G2 will now face ENCE and fight for their first title in the Cathedral of Counter-Strike.
G2 have reached the IEM Cologne 2023 Grand Final after a 2-0 win over Astralis. They will take on ENCE who qualified for the finale after their victory over Vitality.
As a result, Nikola "NiKo" Kovač will have his second chance at lifting IEM Cologne's trophy. In 2021, he reached the finals but lost to Natus Vincere. That said, this is his first final in the Cathedral, since 2021's edition was played during the "online era" and it didn't take place in LANXESS Arena.
Coincidence or not, the two teams that reached the finals chose not to change their roster during the player break. In G2's case, the line-up arrived at IEM Cologne with pressure on their shoulders, having not performed well at BLAST Premier Fall Groups.
Map by Map breakdown
Ancient was Astralis pick for the match and, until this point, they didn't have lost their map pick yet in the tournament. Playing on the CT side, since the beginning G2 showed that they wanted to change this fact and closed the half with a 10-5 score.
Changing sides, Astralis recovered on the map and put pressure on the enemies when they tied the score. But when the Danish team appeared to have momentum, G2's Nemanja "huNter-" Kovač shined to keep things under control and steal Astralis map pick as Ancient was won by G2.
G2 picked Inferno and started well on the map playing on the T-side. They won five rounds in a row before Astralis conquer one point. By the end of the half, the Danish reduced the difference in the score to a 6-9 disadvantage.
Playing for their life on the T-side, Astralis won the pistol round but lost the eco that followed and that threw the team out of balance. G2 made six rounds in a row and reached match point, and even though they lost a couple of rounds, they closed the map and the match without any scares 16-9.
Where to watch IEM Cologne 2023 finals?
The IEM Cologne 2023 event will be broadcast live on Twitch. We have also embedded the stream below for your convenience.
IEM Cologne 2023 final will be G2 x ENCE and will crown an unprecedented winner, since those teams never won that tournament before.