The ESEA Season 26 Open Grand Final for South Africa was contested last Thursday night between serial finalists Bravado Gaming and debut finalists Big 5 Esports. Let’s take a closer look at what transpired going into the final and in the match itself.
The lead up for Big 5 Esports
Big 5 beat Energy eSports 2-1 in a closely contested Semi Final series that went into overtime on both maps. It was a result that may have surprised many as Energy had been dominant throughout the season and were the winners of the last two LAN finals as well. Big 5 did well to dispatch an Energy side, who in spite of playing with a stand in, put up a determined performance.
As a relatively new organization formed this year, Big 5 were the first player-owned team to find success in SA CS:GO. They’ve effectively vanquished the legendary Damage Control side from the top three in the rankings after bullying them in both ESL Africa seasons and the past few 2017 ESEA seasons as well. Big 5 have firmly established themselves as a top contender and a fan favourite.
Big 5 went into the organization’s first Grand Final with the biggest scalp in South African Counter-Strike to their name. Their win was forged in the fires of adversity, having been pushed to their limits, and emerged the victor. They would have been quietly confident about their prospects.
Bravado’s road to the Final
Meanwhile, Bravado had a much easier time of it in the other Semi Final, overcoming Goliath Gaming in a clean 2 – 0 series victory. They had complete control of the match from the outset and were not under threat of losing at any point. This was for the most part the story of their ESEA season so far. They dominated all the opponents they faced and only stumbled against arch rivals Energy. Bravado’s run to the final was largely smooth sailing.
How would they fair in the Grand Final considering the previous times they had faced a strong and determined enemy in a playoff situation on LAN, they were the ones that had crumbled?
Read more here.