Team Vitality rallied from a map down to defeat Team Liquid 3-2 in Sunday's grand final and win the ESL Pro League Season 16 in Malta.
After tying the match, Vitality won the decisive fifth map, Vertigo, 16-11 and took home a $200,000 winners' check as a result.
Vitality went undefeated in thetournament, going 5-0 in Group A before defeating Outsiders and G2 Esports in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively.
Team Liquid, which snuck into the playoffs by finishing third in Group D, made a run all the way from the Round of 12 to the grand final. They settled for a second-place prize of $85,000.
Liquid opened the match with a 16-7 win on Inferno, and Vitality countered with a 16-7 triumph on Dust II. Liquid outlasted Vitality 25-21 in overtime on Mirage to stake a 2-1 lead.
Vitality stayed alive by nabbing a 19-17 overtime win on Overpass before the 16-11 win on Vertigo completed the comeback.
Vitality star Mathieu "ZywOo" Herbaut of France posted match highs of 143 kills and a plus-50 kills-to-deaths differential. Teammate Emil "Magisk" Reif of Denmark added 108 kills on a plus-4. For Liquid, Mareks 'YEKINDAR' Galinskis of Latvia had 116 kills (plus-3), American Josh "oSee" Ohm collected 113 (plus-13) and Canada's Keith "NAF" Markovic added 110 (plus-10).
The $835,000 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive event began with 24 teams vying for a first prize of at least $175,000 and a berth in the BLAST Premier World Final. As the Season 16 champion, Team Vitality was the only team to clinch a spot in the $1 million Final set for Dec. 14-18 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Vitality also secured a berth in the $1 million Intel Extreme Masters Katowice 2023, scheduled for Jan. 31-Feb. 12 in Poland.
The Pro League teams were divided into four groups for the initial round-robin Group Stage. The four group champions advanced to the playoff quarterfinals, while the teams that came in second and third in each group moved on to the playoffs' Round of 12.
All matches in the group stage and the playoffs were best-of-three until the best-of-five final on Sunday.
ESL Pro League Season 16 prize pool
1. Team Vitality -- $200,000
2. Team Liquid -- $85,000
3-4. Cloud9 -- $55,000; G2 Esports -- $60,000
5-8. MOUZ, FaZe Clan -- $37,500; Outsiders -- $32,500; Natus Vincere -- $27,500
9-12. Heroic, FURIA Esports -- $32,000; Complexity Gaming, Fnatic -- $27,000
13-16. Team Spirit, BIG, Astralis, Evil Geniuses -- $19,000
17-20. Ninjas in Pyjamas, Eternal Fire -- $17,500; MIBR, ENCE -- $12,500
21-24. Endpoint, HEET -- $11,000; FTW Esports, Movistar Riders -- $6,000
Teams were awarded a $5,000 bonus for every win in the group stage
--Field Level Media