Heroic surprises Vitality, wins ESL One Cologne 2020 with 3-0 sweep

Team Heroic swept Team Vitality 3-0 in ESL One Cologne's European grand finals.

Heroic won three in a row to take first place in one of Counter-Strike's most storied events, making quick work of their French opponents. The Danish team walked away from the grand finals with a 16-7 win on Mirage before second map Inferno nearly went the distance, but ultimately ended with another Heroic win to the tune of 16-13. Finally, Heroic was dominant on Nuke, putting up nine rounds on the T side before clamping down on defense and ending the series with a 16-9 win.

Martin "stavn" Lund was the standout player for Heroic and posted a +23 kill-to-death differential and a massive 1.44 rating over the series. His performance was bolstered by both Nikolaj "niko" Kristensen's 1.28 and Johannes "b0RUP" Borup's 1.15 rating. 

Vitality gave it a solid effort, with both Mathieu "ZywOo" Herbaut and Richard "shox" Papillion ending the matchup with ratings above the 1.00 average. The rest of Vitality, including Cédric "RpK" Guipouy, Kévin 'misutaaa' Rabier, and Dan "apEX" Madesclaire, failed to break that mark. Both RpK and shox had impressive one-on-two clutches, but they weren't enough to keep a rolling Heroic team from taking home the ESL One Cologne crown.

Heroic defeats Vitality in three maps for ESL One Cologne sweep

In contrast to ESL One Cologne's North American grand final between Evil Geniuses and Team Liquid, which went all five maps, Europe's grand final seemed as though it was over before it started. While Mirage went back and forth between the two teams, Heroic took control of its defensive half and allowed only a single T round to Vitality while posting seven of its own. The final map in the series, Nuke, played out in a similar way, but Heroic's fast-paced executes consistently kept Vitality's CT side on the back foot. Economically and mentally broken, Vitality allowed Heroic to shut them down on the favored side of Nuke and managed only three round wins.

stavn put up a massive 1.66 rating on the final map in the series to seal Vitality's fate. By the time the final map ended, stavn had a Nuke scoreline of 106.1 average damage per round and a kill participation percentage of 84%, meaning the rifler was anywhere and everywhere for Heroic as they shut down Vitality for the ESL One Cologne 2020 win.

Heroic and Vitality might meet again come ESL Pro League Season 12's start in early September, but that matchup won't come again until at least the end of group play. With Heroic sharing group A with Natus Vincere, OG, and G2, their performances here put them in a great position to make it to the league's playoffs. Vitality's group B includes Astralis, FaZe, and Complexity, all of which might be speed bumps during Vitality's run to the league's playoffs.

Heroic's first matchup in ESL Pro League Season 12 comes on Wednesday, September 2, against ENCE, while Vitality is set to play its opening matchup against  Ninjas in Pyjamas later that afternoon.