Gambit have won the PGL Major Kraków, defeating Immortals 2-1. It is their first ever Major win and the second Major win for a CIS team.
Not quite the CIS team everyone expected to win or the Brazilian team expected to make finals, as SK Gaming entered the tournament as general favorites and Virtus.Pro were the hometown heroes, Gambit put on a show in the three game series. While they were dominated by Immortals in Map 1 on Cobblestone, nail-biting victories in Map 2 on Train and Map 3 on Inferno ensured their victory.
The tournament, which spanned seven days and featured a $1,000,000 prize pool, was notable for many upsets and a grand finals that featured two rising teams. A powerhouse performance from Henrique "HEN1" Teles and a stellar Major debut from Vito "kNg" Giuseppe could not stop the unrelenting pressure of Mihail "Dosia" Stolyarov and Abay "Hobbit" Khasenov.
Immortals' path to the finals was rocky at first, as it included a Swiss Round Robin stage where the team lost to Astralis and SK Gaming, and therefore had to play a deciding match against Flipsid3 Tactics to guarantee entry into playoffs. Afterwards, the Brazilian team swept through their Quarters and Semis, including a victory against Virtus.Pro.
Gambit rocked the Swiss Round Robin, going 3-0 and upsetting Swedish powerhouses Fnatic and the previous Major winners Astralis on their way to the final. Only Immortals and Astralis took a map from Gambit throughout the entire tournament.
Gabriel Zoltan-Johan is a news editor at theScore esports and the head analyst for the University of Toronto League of Legends team. His (public) musings can be found on his Twitter.