FaZe Clan completes Intel Grand Slam as they take ESL Pro League Season 17 trophy

FaZe Clan complete Intel Grand Slam by taking home ESL Pro League Season 17 trophy

March 27, 2023

FaZe Clan completed their long-awaited Intel Grand Slam as they beat Cloud9 in the Grand Finals of ESL Pro League Season 17. FaZe Clan became the fourth team to complete the coveted Grand Slam title after Astralis (2019), Team Liquid (2020) and Natus Vincere (2021). 

FaZe’s Intel Grand Slam triumph kicked off with their win at IEM Katowice 2022, after which they won ESL Pro League Season 15 and IEM Cologne 2022 as well. They had a chance to complete the Grand Slam at the 2022 Rio Major, ESL Pro League Season 16 and IEM Katowice 2023, but they failed to win any of them. The super-team finally secured the Grand Slam in Malta, taking down Cloud9 3-1 in the best-of-five final.

FaZe’s star rifler Russell van Dulken (Twistzz) also created history by becoming the first-ever player to win two Intel Grand Slams, having previously won it with Team Liquid in 2019.

Robin ropz Kool took home the ESL Pro League Season 17 MVP trophy following a stellar showing at the tournament. It was also the Estonian’s third ESL Pro League title, having won it previously with FaZe and mousesports. Kool also became the player with the most ESL Pro League titles. 

ropz spoke about finally completing the Intel Grand Slam, stating:

This win feels extremely satisfying. This is a goal we’ve been working for ever since Cologne, so basically nine months I think. Obviously, we’ve had big wins before with this team when we started it, but now being on the road for a long time and getting to know everyone, getting to see what we need to work on and hitting the low points in Rio etcetera, it’s extremely satisfying. I’m so proud of everyone that we can work towards this goal and make it happen, I think I’m just speechless right now, sorry.

FaZe became the first-ever international team to win the Intel Grand Slam, and with Counter-Strike 2 around the corner, they will most likely go down as the final team to win a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Intel Grand Slam. FaZe won US$1 million by winning the Intel Grand Slam. 

Group Stage

Group A

ESL Pro League Season 17 kicked off with Rio Major winners Outsiders taking on Asian powerhouses IHC in Group A. Outsiders brushed IHC aside with a clean 2-0, taking Inferno 16-13 and Overpass 16-7. MIBR faced fnatic in the second match of the group, and like the opening game, it was a clean sweep for fnatic, who won Ancient 16-7 and wrapped up the series 16-12 on Overpass. Cloud9 got their campaign underway against Evil Geniuses, and it was a walk in the park for C9 as they won 16-5 on Inferno and 16-4 on Mirage to wrap up the series. Turkish team Eternal Fire faced G2 in their opening match. Carrying on their red-hot form from Katowice, G2 took down the Turkish squad 2-0 after winning 16-9 on Anubis and 16-14 on Nuke.

Eternal Fire then faced Evil Geniuses in their Lower Bracket matchup and brushed aside the North American side 2-0, taking Anubis 16-6 and Overpass 16-14. The other Lower Bracket match saw IHC take on MIBR; the Brazilians prevailed, taking Inferno 16-12 and Anubis 16-14. 

The upper bracket semi-final saw Outsiders take on fnatic. Outsiders eased past fnatic as they won Inferno 16-14 and then wrapped up the series 16-12 on Vertigo. Cloud9 took on G2 in the second semi-final, and it was C9 who broke G2’s unbeaten streak in 2023, taking down the Katowice champions 16-6 on Vertigo and 16-12 on Inferno. The lower bracket semi-final saw fnatic edge past Eternal Fire 2-1 while G2 beat MIBR 2-0 in the other semi-final.

The lower bracket final saw G2 take down fnatic 2-1, winning 16-8 on Vertigo, but fnatic bounced back on Nuke, demolishing G2 16-4. G2 managed to secure their Playoffs spot with a 16-9 win on Inferno to seal the series. Eternal Fire beat MIBR 2-0 to eliminate the Brazilian team, while fnatic eliminated IHC, beating the Mongolian team 2-1. Eternal Fire and fnatic faced off for the fourth-place decider match, and it was fnatic who just about managed to get themselves in the Playoffs, eliminating Eternal Fire 2-1. The upper bracket final saw Cloud9 take on Outsiders, and Cloud9 took out the Rio champions to qualify directly to the Quarter-finals, while Outsiders made it to the Playoffs Round 2.

Group B

Heroic took down Movistar Riders 2-0 in the opening map of Group B, taking Ancient 16-6 and Overpass 16-5. BIG faced Complexity in their opening match, and it was the American squad who took the opening map 16-8 on Ancient, but the Germans bounced back to take Nuke 16-12 and wrapped up the series on Vertigo 16-14. MOUZ didn’t have a lot of trouble brushing aside SAW 2-0 in their first match, while FURIA won the Brazilian clash as they beat Imperial in straight maps, 16-13 on Inferno and 19-16 on Mirage.

Movistar Riders got their first win of the campaign as they beat Complexity 2-0, handing the North Americans their second loss in as many matches. MOUZ won the upper bracket semi-final of the group, taking down FURIA in straight maps. SAW sent Imperial to the Last Chance Stage as they beat the Brazilians 2-0, while Heroic won their upper bracket semi-final against BIG, with the series going to all three maps. Movistar were sent to the Last Chance Stage as FURIA beat them 2-1, while BIG sent SAW to the Last Chance Stage as well. Imperial were the first team to be eliminated from the group as Complexity beat them 2-1 while BIG dropped to the Last Chance Stage themselves, losing to FURIA. SAW were also eliminated after losing to Movistar Riders, with Complexity joining the Spaniards after losing to BIG in the Last Chance Stage.

Heroic were the first team from the group to head into the Playoffs as they beat MOUZ 2-0 in the upper bracket final and qualified for the Quarter-finals, while MOUZ also went into the Playoffs Round 2. MOUZ and BIG faced off in the final game of the group. BIG were ultimately eliminated after losing 2-1 to Movistar Riders, who went into the Playoffs. BIG won Vertigo 16-13, but the Spaniards bounced back on Nuke 16-12 and wrapped up the series on Ancient 16-9. 

Group C

FaZe Clan kicked off their Intel Grand Slam dream against Australian team Rooster. FaZe cleaned up the series 2-0, taking down Rooster 16-6 on Nuke and 16-7 on Inferno. Ninjas in Pyjamas beat paiN 2-0 in their first match, while Vitality also brushed aside Grayhound 2-0. OG beat 00NATION 2-0, while the other Brazilian team paiN sent Rooster to the Last Chance bracket with a clean 2-0. Vitality beat OG 2-0 in the upper bracket semi-final, while FaZe took down Ninjas in Pyjamas 2-0 in the other semi-final. Grayhound shocked 00NATION 2-1 in their lower bracket matchup, with the Australian team coming back after losing the opening map 14-16 on Mirage. paiN shocked OG in their lower bracket semi-final as they pipped out OG 2-1, while Grayhound also continued their streak of upsets, beating Ninjas in Pyjamas 2-1. 

00NATION eliminated Rooster after taking them down 2-1 while the other Australian team Grayhound were sent to the Last Chance Stage after losing to paiN 1-2. Ninjas in Pyjamas managed to keep themselves in the tournament by beating OG 2-1, while Grayhound lost to 00NATION to see themselves eliminated from the Last Chance bracket. Vitality moved into the Quarter-finals after beating FaZe 2-0, although FaZE also qualified to the Playoffs, while 00NATION managed to move into the Playoffs Round 1 after beating NiP once again. 

Group D

The final group, with heavyweights such as Natus Vincere (Navi), Astralis, Team Liquid and Team Spirit, got underway with Spirit cleaning up Astralis 2-0 in what was the return to ESL Pro League for Astralis’ star AWP-er dev1ce. Navi also suffered a defeat in their opening game, going down to FORZE, while Rare Atom continued the group’s unexpected results as they stunned Team Liquid 2-0, demolishing the North American team 16-11 on Inferno and 16-3 on their own pick of Overpass. ENCE beat ATK in their first game, while FORZE continued their upsets as they took down Spirit 2-1.

ENCE got the better of Rare Atom in their second game, while Liquid managed to get back to winning ways with a convincing 2-0 win over ATK. Navi sent Astralis into the Lower Bracket following a 2-1 win and managed to beat Spirit 2-0. 

Liquid got the better of Rare Atom in their rematch, winning 2-0, while Astralis caused an upset by taking down Spirit to stay alive in the Group and eliminate Spirit. FORZE headed to the Quarter-finals following their 2-0 win over ENCE, while Liquid confirmed their Playoffs spot with a clean 2-0 win over Astralis. 


Round 1

The first Round 1 game saw G2 take on Movistar Riders. G2 kicked things off on Vertigo, securing the map 16-10, with huNter-, jks and NiKo stepping up. G2 sealed the series on Inferno, taking the map 16-6, with their star AWPer m0NESY, jks and NiKo all putting in strong performances.

FURIA pipped fnatic in the second Round 1 game, with the Brazilians clean-sweeping fnatic 2-0, winning both maps on Ancient and Anubis 16-13. 

paiN continued their stellar ESL Pro League run as they stunned Team Liquid 2-0, winning Mirage 16-7 and Ancient 16-12, with zevy, skullz and biguzera all stepping up for the Brazilian team.

Navi won their Playoffs game against 00NATION. Surprisingly, it was b1t, electroNic and Perfecto ending up on the top of the scoreboards, and not Navi’s talisman s1mple

Round 2

ENCE faced G2 in the first Round 2 game. The action kicked off on Ancient, and it took all 30 rounds for ENCE to take the win, ultimately winning 16-14. The series was wrapped up on Vertigo, with ENCE brushing aside G2 16-10, and it was ENCE’s latest signing NertZ and dycha who stepped up to knock G2 out.

Navi beat Outsiders 2-0 in their Round 2 game, the Ukrainian team winning Ancient 16-14 and Mirage 16-7, with Perfecto, s1mple and electroNic putting in stellar showing.

FaZe won their Playoffs match against FURIA with relative ease, taking Anubis 16-9 and Nuke 16-7 with FaZe’s AWP-er broky, rain and Twistzz all putting in good performances.

MOUZ faced paiN in the final Round 2 game, and it was paiN who took the opening map, winning 16-9 on Nuke. MOUZ bounced back on their pick of Inferno, however, securing it 16-13 and sealing the series on Ancient, winning it 16-7, knocking the Brazilian team out, and moving into the Quarter-finals.


Cloud9 took on MOUZ in the first Quarter-final. It was MOUZ who drew first blood, taking their own pick of Inferno 16-10. Cloud9 bounced back on their pick of Vertigo, 16-11 and wrapped up the series on Mirage, sealing it 16-10.

Defending champions Vitality faced ENCE in their Quarter-final matchup. Vitality won the opening map on Nuke 16-14. ENCE, though, bounced back on Vitality’s pick of Overpass, sealing it 16-11 and knocking the international super team out after taking them down 16-14 on Vertigo, with dycha, SunPayus and Maden putting in solid performances across the three maps. 

FaZe faced FORZE in their Quarter-final game, and it was them who won the opening map on Inferno 16-13. FORZE bounced back to take Overpass 16-14, but FaZe made sure there were no more hiccups as they breezed past FORZE on Mirage, winning it 16-6 and sealing a spot in the Semi-finals.

Heroic went up against Navi, and it was a vintage Navi performance as s1mple and electroNic carried the team through on the opening map on Anubis. Navi secured their Semi-finals berth after taking Inferno 16-8, with s1mple and b1t topping the scoresheets. 


Cloud9 took on ENCE in the first Semi-final. ENCE took the opening map on Ancient 16-10. Cloud9 won on Overpass, taking the map 16-12, and then sealed the series and a spot in the Finals with a 16-9 win on Vertigo.

The second Semi-final saw FaZe go up against Navi, and it was Navi who hammered FaZe 16-7 on the opening map on Ancient. FaZe bounced back on Nuke, however, securing it 16-8, and then sealed a spot in the Finals after winning Mirage 16-9. Twistzz, broky and ropz put in stellar performances.

Grand Finals

The best-of-five Grand Finals kicked off on Cloud9’s pick of Overpass, and it was FaZe who had the first half lead on their T side, taking an 8-7 lead. They sealed the opening map 16-13, with their veteran rain stepping up to make sure FaZe had an early advantage.

On FaZe’s pick of Inferno, it was a blowout on the opening half as FaZe lead 11-4, and it was broky who made sure Cloud9 couldn’t make a comeback as the FaZe AWP-er clutched multiple rounds on the second half to secure the map for his team 16-9.

The third map was on Mirage. Having gone 2-0 down, Cloud9 had to win to keep their hopes in the Finals alive. It was eventually HObbit and sh1ro who kept Cloud9 alive as they helped their team win 16-11 on Mirage.

The fourth map was FaZe’s pick of Ancient, and it was FaZe who started on the CT half. They just led 8-7 at the half, with Cloud9 staying in touch of FaZe, but once they switched sides, Twistzz, ropz and rain all came in with important clutches to help FaZe secure the map 16-11 and win the match, the series, and the tournament.

ropz, broky and rain all ended the Grand Finals with 80+ kills over the four maps. ropz was adjudged as the MVP of the tournament. 

Aditya Chaudhuri

Hailing from the City of Joy, the things that bring me joy are cricket, a good non-tilt CS:GO session, F1 and movies.

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