On Sunday, Team Vitality completed a memorable comeback at IEM Spring 2023 (IEM Rio) by defeating Heroic 2-0 in the $250,000 grand final.
After losing to OG in their first-round match at the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament, Vitality went on to win five straight matches to reach the final, defeating BIG (2-0) and Cloud9 (2-1) in their quarter-final and semi-final series, respectively.
When the first map went all the way to round 29 of 30, with Vitality taking their map pick 16-13, it looked like we were in for a great final series.
Heroic needed to win their map pick Inferno to keep the series alive, but after a 5-10 first half, the match was all but over.
No-one on the Vitality roster finished with a negative kill/death difference for the second map, with Emil “Magisk” Reif ranking lowest with an even record.
Vitality went on to win Inferno 16-12 and clinch their first tournament victory since August of last year, when they won ESL Pro League Season 16.
WE ARE YOUR #IEM RIO CHAMPIONS
Paris, we are coming #VforVictory pic.twitter.com/mJLIvatHn6
— Team Vitality 🐝 (@TeamVitality) April 23, 2023
To cap off a successful event for Vitality, their star sniper Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) for his outstanding performance at IEM Rio.
After amassing an event-high 1.31 rating across 15 maps played, the French superstar won his 14th career MVP award.
ZywOo carried Team Vitality to the playoffs, finishing with ratings of 1.61 and 1.45 in their lower-bracket round one series win over FURIA and lower-bracket final win over OG, respectively.
Fro Heroic, the story of the perennial bridesmaids continues after reaching another grand final only to lose again.
The Danes have finished second in three of their last six S-Tier tournament appearances, including IEM Rio Major 2022, IEM Katowice 2023, and IEM Rio 2023.