Astralis scrape past Fnatic to reach the Grand finals of IEM Chicago 2018.

Astralis scrape past Fnatic to reach the Grand finals of IEM Chicago 2018.

The first semifinal of IEM Chicago 2018 was a very close affair. Both Astralis and Fnatic came extremely close to winning every map and the series in general. However, eventually, the Danish roster came out ahead of the Swedish team. Fnatic put up a strong performance with some quality CS reminiscient of the 2015 Fnatic era, however they choked very hard towards the end. Astralis won 6 straight rounds on Inferno to take the map to Overtime and eventually win the series. It was a thrilling end to one of the most exciting CSGO series in a long time. 

Dust 2 – The Danish Map pick.

The first map was Dust 2, an Astralis map pick. The match started with Astralis taking a very dominant T side half. We saw the likes of Device, Xyp9x and Magisk rise to the occasion in multiple situations. The number of clutch round wins for Astralis definitely tilted the game in favour of Astralis.

Xyp9x’s 1v3 clutch on the eighth round crippled the Fnatic CT side economy. They were unable to recover from it early and had to make a decision to either win more rounds or save for a better economy later. The first half ended with a 12-3 scoreline. At this point in time, it did seem like Fnatic desperately needed to win the second pistol round [ and they probably did ]. However, they lost the second pistol round and that spelt doom for the team.

The Swedish roster managed an equally amazing T side to get the score to 14-15. But the last round saw Astralis being able to defuse the bomb and win the map 1. It was a very close map and we have to remember that it was Astralis’ map pick.

Fnatic Map pick: Mirage

The second map was Mirage, it was a Swedish map pick. However, Mirage has not been a problem for the Danish team. They were one of the first teams to play this map consistently. Their performance on this map sees Dupreeh take up aggressive positions with a lot of backup from either Magisk or Xyp9x. Astralis are always looking forward to ensuring that their team has the best possible chance of going into the map. This comes from their synergy and their coordination which is the reason for the team’s success in the past.

However, Fnatic was ready to play on this map. Despite having good streaks through the map, Fnatic only managed to win 8 rounds on the T side half. At one point in time, it did look like Fnatic would run away with the half and the game. However, Astralis was able to make a mini-comeback and secure a very close 7-8 round at halftime.

However, once Fnatic went over to the CT side, it was a whole different story. Fnatic’s CT holds were efficient and they looked similar to the best teams on the map. Brollan, JW and Krimz looked phenomenal on the map. The veteran players were definitely on point and it was good to see them perform the way they did. Eventually, Fnatic finished the map with a final score of 16-12.

The final map for the first Semi-final: Inferno

It is almost customary to have Inferno as the final map in an extremely close series. Inferno is a map that both the teams are very proficient on. Their performance in this map would boil down to the teams’ performance in this match. The Swedish side is probably most well known for their dominance on Inferno in previous editions of the roster. They were extremely dominant on this map, however, with a quick 11-3 scoreline. For Fnatic, it was a very balanced effort as all the players looked to be on the same page.

Fnatic obviously knew their wall-bangs and they had excellent muscle memory going into Inferno. Xizt’s double wall-bang definitely was a testimony to this. The Fnatic team looked so strong throughout the first half and well into the second half as well. They quickly managed to take the score to 15-9. However, after reaching 15, Fnatic seemed to have taken it casually, a bit too much. They were unable to close out the map.

On Astralis’ part, with every round win, they began to believe in their chances to take the map to Overtime. And they did take it to Overtime and eventually won the map in Overtime. It was a comeback reminiscent of the Fnatic comebacks in Dust 2. The Danish team looked on Cloud9 as they were able to mount this massive comeback to reach the Grand finals of the tournament.

For Fnatic, they performed beyond expectations. Their ability to give Astralis a run for their money as well as their victories over other teams makes them one of the strongest teams in CS: GO. For now, Astralis wait in the Grand finals to meet the winner of Faze Clan and Team Liquid.

The first semifinal of IEM Chicago 2018 was a very close affair. Both Astralis and Fnatic came extremely close to winning every map and the series in general. However, eventually, the Danish roster came out ahead of the Swedish team.

Dust 2 – The Danish Map pick.

The first map was Dust 2, an Astralis map pick. The match started with Astralis taking a very dominant T side half. We saw the likes of Device, Xyp9x and Magisk rise to the occasion in multiple situations. The number of clutch round wins for Astralis definitely tilted the game in favour of Astralis.

Xyp9x’s 1v3 clutch on the eighth round crippled the Fnatic CT side economy. They were unable to recover from it early and had to make a decision to either win more rounds or save for a better economy later. The first half ended with a 12-3 scoreline. At this point in time, it did seem like Fnatic desperately needed to win the second pistol round [ and they probably did ]. However, they lost the second pistol round and that spelt doom for the team.

The Swedish roster managed an equally amazing T side to get the score to 14-15. But the last round saw Astralis being able to defuse the bomb and win the map 1. It was a very close map and we have to remember that it was Astralis’ map pick.

Fnatic Map pick: Mirage

The second map was Mirage, it was a Swedish map pick. However, Mirage has not been a problem for the Danish team. They were one of the first teams to play this map consistently. Their performance on this map sees Dupreeh take up aggressive positions with a lot of backup from either Magisk or Xyp9x. Astralis are always looking forward to ensuring that their team has the best possible chance of going into the map. This comes from their synergy and their coordination which is the reason for the team’s success in the past.

However, Fnatic was ready to play on this map. Despite having good streaks through the map, Fnatic only managed to win 8 rounds on the T side half. At one point in time, it did look like Fnatic would run away with the half and the game. However, Astralis was able to make a mini-comeback and secure a very close 7-8 round at halftime.

Once Fnatic went over to the CT side, it was a whole different story. Fnatic’s CT holds were efficient and they looked similar to the best teams on the map. Brollan, JW and Krimz looked phenomenal on the map. The veteran players were definitely on point and it was good to see them perform the way they did. Eventually, Fnatic finished the map with a final score of 16-12.

The final map for the first Semi-final: Inferno

It is almost customary to have Inferno as the final map in an extremely close series. Inferno is a map that both the teams are very proficient on. Their performance in this map would boil down to the teams’ performance in this match. The Swedish side is probably most well known for their dominance on Inferno in previous editions of the roster. They were extremely dominant on this map, however, with a quick 11-3 scoreline. For Fnatic, it was a very balanced effort as all the players looked to be on the same page.

Fnatic obviously knew their wall-bangs and they had excellent muscle memory going into Inferno. Xizt’s double wall-bang definitely was a testimony to this. The Fnatic team looked so strong throughout the first half and well into the second half as well. They quickly managed to take the score to 15-9. However, after reaching 15, Fnatic seemed to have taken it casually, a bit too much. They were unable to close out the map.

On Astralis’ part, with every round win, they began to believe in their chances to take the map to Overtime. And they did take it to Overtime and eventually won the map in Overtime. It was a comeback reminiscent of the Fnatic comebacks in Dust 2. The Danish team looked on Cloud9 as they were able to mount this massive comeback to reach the Grand finals of the tournament.

For Fnatic, they performed beyond expectations. Their ability to give Astralis a run for their money as well as their victories over other teams makes them one of the strongest teams in CS: GO. For now, Astralis wait in the Grand finals to meet the winner of Faze Clan and Team Liquid.