacular 4k from Russell #Twistzz Van Dulken in a 2v4 saved FaZe just as it looked like they would lose, and it helped to force overtime.
Bad News Eagles were determined to win this map, and they gave FaZe just one round before confidently winning 19-16 in the last seconds to put FaZe in danger of going home.
The Second Map – Nuke
It was a different scenario in Nuke, where FaZe quickly took control of their CT side and quickly built a 9-0 lead over Bad News Eagles. They did improve to the point that they were able to win a few late defensive rounds, but it was insufficient, and they were promptly defeated 16-8 when the teams switched, sending the series to Mirage.
After falling to a second-round force, FaZe opened Mirage on the CT side and put together a strong 11-round defensive half, leaving their opponents struggling to gain any ground.
However, at this time FaZe got going and grabbed three in a row to position themselves on the verge of victory. Bad News Eagles did manage to steal the second pistol and rode that momentum to an 8-11 score.
Bad News Eagles still had some resistance to overcome, but switching to a double-AWP configuration paid off as they completely shut down FaZe and sent the game into a third overtime.
As the game approached overtime and the first session was evenly split, the pressure was apparent as both teams looked fruitlessly for a way to break the tie. Bad News Eagles were able to find two T rounds to start the second overtime period, and that was sufficient for them to put up the two CT rounds required to defeat FaZe and produce one of the year’s biggest surprises.