OG have won their third Major and $1 million after defeating Ad Finem 3-1 in the Grand Finals of The Boston Major. But not without an epic fight.
Even though Ad Finem weren't able to best the Green Dream, the young Greek underdogs will no doubt be satisfied with their run at their first Valve event — not just because of the $500,000 second-place purse that dwarfs their previous career winnings of roughly $32,000, but because of the incredible performance they put on in Game 3 of the Grand Finals.
Though Ad Finem showed moments of greatness in first two games, as the series drew on it was clear OG outclassed them in the draft and on the map. The Greek squad took a few early picks in each game, but OG emphatically shut them down whenever they tried to take objectives or teamfights. By the end of Game 2, a sweep looked all but certain.
Game 3 started a lot like those previous. OG were in firm control of the mid-game, with N0tail's Juggernaut leading in net worth. But somewhere around half an hour in, as OG were starting to poke at their high ground, something clicked for Ad Finem. They started to take well-coordinated teamfights, with SkyLark's Legion Commander locking up enemy cores in Duels and Maybe Next Time landing showstopping Echo Slams while SsaSpartan's Rubick stole Omnislashes and Starstorms and all the while Madara poured on Luna's glaive damage.
What followed was nearly 45 minutes of scrappy fights full of deaths and buybacks on both sides. Though both sides fought for every inch of ground and the kill score stayed nearly even, Ad Finem were getting the initiations they needed, and Luna's late-game siege damage was slowly chipping away at OG's fortifications.
As the hour-mark passed, Madara made the risky choice to buy a Divine Rapier, knowing that if he fell in a teamfight the game would likely be over. And though Ad Finem tore through OG's last remaining structures, OG dumped everything they had into burning through Madara's Aegis and securing the kill. ana took the Rapier, but then he too fell to a freshly bought-back Madara and a perfect Echo Slam from Maybe Next Time.
At the very last, Ad Finem bulled their way to OG's Ancient, but OG were able to hold them off with a sliver of its health remaining. They didn't count on Maybe Next Time sneaking into their base with Shadowblade to seal the deal.
Ad Finem were clearly energized by the win, but OG were once again in control of Game 4 from the start. JerAx reminded us all how deadly he is on Earth Spirit, setting up N0tail’s Sven for numerous kills in fight after fight. While Ad Finem tried to exert the same pressure on OG as they did in the previous game, they could not win teamfights as the game drew on. They threw themselves at OG to try and prevent their final lane of barracks from being taken, but had to call GG in 38 minutes.
Though this is the third Major win for Fly and N0tail, it is the first LAN win for the team since they rebuilt their roster with ana, JerAx and s4 after The International 2016. In this Grand Finals, and in their previous semifinal against Evil Geniuses, the new OG have proven they can be just as deadly as the last, and they will be the team to beat in the months ahead.
Ad Finem, meanwhile, have gone from a little-known underdog to a force to be reckoned with. The team have played together for over a year, but their first big break was qualifying for the Major after taking down Team Secret and Team Liquid in the European main qualifier earlier this fall. They had a slow start at Boston — placing third in Group D and only narrowly beating Newbee and LGD.Forever Young in the bracket — but they earned the crowd's admiration when they bested Digital Chaos with a clean 2-0 in the semifinals.
Going into the Grand Finals, Ad Finem even convinced all four members of the broadcast panel to vote for them to win. And though they won just a single game in the series, they managed to make it as memorable as any Major before it.
Preston Dozsa is a news editor for theScore esports whose journalism idol is Dino Ghiranze. You can follow him on Twitter.
Jeff Fraser is a supervising editor at theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.