MLG Major Championship: Columbus
|Sport||Counter-Strike: Global Offensive|
|Location||Columbus, Ohio, US|
|Dates||March 29, 2016–April 3, 2016|
Major League Gaming
|1st runners-up||Natus Vincere|
|2nd runners-up|| Astralis|
|Points scored||3967306 (188919.33 per match)|
|MVP||Marcelo "coldzera" David|
MLG Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major Championship: Columbus, also referred to as MLG Columbus 2016 was the eighth Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major Championship held by Major League Gaming (MLG) throughout March 29 to April 3, 2016 in the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, US. It was the first CS:GO Major in North America as well as the first run by Major League Gaming, who previously ran an exhibition CS:GO tournament at X Games Aspen 2015. It was also the very first CS:GO major in which ESL or DreamHack was not the organizer. It was announced on February 23, 2016 that MLG Columbus 2016 would be the first Counter-Strike tournament with a $1,000,000 prize pool.
The playoffs had eight teams. Astralis, Fnatic, Luminosity Gaming, Natus Vincere, Ninjas in Pyjamas, and Virtus.pro were returning Legends. Counter Logic Gaming and Team Liquid were new Legends as FaZe Clan and Team EnVyUs had their Legends status taken away after failing to make the top eight. In the grand finals, Luminosity Gaming, which defeated Virtus.pro and Team Liquid, faced off against Natus Vincere, which defeated Ninjas in Pyjamas and Astralis. Luminosity Gaming won 2–0 as the underdog for its first major title and fifty percent of the $1,000,000 prize pool; in addition, it became the first non-European team to win a major title.
- 1 Format
- 2 Main Qualifier
- 3 Broadcast talent
- 4 Teams
- 5 Group stage
- 5.1 Group A
- 5.2 Group B
- 5.3 Group C
- 5.4 Group D
- 6 Playoffs
- 7 Final standings
- 8 All-Star Game
- 9 References
The top eight finishers at DreamHack Open Cluj-Napoca 2015 (known as "Legends") received direct invitations to Columbus In addition, eight other teams emerged from the offline qualifiers (known as "Challengers").
Teams will be split up into four groups. All group matches are best of 1. The highest seed will play the lowest seed in each group and the second and third seeds will play against each other. The winner of those two matches will play to determine which team moves on to the Playoffs; the loser of that match will play another match against the winner of the two losing teams. The loser of the lower match is eliminated from the tournament. The last two teams will play each other and the winner of that match moves on to the playoffs.
The playoffs bracket consists of eight teams, two from each group. All of these matches are a best of three, single elimination format. Teams advance in the bracket until a winner is decided.
The same map pool was kept at this major.
There were seven maps to choose from. In all best of one matches, each team bans two maps. Then, one team bans another map From the remaining two maps, the map played is randomly selected. The team that did not get the third ban gets to choose which sides it starts on. In all best of three series, each team will first remove one map. Then, each side chooses a map, which will be played in the first two matches. The team that did not choose the map will choose which side it starts on. If the series were to go to a third map, that map is randomly selected among the three remaining maps.
There were four regional qualifiers and two last chance qualifiers. The top four teams from each qualifier are shown.
The top team from the Americas, Europe, and CIS qualifiers advanced to the main qualifier and the second to fourth place teams played in their respective Last Chance Qualifiers. The top two Asian teams, which played and Intel Extreme Masters Season X Taipei, advanced to the main qualifier. One team from the Americas Last Chance and two teams from the Europe Last Chance will move on to the main qualifier. There was no Last Chance Qualifier for the Asia region.
The main regional qualifiers were played on LAN while the last chance qualifiers were played online.
Two teams were invited while another six qualified in the North American qualifier. However, compLexity Gaming could not get a full roster in time, so the team was forced to drop out and the event ran with seven teams. The winner of the Americas Minor would earn a spot in the major qualifier while the three teams that made the bracket stage earned spots in the Americas Last Chance qualifier.
The Asia qualifier took place at Intel Extreme Masters Season X – Taipei in Taiwan. Two teams were invited and six other teams qualified from their respective regions. TyLoo was disqualified from the event just hours before the tournament was about to start as one of its players, Quanqing "qz" Wu, was found to have been banned for cheating three years prior, which induces an automatic and permanent ban from all Valve-sponsored events. Two teams would earn spots in the major qualifier.
The CIS qualifier had three teams invited, four teams from a closed qualifier, and one team from a Last Chance qualifier. One team would earn a spot in the major qualifier while the other three teams that made the bracket stage would earn spots in the CIS and Europe Last Chance qualifier.
The European qualifier eight teams. Four qualifiers to the European qualifier were held and two teams from each qualified for a chance at the major. One team would earn a spot in the major qualifier while the other three teams that made the bracket stage would earn spots in the CIS and Europe Last Chance qualifier.
Americas Last Chance Qualifier
In this Last Chance Qualifier, four teams were invited and the three runners-up from the American qualifier were invited. Only one team would earn a spot in the major qualifier.
Europe and CIS Last Chance Qualifier
Five teams were invited to the Europe and CIS Last Chance Qualifier and the three runners-up from both the Europe and CIS qualifiers were invited. Two teams would earn spots in the major qualifier.
Like the previous majors, there will be a major qualifier and regional qualifiers. The bottom eight teams from DreamHack Open Cluj-Napoca 2015 received automatic bids to the main qualifier. The other eight teams came from various qualifiers.
Teams were divided into four groups and the top two from each group made it to the major.
1Enemy's players contracts expire. The players then become known as Selfless Gaming.
2The MongolZ had initially qualified as the first seed from the Intel Extreme Masters Season X Taipei tournament, but could not attend as its players' visas were declined. CyberZen from China replaced the MongolZ but its players could not get visas in time for the tournament. Chiefs eSports Club from Australia was next in line but it was unable to put together a five-man roster in time. The organizers then decided on the Americas Minor runners-up Splyce to take the spot.
3The Games Academy roster is acquired by Tempo Storm.
|Group A Results|
|FlipSid3 Tactics||16||13||Selfless Gaming|
|G2 Esports||16||13||Tempo Storm|
|Selfless Gaming||4||16||Tempo Storm|
|FlipSid3 Tactics||14||16||G2 Esports|
|FlipSid3 Tactics||2||0||Tempo Storm|
|Group B Results|
|Team Liquid||16||2||Team YP|
|2||Counter Logic Gaming||2||1||65||71||-6||6|
|Group C Results|
|Vexed Gaming||16||10||SK Gaming|
|Counter Logic Gaming||14||16||Splyce|
|Counter Logic Gaming||16||13||SK Gaming|
|Vexed Gaming||1||2||Counter Logic Gaming|
|Group D Results|
- Robin "Fifflaren" Johansson
- Richard Lewis
- Jason "moses" O'Toole
- Janko "YNk" Paunović
- Thorin "Duncan" Shields
- James Bardolph
- Anders Blume
- Henry "HenryG" Greer
- Daniel "ddk" Kapadia
- Auguste "Semmler" Massonnat
- Matthew "Sadokist" Trivett
- Björn "THREAT" Pers (Guest Commentator for Team Liquid vs Luminosity Gaming)
- Will "Sireph" Abreu (Producer)
- Jason "Alchemist" Baker (Gameplay Director)
- Brian Baldomero (Director)
- Cory Dunn (Director)
All streams were broadcast on twitch.tv in various languages.
Between DreamHack Open Cluj-Napoca 2015 and MLG Columbus 2016, several changes happened to the Legends. Fnatic replaced Markus "pronax" Wallsten with Dennis "dennis" Edman from G2 Esports. G2 then signed the Danish player Philip "aizy" Aistrup. The roster of G2 is then bought out by FaZe Clan for US$700,000, making the roster the most expensive in CSGO history. G2 then acquires the roster of Titan after Titan ceases operations.
Luminosity Gaming let go of Lucas "steel" Lopes and Ricardo "boltz" Prass and replaced the two with Epitácio "TACO" de Melo and Lincoln "fnx" Lau.
Team EnVyUs released Fabien "kioShiMa" Fiey and replaced him with Timothée "DEVIL" Démolon.
Ninjas in Pyjamas released its Finnish player Aleksi "allu" Jalli and signed Jacob "pyth" Mourujärvi. However, pyth could not resolve his visa issues in time for the tournament, so he was replaced with Ninjas in Pyjamas' coach, Björn "THREAT" Pers, for the tournament.
The roster of Team SoloMid left the organization and was temporarily under then banner Team Questionmark. It then came together and created the first player-founded organization, Astralis.
The HLTV.org March 28, 2016 rankings of teams in the major is displayed below. The ranking was the final one released before MLG Columbus 2016.
The four groups were announced through MLG's social media accounts on March 10–11, 2016. Each group was seeded to contain a team who placed 1st–4th at DreamHack Open Cluj-Napoca 2015, a team who placed 5–8th at DreamHack Open Cluj–Napoca 2015, a team who went undefeated in the offline qualifiers, and a team who won one of the final decider matches in the offline qualifiers. Betting on CS:GO 
Ninjas in Pyjamas vs. FlipSid3 Tactics
Casters: Sadokist & HenryG
MLG Columbus 2016 began on March 29, 2016 with the Swedish powerhouse Ninjas in Pyjamas (NiP) against FlipSid3 Tactics from Ukraine on Cache, a map NiP is famous for. NiP won ESL One Cologne 2014 and placed top four at the last major. FlipSid3 defeated Tempo Storm and Selfless Gaming to qualify for the major. What expected to be an easy NiP win, even with the absence of Jacob "pyth" Mourujärvi, turned out to be difficult. FlipSid3 started strong with a 4–0 lead. The Ukrainian team had a chance at 5-0 but Adam "friberg" Friberg got 2 kills in a 2 vs 3 situation to make it a 1 vs 1 and NiP coach Björn "THREAT" Pers, who was filling in for pyth, got the final kill on Oleksandr "Shara" Hordieiev to deny FlipSid3 of a fifth round. NiP tied the score at 4. NiP then won the next four rounds under Patrik "f0rest" Lindberg's firepower. NiP nearly made a 9–4 lead when friberg nearly clutched out the round before Vladyslav "bondik" Nechyporchuk took down friberg with just 8 HP left, giving FlipSid3 its fifth round. The two teams traded the last two rounds, giving NiP a 9–6 lead in the half. NiP won the pistol and the anti-economy round to make it 11–6. However, the teamwork of FlipSid3 captain Andrey "B1ad3" Gorodenskiy and Yegor "markeloff" Markelov took down f0rest and NiP captain Richard "Xizt" Landström to secure the third round of the second half. FlipSid3 then won six of the next seven rounds to tie up the score at 12–12. In the 25th round, veterans markeloff and f0rest were in a 1 vs 1 situation and f0rest clutched it out for his team and NiP retook the lead. After friberg went down early to bondik, NiP pulled it back and Xizt and THREAT had two kills each to secure the 14th round. NiP made it to 15 rounds and FlipSid3 had very little money, making it very likely NiP was going to take the game. Georgi "WorldEdit" Yaskin found THREAT late in the round and his team got the bomb down. Blad3 found two kills and FlipSid3 stayed alive. The Ukrainians won the last two rounds to send the first game of the major to overtime. It took all six overtime rounds to complete the game, but NiP found two rounds per overtime half and NiP squeezed by FlipSid3 in a surprisingly close game. NiP stars f0rest and Christopher "GeT RiGhT" Alesund had 35 and 33 kills, respectively. bondik had 36 kills and Shara had 30 for FlipSid3 but it was not enough to bring down NiP. NiP faced the winner of Luminosity Gaming and mousesports in the winner's match of Group A and FlipSid3 faced the loser of that match in the loser's match.
Luminosity Gaming vs. mousesports
Casters: Sadokist & HenryG
Luminosity Gaming (LG) rose from obscurity and placed top 8 in every major it attended since ESL One Katowice 2015 when it was Keyd Stars. However, the team never made it past the quarterfinals, facing a finalist the last two majors. mousesports defeated Team YP and HellRaisers to qualify for the major. mousesports won the pistol round but LG won the next three rounds. LG pushed its lead to 6–2 with Fernando "fer" Alvarenga already in double digits in kills. mousesports won a round after Nikola "NiKo" Kovač brought down Lincoln "fnx" Lau, who was trying to win a 1 vs 3, but LG came right back with another three rounds. The score would end up 10–5 in the Brazilian team's favor as mousesports headed to the more favored side in the second half. mousesports won the pistol round once again but this team did not lose the anti-economy rounds and brought the score back to 10–8. LG won the next to rounds and could have had another won but mousesports won round number 21 with only pistols and slightly set back LG. LG put up the 14th round and put itself within reaching distance of heading to the winner's match, but mousesports came back and made it a two-round game at 14–12. In the 27th round, fnx had three huge kills and Marcelo "coldzera" David cleaned up Timo "Spiidi" Richter to put LG at match point. Chris "chrisJ" de Jong of mousesports shut down LG with two kills to keep mousesports alive at 13–15. With only four pistols and one rifle and limited utility, LG only partially bought up. chrisJ once again got two kills. In a 3 vs 4, LG captain Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo planted the bomb safely. fnx and coldzera killed chrisJ and Denis "denis" Howell rushing in. Spiidi killed fnx, but he and Johannes "nex" Maget were in a 2 vs 2 against the top two ranked players of 2016. coldzera found Spiidi and FalleN stopped nex from defusing the bomb and LG won the game. NiKo and chrisJ went big for the German team with 25 kills each, but coldzera had 24 kills and fnx had 22 kills to shut down the mousesports offense.
mousesports vs. FlipSid3 Tactics
Casters: James Bardolph & ddk
FlipSid3 vs mousesports turned out to be the longest game in major history, as it took 59 rounds to complete. The five overtime game started with a dominant FlipSid3 lead, despite 76% of "Pick'Em" predictions saying mousesports would win. FlipSid3 took a 12–3 lead into the second half. mousesports won the pistol round and the comeback started for the majority-German team. mousesports went on a 12–3 run of its own as FlipSid3 struggled to scratch rounds out. the game went into overtime. For eight overtime halves, the two teams traded 2 rounds for 1 round until the fifth overtime. mousesports showed that it had the persistence and the stamina to win a long game. Approximately two hours, twenty-three minutes, and nineteen seconds since the game started, mousesports won four rounds to FlipSid3's one and finally won the game after essentially playing two games. markeloff had 51 kills and Shara had 50 kills while NiKo had 52 kills and chrisJ had 50 kills. mousesports stayed alive in the tournament and FlipSid3 was eliminated.
Ninjas in Pyjamas vs. Luminosity Gaming
Casters: Anders Blume & Semmler
Although NiP placed top four in the previous major and had veterans, recent performance from LG, including second place at Intel Extreme Masters Season X World Championship, made the team favorites to win Group A over NiP. NiP won the pistol round but LG won the following round. However, NiP answered right back to make it 2–1. In the fourth round, fnx got two kills but NiP found four to make it a 1 vs 3 situation for coldzera with just a pistol. coldzera then found f0rest and THREAT with the pistol and picked up a rifle, faked a defuse, then killed Xizt to clutch the round for LG with just 1 HP. In the fifth round, NiP were in a 3 vs 4 disadvantage but managed to pull off a third round to take the lead once again. LG won the sixth round to tie the score right back at 3. NiP won the seventh round after putting Epitácio "TACO" de Melo in a difficult 1 vs 4 situation. fnx found himself in a 1 vs 3 and failed to clutch the round, making NiP the first team to win consecutive rounds. However, this would be the last round NiP would win. LG went on to win 14 rounds in a row to close the game against the Swedish legends and was the first team to move on to the playoffs. LG topped its group for the second consecutive major. Xizt had 13 kills to lead NiP, but fnx's 29 and coldzera's 22 overwhelmed NiP in LG's 16-5 victory.
Ninjas in Pyjamas vs. mousesports
Casters: Anders Blume & Semmler
The last matchup of group A featured the German mousesports and the Swedish NiP in a best of three. The first map on Cobblestone proved to be difficult for mousesports. NiP went out to a 7–0 lead before mousesports got on the board. mousesports closed it to 3–8 but would only find two more rounds in the entire map. NiP closed it with a 16–5 win. Xizt led the server with 21 kills, with NiKo close by with 19. On Cache, arguably NiP's best map, mousesports upset the Swedish team with a 16–12 win under NiKo's 27 kills. GeT_RiGhT had 23 for NiP. On Overpass, mousesports made it a respectable 6–9 deficit since it started on the less favored side. However, it could not get its counter-terrorist side rolling as NiP dominated and went on a 7–3 run in the second half to close out the game 16–9. GeT_RiGhT lead the way with 24 kills and THREAT had 20. Spiidi and 21 kills and denis had 20 for mousesports while mousesports star NiKo only had 15 kills. NiP moved on to the playoffs and mousesports was eliminated.
FaZe Clan vs. Team Liquid
Casters: Anders Blume & Semmler
Group B started off with the North American hope Team Liquid against the European powerhouse FaZe Clan, which was a semifinalist at the previous major after nearly taking down the eventual champions. Liquid defeated Team YP and HellRaisers to qualify. FaZe did not show its potential as it did at DreamHack Open Cluj-Napoca 2015. FaZe started on the more favored side and was predicted by 76% of Pick'Ems to defeat Liquid. However, Liquid won the pistol round and then the following four rounds before FaZe got its first after Philip "aizy" Aistrup had two kills in the round. FaZe earned another round and were in striking distance of picking up a third round when three players for FaZe were against the lone Eric "adreN" Hoag, who came in as a substitute after Jacob "FugLy" Medina left the team. adreN first took down aizy and then Håvard "rain" Nygaard, putting himself in a 1 vs 1 situation against former NiP member Mikail "Maikelele" Bill. adreN pulled off the 1 vs 3 clutch and then Liquid went on a 6–1 run, taking a 12–3 lead into the half. In the second half, FaZe won the first seven rounds to make it a close game at 12–10. In the 24th round, FaZe had a chance to break Liquid's economy, but Nicholas "nitr0" Cannella came away with three kills, leaving Maikelele and Ricardo "fox" Pacheco in a 2 vs 3. adreN and Spencer "Hiko" Martin cleaned it up and Liquid got its second round of the latter half. In the next round, adreN almost put Liquid on match point by defusing the bomb without the knowledge of aizy and fox, but needed less than a second to fully defuse the bomb before it exploded, giving FaZe a reasonable score to work with. However, Liquid won the next round and Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev killed Joakim "jkaem" Myrbostad to end the game. nitr0 led everyone with 25 kills and the substitute adreN had 22 kills. rain had 23 kills for FaZe but jkaem only had 9 kills for his team. Liquid moved on to face the winner of Fnatic and Splyce.
Fnatic vs. Splyce
Casters: Anders Blume & Semmler
Fnatic, the most decorated team in CSGO history, was a quarterfinalist at the previous major, losing to Team EnVyUs, the eventual champions of the tournament. Splyce defeated Counter Logic Gaming and Vexed Gaming to make it to the major. 99% of Pick'Em predictions had Fnatic winning. Fnatic won the first three rounds and Splyce took one back before Fnatic stormed to an 8–1 lead. Splyce won the tenth round but Fnatic took the remaining rounds and had a 13–2 lead despite starting on the less favored side. Splyce showed hope in the second half as it took the pistol and the anti-economy rounds to slightly close the gap at 13–5, but Fnatic pulled it together and closed it at 16–5. David "DAVEY" Stafford went big for Splyce with 19 kills, but the other players like Jason "jasonR" Ruchelski, who only had five kills, did not come through. Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer, ranked the best player of 2015 by HLTV.org, and Dennis "dennis" Edman had 20 kills each.
FaZe Clan vs. Splyce
Casters: James Bardolph & ddk
Splyce's struggles continued against FaZe in the loser's match of Group B. FaZe started with a 9–0 lead and then the two teams traded three rounds each, giving FaZe and 12–3 lead into the half. FaZe's defense seemed just as effective as its offense as it took the next four rounds, sending the North American team packing. DAVEY and Arya "arya" Hekmat were the only players in double digits for Splyce; for FaZe, aizy, rain, and jkaem were all nearly at 20 kills each.
Fnatic vs. Team Liquid
Casters: Anders Blume & Semmler
Liquid vs Fnatic featured one of the biggest upsets in the group stages. Fnatic started with a 2-0 lead. Liquid's Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski then won a round against Jesper "JW" Wecksell to put Liquid on the board. Fnatic turned it around by taking a 5–1 lead, but Liquid went on a rampage and took the last nine rounds of the half, giving the team a 10–5 lead against one of the best teams in the world. Fnatic brought the score back to 11–11 but Liquid regained the lead after adreN had crucial kills. Fnatic took a 15–13 lead and needed just one round to move on to the playoffs. However, Liquid pushed past Fnatic for two rounds and the game went into overtime. In the first overtime, Liquid led 18–16 and needed just one round for the map win, but Fnatic tied it at 18, sending the game to a second overtime. Liquid took a 21–19 lead and Fnatic needed to win the next to for triple overtime. However, s1mple and nitr0 shut down three Fnatic players, ELiGE found Robin "flusha" Rönnquist, and s1mple killed JW and Liquid upset Fnatic 22–19. Everyone on Liquid except nitr0 had over 20 kills . Freddy "KRiMZ" Johansson, dennis, and JW had 28 kills each but olofmeister trailed behind at 19 kills. Liquid became the first North American team since Cloud9 at ESL One Cologne 2014, a team Hiko was part of, to make it into the playoffs.
Fnatic vs. FaZe Clan
Casters: James Bardolph & ddk
One of the two Legends in the group had to go home after each suffered losses against Liquid. Fnatic suffered a loss in a game in which 99% of Pick'Ems were in the Swedes' favor, but seemed to pull back against FaZe, which came off a dominating win the previous day. Fnatic took a convincing 8–0 lead under flusha's 11 kills. FaZe clawed its way back to pick up five rounds in the half, making it a respectable 10–5 score. However, Fnatic went up to a 15–6 lead and all seemed to end for FaZe. FaZe seemed revived for a bit after making it just a five-round game. At 15–10, Fnatic were only on pistols and FaZe had a chance at 15–11. However, fnatic made it a 2 vs 1 advantage. jkaem killed olofmeister but fell to KRiMZ, giving Fnatic a 1–0 series lead. rain had 21 kills and KRiMZ had 23 to lead both teams. In the second map, it was much more convincing. FaZe started with a 3–0 lead, but the Swedish team went on a 10–2 run and brought the score in its favor at 10–5. FaZe could not get anything going in the second half, picking up just one round, and Fnatic defeated FaZe 16-6. fox had 14 kills and aizy had 13 for FaZe, but dennis's 22 and olofmeister's 21 were too much. The former semifinalists went out in the group stage and the Swedish legends moved on to the playoffs.
Team EnVyUs vs. Counter Logic Gaming
Casters: James Bardolph & ddk
Group C started with the defending champions at DreamHack Open Cluj-Napoca 2015 with Team EnVyUs. Counter Logic Gaming (CLG) defeated SK Gaming and Vexed Gaming to reach the majors. Despite EnVyUs struggling in recent months since Cluj-Napoca, it was still favorites to defeat the North American team. With only 8% of Pick'Ems going in its favor, CLG looked to take advantage to the French team's struggles. EnVyUs started with a 3–0 lead but CLG took back two round before EnVyUs pulled in a fourth round. In the seventh round, CLG had a limited buy, including three pistols, but managed to bring down the French players. The half ended with EnVyUs in the lead by one round, 8–7. The latter half proved to be all CLG, however. The American team won 9 rounds in a row and secured the win against the former number one team, 16–8. Vincent "Happy" Cervoni had 16 kills for EnVyUs, but Steve "reltuC" Cutler had 28 kills and Tarik "tarik" Celik had 20 in the win. CLG moved on to face the winner of Astralis and Gambit Gaming.
Astralis vs. Gambit Gaming
Casters: James Bardolph & ddk
Astralis at Cluj-Napoca, then under Team SoloMid before departing, lost to NiP, failing to make another final despite making the playoffs at every major. Gambit Gaming defeated Cloud9 and Renegades at the qualifier to make the major. Astralis took the first round, but Gambit came back and won the next five rounds. Astralis rebounded after taking a time out and won six rounds in a row. Astralis led at halftime with a 9–6 lead. Gambit won its pistol round, but Astralis, like Gambit in the first half, won the second round. Gambit took a time out at 8–14 and the teams traded rounds. In the 26th round, Astralis closed the game at 16–10. Dauren "AdreN" Kystaubayev and Mikhail "Dosia" Stolyarov had 19 kills each for Gambit, but the firepower of Nicolai "dev1ce" Reedtz and René "cajunb" Borg was too much for the Russian team.
Team EnVyUs vs. Gambit Gaming
Casters: Sadokist & HenryG
The defending world champions found themselves in a loser's match. Gambit took an early 5–0 lead. However, EnVyUs pulled together and went on a 9–1 run to end the half in its favor. Gambit tied the game up at 9 after winning the first three rounds of the second half. When Gambit led 11–9 and EnVyUs had a full buy, Jan "wayLander" Rahkonen had three massive kills and stalled EnVyUs. EnVyUs took a time out with Gambit leading 14–9. The following round, EnVyUs went on to win four in a row to close it at 15–13. In a 3 vs 3, Timothée "DEVIL" Démolon found a kill on Dosia but was then traded by AdreN. Happy found Rustem "mou" Tlepov, but AdreN found the last two kills on Happy and Nathan "NBK-" Schmitt and the defending world champions was knocked out of the tournament at last place. Dan "apEX" Madesclaire led EnVyUs with 27 kills, but AdreN came up big and had 30 kills. For the first time in CS:GO major history, a finalist from the last major failed to make it to the playoffs.
Astralis vs. Counter Logic Gaming
Casters: Sadokist & HenryG
Overpass was a map both CLG and Astralis are comfortable on. CLG took a 3–0 lead before Astralis got on the board. CLG took another three rounds, but Astralis came back with five unanswered. CLG held its ground and took the last two rounds, giving the American team a surprising 8–7 lead over a top tier European team. Astralis's defense held up in the second half, only allowing one round while getting nine rounds to close the map. James "hazed" Cobb was the only player for CLG to have at least 20 kills and dev1ce did the same for Astralis, with cajunb close by at 19 kills. Astralis moved on to the top eight.
Counter Logic Gaming vs. Gambit Gaming
Casters: James Bardolph & ddk
Gambit vs CLG proved to be close than anticipated. CLG had a 5–3 lead on Cache, but Gambit fought back and won the last seven rounds, taking a 10-5 lead. CLG won the second half pistol round despite being in a 2 vs 4 situation. Gambit won its economy round and then took a 13–6 lead going into the 20th round. CLG cleanly took the 20th round. Josh "jdm64" Marzano nearly pulled off a 1 vs 4 clutch for CLG but mou was the last player remaining and took him down, giving Gambit a 14th round. CLG started mounting a comeback and made it 14–12 before Gambit got match point. CLG put another round on the board, but AdreN killed FugLy to close map 1. mou had 28 kills and AdreN had 27 for Gambit, while hazed had 25 and jdm64 had 22 for CLG. On Cobblestone, CLG started by winning seven rounds in a row, including a jdm64 1 vs 3 clutch. Dosia won a 1 vs 2 to give Gambit's first round, but CLG took an 11–4 score into the half. Gambit started the second half by winning five in a row, but was since limited to two rounds and CLG took the second map 16–11. wayLander led all players with 26 kills, but three players for CLG had over 20 kills. On map 3, CLG started 3-0 and then 9-1 before Gambit took the last five rounds of the half. CLG started the second half by winning the first five rounds, giving it a 14–6 lead. Gambit started a little comeback, but it was too late as CLG took Mirage 16–10. jdm64 had 29 kills for CLG and tarik had 28 while AdreN had 19 kills for Gambit. CLG making the playoffs made it the first time that two North American teams qualified for the playoffs, as Team Liquid qualified for the playoffs the previous day.
Natus Vincere vs. Cloud9
Casters: Anders Blume & Semmler
Natus Vincere (Na'Vi) was the runner-up at Cluj-Napoca, where it fell to EnVyUs, but CIS team was poised to take its first major title. Cloud9 defeated Team Dignitas and Renegades in the qualifier to be among the sixteen teams at the major. The teams struck to Train, a map in which Na'Vi was known for its terrorist side on at the time despite the map being advantageous towards the counter-terrorists. Cloud9 took an early 6–0 lead under Tyler "Skadoodle" Latham's 8 kills. Na'Vi took a tactical timeout and then got its first round of the game. Na'Vi then took another seven rounds to Cloud9's one and took an 8–7 lead into the half despite being down six rounds early. Na'Vi took an 11–7 lead and Cloud9 answered right back with a round of its own. However, the American team would only get another round and Na'Vi closed the map 16–9. Michael "shroud" Grzesiek had 16 kills for Cloud9, but Ioann "Edward" Sukhariev and Egor "flamie" Vasilyev had 21 kills each for Na'Vi. Na'Vi played the winner of Virtus.pro and G2 Esports.
Virtus.pro vs. G2 Esports
Casters: Anders Blume & Semmler
Virtus.pro (VP) had the most experienced lineup at the major, with the players being with each other for nearly three years. Virtus.pro was knocked out in the quarterfinals at Cluj-Napoca by the players of FaZe Clan, who were signed with G2 Esports at the time. G2 then signed a new French roster. The French defeated Tempo Storm and FlipSid3 Tactics to make it to the major. The game was a blowout by the Polish team. G2 could not get anything going and lost the first nine rounds before picking up one. However, it was immediately reset as Virtus.pro took the next round. VP did not give up another round and took the game 16–1. Paweł "byali" Bieliński had 18 kills and Janusz "Snax" Pogorzelski had 17. Cédric "RpK" Guipouy had a decent game for his team at 15 kills, but the rest of his team struggled.
G2 Esports vs. Cloud9
Casters: Sadokist & HenryG
G2 went on to face Cloud9 in the loser's match. This game was also a blowout, but this time G2 was on the opposite side of the score. G2 started with a 3–0 lead. In round 4, Kevin "Ex6TenZ" Droolans shut down Cloud9, leaving Jake "Stewie2k" Yip in a 1 vs 3 situation. He was unable to even get a single kill and G2 rode momentum off of that. G2 went to a 11–0. Cloud9 then rushed to the B bombsite and finally won its first round. G2 would take the next round to reset Cloud9's economy. With only pistols, Cloud9 managed to pull out another round, including shroud getting 4 kills. In the 15th round, Skadoodle and shroud took down Richard "shox" Papillon, Edouard "SmithZz" Dubourdeaux, and Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom to win the last round of the half, but G2 had a 12–3 lead. However, G2 would get to 15 and then SmithZz took down shroud to win the game 16–3. Skadoodle had 12 kills and Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert had 10, but the rest of Cloud9 were in single digits, including Ryan "fREAKAZOiD" Abadir with only 4 kills. SmithZz went big with 24 kills and Ex6TenZ had 20 for G2.
Natus Vincere vs. Virtus.pro
Casters: Sadokist & HenryG
In another blowout in Group D, VP was the loser this time. Na'Vi took a 6–0 lead before VP took a round. Na'Vi then went on to a 6-2 run to take a 12–3 lead at the half. Na'Vi took the second half pistol and the next two rounds. With VP only on pistols, the Poles went to 4 rounds, but Na'Vi ended the game the following round. Wiktor "TaZ" Wojtas had 12 kills for VP and byali had 11, but VP captain Filip "NEO" Kubski only had 8 kills. Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács had 19 kills to lead his team to victory. Na'Vi moved on to the playoffs.
Virtus.pro vs. G2 Esports
Casters: Sadokist & HenryG
VP and G2 matched up again, but the best of three did not have any blowouts. VP took an early 3–0 lead, but G2 came back with three rounds to make it 3–3. The rest of the half would not go in G2's favor as it only picked up two more rounds and VP took a 10–5 lead. G2 won the first three rounds to make it 10–8. Snax had two critical kills the following round and VP took its 11th round. G2 found a ninth-round later in the game but that's all it would get and VP took the first map 16–9. The two veterans of VP went big, as NEO had 28 kills and TaZ had 20 kills. shox led his team with 17 kills. Map 2 on Inferno had an identical scoreline. G2 started with a 3–0 lead and maintained a three-round lead at 5–2. With G2 up 7–3, G2 seemed to take an 8th round. However, VP went close up with Mag-7 shotguns and pistols. VP came back to take an 8–7 lead at the half. However, the second half was all G2, as its defense only allowed one round. G2 took Inferno 16–9. ScreaM had 26 kills and shox had 23 kills for G2 to lead the way, while Jarosław "pashaBiceps" Jarząbkowski had 23 for VP. The deciding map went to Cobblestone. The teams went back and forth until VP went on a streak to take a 10–5 lead at the half. G2's offense struggled in the second half, only taking two rounds and VP took the game 16–7. Snax and byali had 23 kills each and TaZ had 21. SmithZz had 18 kills, but shox struggled with just 8 kills. VP moved on to the playoffs and G2 was eliminated at 9th place.
The playoffs bracket was announced on March 30, 2016. Each quarterfinals match was seeded to contain one top seed and one second seed from the group stage.
Natus Vincere vs. Ninjas in Pyjamas
Na'Vi had a relatively easy time, defeating Cloud9 by seven rounds and Virtus.pro by twelve rounds. NiP struggled in the group stage, edging FlipSid3 Tactics in overtime and having to go to a third game against mousesports; the Swedes also struggled against Luminosity, in which it lost by eleven rounds. Na'Vi look to claim its first title after it fell short at Cluj-Napoca. NiP looked to get its second title, its first being at ESL One Cologne 2014. In addition, NiP have been to the most finals at five.
Casters: Anders Blume & Semmler
The first game started on Inferno, one of NiP's best maps. However, the game seemed like Na'Vi was the team that was dominant. Na'Vi started 3-0 and then won the important fourth round. When Na'Vi was up 6-0, f0rest was in a 1 vs 2 situation against flamie and GuardiaN. With a minute remaining, f0rest found flamie. f0rest let the clock run down to thirteen seconds before planting the bomb. GuardiaN was then caught by f0rest and NiP got its first round. NiP took a second round, but Na'Vi took the last seven rounds and a 13–2 halftime lead. In the second half, NiP won the pistol. NiP went on a three-round win streak after the pistol round before Na'Vi picked up its 14th round. However, in the following round GeT_RiGhT picked off all five members of Na'Vi with the help of friberg on the B bombsite and NiP continued to mount a comeback. NiP picked up two more round and an eleven-round lead became a five-round lead. Na'Vi finally got to 15 rounds and in round 25, Edward was in a 1 vs 1 against friberg. Edward was able to win it and Na'Vi took the first map and halted the comeback. Edward had 22 kills and flamie had 21. On NiP's side, f0rest and friberg had 18 kills and NiP captain Xizt had 16.
Mirage was Na'Vi's map pick. Na'Vi took an early 5–0 lead before NiP came back with a round. Na'Vi reset NiP and went on to a 6-1. NiP went on a four-round win streak to make it 7–5. Na'Vi took a 10–5 lead even after NiP had early round advantages. More trouble spelled for NiP after Na'Vi took the pistol round. Na'Vi went to 14 rounds to NiP's 5 and all seemed well for the CIS team. NiP took its score to 8 rounds but Na'Vi went to 15 afterwards. NiP reset Na'Vi by getting its ninth round and found its tenth. Edward, however, found the last two kills in the last round and Na'Vi made its way to the semifinals. seized went big with 31 kills and flamie had 26. Xizt and f0rest had 20 kills each but it was not enough. Na'Vi went on to face the winner of Astralis and Fnatic.
Astralis vs Fnatic
Astralis was known as the team that always fell in the semifinals at nearly every tournament it went to and always seemed to falter against one opponent. Fnatic is the most decorated team in CSGO history with three majors and was the only team to have more than one; in addition, the Swedish team had won six straight tournaments coming into the major, making it the clear favorite to take it all.
Astralis easily made its way to the playoffs, defeating Gambit and CLG without much trouble. Fnatic easily took down Splyce but suffered an upset against Team Liquid. The team rebounded against FaZe Clan to make it to the playoffs.
Casters: James Bardolph & ddk
Game one began on Overpass. Astralis was able to jump to a convincing 8–0 lead under dev1ce's and Peter "dupreeh" Rothmann's firepower. Fnatic finally got a round. Fnatic then took five rounds to Astralis's two and the eight round deficit transitioned to a respectable five round deficit, especially since Fnatic started on the less favored side. The second round started strong for Fnatic by winning the first two rounds, but Astralis won the following five rounds to get to the coveted fifteenth round. dennis and olofmesiter got the five kills they needed despite on a poor buy and kept Fnatic alive. Fnatic got to double digits. Astralis ran over Fnatic in round 26; olofmeister attempted to clutch a 1 vs 4 and he found Finn "karrigan" Andersen but was immediately traded by Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth and Astralis took game one. dupreeh had 26 kills and dev1ce had 21 kills to help Astralis to victory. JW had 22 kills but the rest of his team had a negative kill to death differential.
Fnatic is arguably the strongest team on Cache, but the Swedish legends could not get anything going in the game. Astralis took the common 3–0 lead and Fnatic took the fourth round. Astralis took two rounds and olofmeister had two kills to help Fnatic take a second round. However, Fnatic's defense fell and Astralis took the last seven rounds of the half and a convincing 13–2 halftime lead. Astralis took the first two rounds of the latter half and Fnatic had a very limited buy with just pistols. flusha and dennis kept Fnatic in the game with two kills each and won the economy round. Fnatic picked up a fourth and Astralis only had pistols the next round. Fnatic took a fifth and Astralis was back on the buy. dupreeh picked up two kills and JW was left on his own. cajunb took down JW and Astralis made another semifinal. flusha had 16 kills for Fnatic, but dupreeh's 26 kills and cajunb's 21 kills secured the series for Astralis. Astralis eliminated the best team in the world from a major tournament and went on to face Na'Vi in the bracket.
NiP's loss to Na'Vi and Fnatic's loss to Astralis meant that for the first time at a CSGO major, a Swedish team would not be in the semifinals.
Team Liquid vs Counter Logic Gaming
A Team Liquid vs Counter Logic Gaming quarterfinals meant that for the first time since the very first CSGO major at DreamHack Winter 2013, a North American team would make it to the semifinals; compLexity Gaming reached the semifinals at DreamHack after defeating n!faculty, which included cajunb and karrigan; and VeryGames, now signed with G2 Esports, in the group stage and defeated Astana Dragons – which included AdreN and Dosia of Gambit and markeloff of FlipSid3 – in the quarterfinals before falling to Fnatic.
Team Liquid surprised many after defeating two European powerhouses, FaZe Clan and Fnatic, in the group stage and came out as the top seed of Group B. CLG also impressed many as it defeated the defending world champions of Team EnVyUs convincingly on one of EnVyUs's best maps. It also defeated Gambit Gaming to reach the quarterfinals.
Casters: Sadokist & HenryG
Cache was a tale of two stories. CLG started with a 6–0 lead. With Liquid on a limited buy and s1mple on an AWP that was saved from the previous round, Liquid managed to pull off the seventh round as adreN got one with a pistol and s1mple got four. However, CLG reset Liquid immediately and then took off to a 10–1 lead. tarik was in a 1 vs 3 scenario against s1mple, Hiko, and adreN. He found s1mple, faked the plant of the bomb, then found Hiko shortly after. The Turkish-American player finally planted the bomb with about fourteen second left but adreN found tarik to get a second round. Liquid found a third round, but lost a 3 vs 4 bombsite retake after FugLy found two kills against his former team. CLG took a 12–3 lead to halftime and CLG was poised to take the first map. Liquid needed a good start in the second half to have a chance at taking the game. Liquid won the pistol and nearly lost the following round but nitr0 had two influential kills. Liquid held CLG to 0 rounds until the 27th round, but not before Liquid had a 14–12 lead. Liquid finished the comeback by taking two more and won the first map 16–13. tarik had 31 kills and jdm64 had 21 but both were relatively quiet in the second half. s1mple had 25 kills and adreN and nitr0 had 20 to help Liquid in the win.
The next map went to Mirage and all the momentum from the Cache seemed to have shifted over to Liquid on Mirage. CLG won the first round, but Liquid went on a four-round win streak. Liquid went on to take an 8–2 lead before CLG started putting rounds together. CLG came back to put together six rounds to Liquid's nine and the game was still close. However, the second half was all Liquid as the team took six rounds and became the first non-European team since compLexity to reach the semifinals. s1mple had 26 kills for Liquid while hazed had the most kills for CLG with just 14 kills. Liquid went on to face the winner of Luminosity Gaming and Virtus.pro.
Luminosity Gaming vs Virtus.pro
Luminosity Gaming and Virtus.pro first met at ESL One Katowice 2015, in which LG – then with the organization Keyd Stars – surprisingly took a game off of the experienced VP in its first major. Since then, the times changed and LG was considered the better team at MLG especially taking into account VP's struggles coming into the major. This series would spark a rivalry between the two teams.
LG had an easy road through the group stage, defeating mousesports and NiP. VP, however, struggled as it lost to Na'Vi badly and needed three maps to best G2 Esports. This series would be the only series in the entire playoffs to go the full three games.
Casters: Anders Blume & Semmler
Day 2 of the playoffs began with Cache, one of LG's worst maps. However, LG proved that it could still contend with the best on the map. VP took a strong 5-0 lead before LG got a round. VP had the potential to reset LG, but the duo of fer and FalleN shut down VP and TACO clinched the round to avoid being reset. VP rose to an 8-2 lead before LG won a third round. With reset potential for LG, the Brazilians once again avoided reset as fnx got two big kills and fer killed TaZ. LG won another round, but VP took the last two and had a 10-5 lead at the half. The two big fraggers for LG, fer and coldzera, struggled in the first half. The second half began with LG convincingly taking the pistol round. LG closed the gap to 10-8, but fer and coldzera could not win the 2 vs 2 against byali and NEO and VP went to 11 rounds. LG tied the score at 11-11 and took the lead at 15-11 and seemed likely to take the first game on its second worst map. However, VP was resilient and took the last four rounds to send the game to overtime. LG took the first round of overtime after cutting the clock close, but VP fought back and won the last two rounds. The teams switched sides and VP took the first round of the second half and was at map point. fnx had three kills and fer had two and LG needed one more round to send it to a second overtime. However, VP stormed the B bombsite and TACO was left in a 1 vs 4 situation. The youngest LG member could not pull it off and VP secured the first map 19-17. VP won with the help of byali's and Snax's 30 kills. LG came close with coldzera's 27 kills and FalleN's 24 but fell short in the end.
LG started Cobblestone with a 5-0 lead and VP took the sixth round. With LG up 6-1, VP nearly took the round after Snax got two big kills, but LG managed to pull it off and make the score 7-1. VP continued to struggled until LG got to 10-1. There, byali clutched the round for VP, taking down fer and FalleN. The teams traded the last three rounds and LG took a massive 11-4 lead into the half. LG won the second half pistol round, but VP won its economy round. VP managed to make it 12-10, including Snax clutching a 1 vs 2 in the 22nd round. After LG lost six rounds in a row, FalleN called for a timeout. The timeout worked at LG took a 13th round and VP was left with no money. LG made it 15-10 and VP was left to a very limited buy. fer found TaZ as VP members tried to trick fer. Snax then was killed by fer before byali finally took him down. There, LG went to the A bombsite. NEO missed a shot and FalleN took the VP captain down. byali took down FalleN and TACO to make it a 2 vs 2 but fnx shortly after killed him. pashaBiceps attempted to clutch the 1 vs 2, but coldzera stopped him. LG tied the series 1 to 1. coldzera had 25 kills and fnx had 24 kills for LG and byali had 23 for VP.
The third map came to Overpass. VP won the pistol round, but LG came back to win the next four rounds. VP made it a one-round game at 4-3, but that was when LG took off. Despite VP having very close rounds, LG was the team that won the clutch scenarios and went up 8-3. VP started round 12 strong as LG tried to run into the bombsite but NEO killed coldzera, TACO, and fer to put VP in an advantageous 3 vs 2. However, FalleN found pashaBiceps; NEO attempted to trade by killing FalleN, but fnx killed NEO and FalleN found Snax and LG clutched the round. LG went up to 11-3 and VP needed at least four rounds to have a manageable comeback win. However, LG got a 12th round which included fer knifing Snax. More trouble ensued for VP as LG took a 10-round lead by winning the pistol round. However, VP forced a buy and won the second round. LG found a 14th round, but VP closed it to 14-9. FalleN called for a timeout, but LG lost the round and VP made it close to 14–10. VP found an 11th and a ten-round lead became a three-round lead for LG. LG got to 15 rounds as TACO found three kills to surprise VP. In the 27th round, FalleN started off by taking down byali. fer found Snax but was immediately traded by TaZ and NEO picked off FalleN. TaZ found coldzera and VP was in a 3 vs 2 advantage. TACO found pashaBiceps trying to throw a molotov. As NEO and TaZ were rushing TACO, TACO shut down NEO and fnx killed TaZ with a grenade and LG finally took down the Polish powerhouse, 16-11, to stop the comeback. coldzera and fnx had 21 kills each while NEO had 21 and pashaBiceps had 20 for VP. LG reached its first semifinals at a major after three quarterfinal exits.
With Team Liquid already in the semifinals, LG beating VP meant that it was guaranteed a non-European team would be in the finals, as Team Liquid is from the United States and Luminosity is from Brazil.
Natus Vincere vs. Astralis
Natus Vincere had a relatively easy time cleaning up the Ninjas in Pyjamas to make it to the semifinals. It looked to go to the Finals for the second consecutive time. Astralis also had an easy time defeating Fnatic and defeating the three-time world champions might have given the Danes momentum against the CIS team and to reach its first final ever.
Casters: Sadokist & HenryG
Na'Vi started well on Inferno by taking a 5–0 lead, but Astralis cleanly took the sixth round to take its first round. The Danish team soon tied it up at 5. In round 11, with Na'Vi on a limited buy, dev1ce found kills on GuardiaN and seized, but Edward immediately traded by taking down dev1ce and dupreeh. Xyp9x found Zeus but Edward trades him. flamie then peeked out as cajunb and karrigan were going into the B bombsite and took both down and Na'Vi regained the lead. Astralis took a 7–6 lead and then an eighth round after Astralis threw a fake on the A bombsite. Na'Vi took the last round of the half after Zeus and flamie took down Xyp9x, but Astralis had the one round lead. Na'Vi once again took the pistol round and a 10–8 lead. Astralis made it 10-9, but Na'Vi reset Astralis by taking its eleventh. The two teams traded rounds until Astralis made it 12–11 after cajunb went big. Na'Vi went back to winning ways and went up to 14–11. Astralis came back with two rounds and Na'Vi took a timeout. Astralis tied it 14-14 after Xypyx stopped seized from planting the bomb. Na'Vi went on a limited buy with four pistols but found the 15th round after seized came up big. In the last possible round of regulation, Astralis needed to win it to send the game to overtime or else Na'Vi would come out with the win. Na'Vi appeared to execute towards the A bombsite. dev1ce found the first kill after barely spotting GuardiaN. However, Zeus found karrigan and Edward beat dev1ce and dupreeh trades Edward, but flamie cut down cajunb. seized caught dupreeh peeking and everything was left to Xyp9x. flamie found Xyp9x and Na'Vi took the first game 16–14. Edward carried his team in the first half and went big for the whole game with 32 kills; flamie had 21 kills. dev1ce did well with 22 kills but his team fell short by two rounds.
Dust II was a surprise pick by Na'Vi as Astralis was among the best in Europe on it as karrigan and company came up with innovative ways that many teams use on the map. However, Na'Vi clearly proved it was the better team that day. Na'Vi took a 7–0 lead before karrigan called for a timeout. Astralis finally took a round after Na'Vi put up eight rounds. Astralis up two more rounds, but Na'Vi still had money to buy for a fourth consecutive round. Na'Vi would be able to continue to buy as it would win the last four rounds and took a dominating 12–3. Astralis's pistol round started promising but Na'Vi was able to lock it down and took the pistol round. However, Astralis took the economy round. Na'Vi fought back for an economy round win of its own after flamie, Zeus, and seized shut down Astralis's offense. Astralis won another round to make it 14–5. However, Na'Vi took two rounds, and moved on to another grand finals. cajunb and Xyp9x had 13 kills each for Astralis, but its star player dev1ce only had 9 kills. Meanwhile, flamie had 25 kills and Edward had 18 kills.
Astralis once again failed to make a grand finals while Na'Vi made its second consecutive finals. Astralis was eliminated and Na'Vi went on to face the winner of Team Liquid and Luminosity Gaming.
Team Liquid vs Luminosity Gaming
Team Liquid became the North American hope after pulling off two upsets in the group stage and defeating CLG in the quarterfinals. It aimed to be the first non-European team to make it to a major final, especially with adreN performing much higher than expected. Liquid had arguably the easiest opponent of all the semifinalists.
Luminosity Gaming had arguably the hardest opponent of all the semifinalists, as VP seem to be the team to beat to get a major title, earlier in the day. It also aimed to be the first non-European team to make it to a major final under the leadership of FalleN.
Casters: James Bardolph, ddk, & THREAT
Game one began on Mirage, a vintage LG map. The Brazilian side started with a pistol round win, but Liquid came back and won the second round with Hiko's clutch. LG answered back with an economy round of its own after fnx's two kills. LG extended its lead to 4–1. Liquid bounced back with a second round, but LG came away with a five-round lead. Liquid then went on a run of its own and closed the gap to 7-5. LG got an 8th round to guarantee itself a lead by the half, but the American team made it close and took the last two rounds, making it 8-7. Liquid started well by getting the pistol round. In the next round with the score tied 8-8, FalleN was in a 1 vs 3 with the inferior sniper rifle. He quickly took down s1mple and then headshot Hiko through a wall. However, FalleN picked up a submachine gun to fight close range, but ELiGE was able to stop the clutch and Liquid went back to winning ways. Liquid extended its lead to 11–8. In the 20th round, Liquid nearly took a 12th round and rushed to the B bombsite and only FalleN was there for LG. However, he was able to stay alive and took down nitr0, allowing his team time to come over and assist him. FalleN singlehandedly put up a defense and took down Liquid with four kills and LG was able to get its first round of the second half. However, Liquid bounced back and the 11–9 scoreline became 15-9 and LG needed to force buy and came away limited. Liquid needed to win just one of the next six rounds to win the first game while LG needed to win all six rounds to force the game to overtime. coldzera would then deliver one of the most memorable plays in CSGO history and, in retrospect, the most important round in the whole tournament. FalleN, fer, and fnx were in the A bombsite and TACO was in middle, leaving coldzera watching the apartment site of Mirage, which is near the back of the B bombsite. With about 30 seconds left, all five Liquid members went through apartments. adreN was the first to show and was taken down. coldzera then stepped down and then jumped to spot any more players. One he did, he jumped and shot with his AWP; with one bullet and not using a scope, he took down s1mple and ELiGE. Then with another no scope, he took down nitr0 who was trying to chase him down. TACO came over for support and took down Hiko. This was seen as impressive since not only hitting two at the same time was difficult, but also having no scope with the AWP and jumping makes the aim very inaccurate. Analyst Jason "moses" O'Toole compared it to the Immaculate Reception from the NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers with Franco Harris against the Oakland Raiders since the combination of skill, luck, and other factors that needed to go coldzera's way to make it work. Valve dedicated the play with a graffiti from where the play took place. The play was a turning point in the game and LG was able to pull out the six rounds it needed to send the game to overtime. Liquid elected to go to the A bombsite, but FalleN took down ELiGE and fnx took down three more before fer found nitr0. LG continued to ride momentum and took all three rounds in the first overtime half. Liquid needed to win the other three rounds to send the game to double overtime. LG started towards the A bombsite and FalleN started by taking down ELiGE. fer took down adreN and FalleN killed nitr0 and the A bombsite was clear. Liquid pulled it back slightly when s1mple found fer and Hiko found FalleN, but coldzera caught s1mple trying to sneak in and Hiko was found by TACO on the edge of a smoke and LG pulled off the comeback. ELiGE had 27 kills for Liquid and s1mple had 24, but FalleN and coldzera had 29 kills each and LG was able to win ten rounds in a row to complete the comeback.
The second map went to Cache. Liquid started with a 5–0 lead, but LG brought it back to 5–3. LG made it one round game, down 5–6 and FalleN took down adreN to tie the score at 6. However, Liquid would get on a roll. In the last round of the second half, Hiko found three kills on TACO, coldzera, and fer and adreN and s1mple cleaned up the rest and Liquid took a 9–6 lead into the second half. Hiko outplayed everyone 24 kills at halftime, with FalleN and coldzera being the closest to the Liquid captain at 13 kills. Liquid started off well in the second half by winning the pistol. It would continue the streak and went up to 14–6. In round 21, s1mple found fer early. nitr0 entered the B bombsite and found FalleN and s1mple took down fnx. coldzera and TACO were forced to back away and save their guns for the next round. Liquid won 12 rounds in a row at this point and needed just one of nine rounds to tie the series. nitr0 found FalleN as Liquid was trying to take the B bombsite but was immediately traded by fer. adreN was then flashed and smoked off and adreN found fer to give Liquid an advantage. coldzera found s1mple and fnx came up big with a kill on ELiGE to give his team time to rotate. Hiko and adreN then pushed out and the latter found fnx on the bombsite. Hiko planted the bomb but was shortly after killed by coldzera. adreN was unable to clutch the round as TACO took him down through a box and LG stayed alive. LG went to 10 rounds and Liquid was back on the buy. However, TACO bought an auto sniper and the gun proved to be influential in LG's favor. nitr0 found fnx trying to sneak up middle but not before fer found ELiGE. FalleN pushed through B and found no Liquid players were there, meaning that LG knew Liquid was going to hit the A bombsite. TACO was ready and took down Hiko, adreN, and s1mple and coldzera took down nitr0 and LG edged closer to 15 rounds. Liquid would continue to have no answer to TACO's auto sniper. The next round, TACO took down Hiko through the door on the A bombsite as Liquid was preparing to execute towards the A bombsite. He then took down nitr0. coldzera found two on s1mple and ELiGE and TACO finished the round with a kill on adreN. Hiko took a timeout, but it was not enough. Liquid's lead was 15–14 as the game headed to the last round of regulation and potentially the map. s1mple found FalleN trying to gain information for his team. fer found nitr0 but ran out of bullets, allowing ELiGE to trade. fnx found ELiGE, slowing down the push from Liquid. Liquid then ran back to the A bombsite, but coldzera was there waiting. He took down Hiko and was traded with s1mple. There was less than ten seconds remaining and at least four seconds was needed to plant the bomb. TACO found s1mple and adreN was too far away. adreN found TACO but fnx realized there was not enough time for Liquid to plant the bomb and ran away from him. The clock went down to zero and LG forced an overtime. Liquid had 9 match points and failed to close it out. In the first round of overtime, the teams found themselves in a 3 vs 3 scenario. FalleN found nitr0 and nearly took down adreN. s1mple planted the bomb, but lost adreN to fer. The three LG players swarmed s1mple and TACO took him down and defused to bomb to claim the round. LG took another overtime round to make it 17–15. In the last round of the first overtime half, two players went down early for Liquid, but adreN found coldzera and then finally took down TACO with the auto sniper. FalleN then was in a 1 vs 2, but s1mple was holding the angle on the bomb and Liquid finally won an overtime round. LG went up to 18 and was on match point and Liquid needed to win the last two rounds. In the next round, LG was executing towards the B bombsite and most of Liquid was heading there, with nitr0 holding middle. However, no Liquid player was holding the A bombsite and TACO sneaked up on nitr0. adreN killed TACO but ELiGE was found by coldzera near middle. As Liquid scrambled in confusion, LG started a B bombsite attack with just Hiko on the site. He failed to come up with any kills and fnx took him down. FalleN found s1mple and adreN was left in a 1 vs 4 while still on the A bombsite. coldzera was still in middle and took down adreN rotating and LG completed another comeback. s1mple led Liquid with 29 kills and adreN went big with 27 kills. Hiko also had 27 kills, but was virtually absent in the second half and overtime, with only three kills in the 20 rounds after the first half. For LG, TACO went big with 36 kills and coldzera had 35. Liquid had a total of 15 match points in the two maps but went 0-15 while LG had just two match points in both maps and was able to close out both early. Liquid losing many opportunities while being up by six in the first map and nine on the second map, all on match points, was seen as the biggest choke in Counter-Strike history and it started with ddk's legendary call “a Jumping double from cold.”
LG became the first non-European team to make it to a major finals and faced Na'Vi to determine who was going to take the first major in North America.
After Virtus.pro took them to three maps and Team Liquid took them to two overtime games, all in a single day, the Brazilians of Luminosity Gaming took on Natus Vincere, who really only had one close game, game one against Astralis in the semifinals.
This rivalry began to garner attention starting with the StarLadder i-League StarSeries XIV Finals, in which LG defeated Na'Vi 2-0 in the group stage. At DreamHack Leipzig 2016, Na'Vi got revenge and defeated LG in the grand finals 2-0, but both games went to overtime. Their most famous game came at Intel Extreme Masters Season X World Championship in Katowice, Poland. They met in the semifinals and LG won a close 2-0 series. The famous game on Overpass featured some of the most memorable plays, from flamie's pistol ace to Na'Vi's innovative triple boost for the CIS side and from fer and coldzera' 2 vs 4 clutch with AWPs and FalleN's infamous 1 vs 4 clutch late in the game, a rivalry ensued.
77% of Pick'Em predictions and the analyst desk of Duncan "Thorin" Shields, Richard Lewis, and Robin "Fifflaren" Johansson had Na'Vi winning it over LG, as Na'Vi had more experience and had been in the grand finals of a major tournament before. Now with Fnatic out of the tournament, everything seemed ideal for Na'Vi. Meanwhile, LG had never made it past the quarterfinals prior to the tournament and two of its players, fnx and TACO, had never been to a CSGO major, although fnx won the biggest CS 1.6 tournament, Electronic Sports World Cup 2006, at the time with mibr (Made in Brazil) as he and his team defeated Fnatic. Nonetheless, Na'Vi appeared to be dominant throughout the major and never dropped a map while LG had long games against VP and Liquid. LG was already the first non-European team to make a major finals and aimed to be the first non-European team to win a major title. Na'Vi came close at the previous major and tried again to get its first title.
Casters: Anders Blume, Semmler, & moses
Luminosity chose Mirage, the map that put the team on the international scene. However, it did not bode well at the start for the Brazilians. Na'Vi won the pistol round and then the next five rounds to take a 6–0 lead. In the seventh round, LG executed towards the A bombsite. Edward found coldzera shortly after and flamie followed up on TACO after the bomb was planted. fnx traded flamie but Zeus took down fer and LG needed to defend the bomb in a 2 vs 4. FalleN traded Zeus and the found GuardiaN attempting to run into the site. seized picked off FalleN and that left fnx in a 1 vs 2. fnx was known for his clutches on LG and he was able to pull off another clutch by taking down seized and Edward and LG took its first grand final round ever. In the next round, LG had a man advantage. Edward killed fnx but coldzera was able to trade quickly and pick up the bomb. seized found coldzera with about twenty seconds remaining, leaving him and FalleN in a 1 vs 1. Both players were low on health as FalleN had 11 hp and seized had 9. FalleN got the bomb down with just one second remaining and then peeked out at just the right time to find seized. LG took the ninth round and made it 6–3. In the tenth round, fer found Edward peeking midway through the round but GuardiaN just about picked off fer to make it a 4 vs 4. seized found fnx at the B bombsite and Zeus killed coldzera attempting to trick Na'Vi. flamie killed FalleN and was immediately killed by TACO, but TACO could not win the 1 vs 3 and Na'Vi picked up a seventh round. Na'Vi would go on to eleven rounds and had a chance to pick up twelve with LG on a limited buy. However, LG was able to overwhelm the CIS team and make it a 4–11 deficit. LG started off the second half strong by winning the pistol round and the expected anti-economy rounds to make it 11–7. Na'Vi nearly took the 19th round, but GuardiaN accidentally killing seized and coldzera shutting a couple of players down gave LG the round. LG made it 10–11 but Na'Vi was able to withstand the bomb retake from LG and win the round, making it 12–10 under flamie's two kills. LG was able to reset Na'Vi the next round and soon LG tied the game. LG finally took the lead at 13–12 extended it to 14–12. Na'Vi had inferior rifles in the 27th round, but GuardiaN's two kills and Zeus being able to clutch against TACO kept Na'Vi in the game. LG took a timeout, but Na'Vi was able to get to 15 rounds first. In the last round of regulation, flamie took down LG's captain early but fnx evens it out by killing flamie. Na'Vi was ready for an A bombsite execute with no LG members directly on the site and Na'Vi seemed likely to take the round. However, as the execution took place, fer peeked to find a running GuardiaN. Zeus attempted to trade but fer hid and ran through his own smoke and coldzera came in time to kill Zeus. The bomb was planted but seized and Edward were left in a 2 vs 4. seized sprayed down fnx but was immediately traded by fer. Edward found fer but was sniped by coldzera as he was attempting to get away. TACO defused the bomb and LG forced overtime. Na'Vi won the first round of overtime under Zeus's triple kill and LG won the second round under fer's double kill. In the third round, Zeus found fer early. With about fifteen seconds left, Na'Vi rushed to the A bombsite, but flamie was taken down by FalleN. GuardiaN was able to plant the bomb just in time. fnx took down seized but was immediately traded by Zeus. GuardiaN missed a shot on coldzera and was punished right after. coldzera then found Zeus, leaving Edward in a 1 vs 3. However, like fnx for LG, Edward was known for his clutches on Na'Vi. Edward took down coldzera. TACO was defusing the bomb and needed less than one second left, but Edward purposely missed FalleN to take down TACO. FalleN traded Edward, but Edward taking down FalleN meant that there was no time left for LG and Edward was able to clutch the round. The teams switched sides and in the fourth round LG was able to take the B bombsite in twenty seconds, forcing the three remaining Na'Vi members to fall back and save their weapons. They were only able to save two after LG ran after flamie. LG came with another fast execute, this time in about 25 seconds, and LG was able to get to map point first. In the last round of the first overtime, FalleN found seized trying to peek while jumping at the B bombsite. However, GuardiaN was prepared and traded FalleN to make it a 4 vs 4 again. With about 25 seconds left, LG ran into the A bombsite. coldzera found flamie quickly but was traded by a hidden Zeus. Zeus had a chance to take down more LG players but fnx was able to trade him out. Edward tried to deny TACO from planting the bomb, but he killed him after the bomb was planted. GuardiaN missed a crucial shot on fnx and was taken down by the said LG player and Edward was left in another clutch situation. He shot down fnx but was taken down to 11 HP and fer was able to peek out right after and LG took the first game 19-17. Zeus had a massive 31 kills for Na'Vi and Edward had 29, but coldzera's 37 and fer's 30 bested Na'Vi. Meanwhile, GuardiaN, who was named the second best player of 2015 behind olofmeister, struggled with 19 kills and 27 deaths.
LG started strong and Na'Vi struggled at 7–0. In the eighth round, Zeus baited fer into Edward's spray to start Na'Vi strong. Edward then found TACO before being taken down by fnx. GuardiaN then picked off fnx and Zeus found FalleN, forcing coldzera back. Na'Vi found a second round, but its win streak would end there. LG was on a limited buy in round 10, with coldzera on a pistol. FalleN pushed up to find Edward, but GuardiaN traded him out. GuardiaN was sneaking up the long side of Overpass, but fer took him down easily. fer then took down flamie before being traded by Na'V captain Zeus. fnx traded Zeus and tacked up damage to seized before being taken down. coldzera was taken down trying to look for seized, but TACO spotted seized by the edge the wall and was able to defuse the planted bomb and win the round. LG went to a 10–2 lead and Na'Vi needed to start winning rounds to have a chance to come back in the second half. In round thirteen, Na'Vi attempted to trick LG by faking an A bombsite execute, but LG stayed put on fer found Edward quickly. seized evened things up by taking down coldzera and flamie headshot TACO. fer found GuardiaN and the bomb, but was traded by flamie. FalleN was then in a 1 vs 2 against flamie and seized. He got a flick onto flamie with about 15 seconds left and took the fight to seized and was able to win the clutch. LG went to 12–2 and Na'Vi was desperate for at least a third round before the end of the half. FalleN again came huge and took down flamie while partially blind and spotted Zeus through smoke and took him down as well. FalleN found GuardiaN and TACO took down seized, and FalleN found his fourth kill of the round by taking down Edward. Na'Vi needed to win the pistol round and took a risk by pushing through terrorist territory. Edward spotted TACO and TACO fell back. seized attempted to surprise TACO, but TACO killed seized in a fast run-jump shot. However, Na'Vi knew that LG was going to the A bombsite but LG ran through the site and took down two Na'Vi players. Edward and Zeus found one each, and Edward brought down to a 1 vs 1 against TACO but TACO was able to trick Edward and take him down and LG found a 14th round. The next round, Na'Vi was able to make it a 2 vs 1 against coldzera. However, coldzera found a healthy Edward hiding and sezied was left with just 2 HP against coldzera's 100 HP. coldzera planted the bomb and found seized with just one bullet and LG had 13 match points to play with. Na'Vi forced bought and with pistols and a shotgun. In round 18, LG walked towards the B bombsite, but seized took down fnx, but was traded by fer. fer took down flamie, but Edward, with the shotgun, took down fer and coldzera and nearly took down FalleN. Zeus was able to take down the LG captain and TACO was left in a 1 vs 2. He spotted the two players' positions. He caught Zeus trying to peek, leaving him and GuardiaN in a 1 vs 1. GuardiaN attempted to peek out but TACO was able to flick onto GuardiaN and spray him down, giving LG the map, series, and tournament, 16–2. Edward led his team with 13 kills, but all of Na'Vi underperformed. Meanwhile, FalleN and fer had 21 kills each.
coldzera was named the MVP of MLG Columbus 2016.
Luminosity Gaming became the first team outside of Europe to win a major title. Fnatic from Sweden still leads all teams with three majors. Virtus.pro (from Poland), Ninjas in Pyjamas (from Sweden), Team LDLC.com (from France), Team EnVyUs (from France), and now Luminosity Gaming (from Brazil) each have one.
The $1,000,000 prize pool was divided up as follows.
The HLTV.org April 5, 2016 rankings of teams in the major is displayed below. The ranking was the first one released after MLG Columbus 2016.
The All-Star Game was played shortly before the finals between Natus Vincere and Luminosity Gaming. Players were chosen from the continent of the team they play for rather than their origin. For instance, Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev is from Ukraine, a European country, but since he plays for the American Team Liquid, he played for Team North America
Casters: ReDeYe, Richard Lewis, Thorin