Astralis Fnatic IEM Chicago

The titans of the Counter-Strike world would face off against the old guard at the semifinals of IEM Chicago. Fnatic and Astralis would end up pushing each other to the brink, with three closely contested maps.

The Danish juggernauts, Astralis, are looking very strong coming into the semifinals. However, they have had a couple stumbles at the tournament. FaZe Clan would actually sweep Astralis to send them to the loser’s bracket. The best team in the world exhibit some uncharacteristic mistakes that would cost them. However, they aren’t a team to underestimate, as they are still aiming for a Finals berth at IEM Chicago.

Meanwhile, Fnatic has been looking much better than expected. They would enter the tournament with a relatively new roster, including a 16-year-old prodigy in Ludvig “Brollan” Brolin. They would manage to take down BIG, eUnited, and even crowd-favorites, Team Liquid. Now, they have their greatest challenge to date against Astralis. They would need to calm their nerves and compose themselves for their biggest match yet.

Theme of the Day: Comebacks!

The first map of the day would be Dust2, where at first, Astralis would dominate. Their attack on the T side would be almost impossible to stifle, as Fnatic struggled to find any success. They would maintain their momentum throughout the half with a few big clutches from Nicolai dev1ce Reedtz, Andreas Xyp9x Højsleth and Emil Magisk Reif. They would hit the halfway mark of Dust2 with a strong 12-3 lead.

However, the next half would be all Fnatic, as they would claw back into the game. The old guard would force out an overtime point from Astralis, led by Simon “twist” Eliasson’s 31 kills. They would win eight round in a row. Unfortunately, Astralis would finally lock up their CT side, and although it would take thirty rounds, they would take the first map.

The Reincarnation of JW and KRIMZ

On Mirage, Fnatic’s wily veterans would come out swinging. Freddy “KRIMZ” Johansson and Jesper “JW” Wecksell would explode, showing confidence we have not seen in some time. However, Astralis would keep in the game with some great team play. Each team would go on round win streaks, with Fnatic taking six rounds in a row, but Astralis answering with four rounds of their own. Fnatic would end the half with a narrow 8-7 lead.

The map would stay close in the second half, with each team trading rounds back and forth. However, it would be JW who would rise to the occasion and score himself a quadra kill to tie the game, 9-9. Fnatic would lock down their CT side, and close out Mirage with a 16-12 scoreline. Fnatic’s young phenom, Brollan, would contribute with a respectable 22 kills. However, it would be JW’s 27 kills and KRIMZ’s 28 kills that would make all the difference.

The Best Series of 2018?

The last map of the series, Inferno, would be the most exciting of the tournament. From the start, it was looking like Fnatic was going to run all over Astralis. KRIMZ would show off his skill with a great triple kill to reset the economy of Astralis. They would take an easy 11-4 lead in the first half, but suddenly Astralis would storm right back. The Danes would manage to bring it back to a 13-9 scoreline, giving hope to his teammates.

Twist would score himself a clutch triple kill and JW would bring Fnatic to match point with a crazy 1v2 defuse. However, Astralis would not allow Fnatic to take the victory. They would manage to claw back and tie the score at 15-15. Finally, Astralis would take the victory in overtime, 19-17.

Moving Forward

For Fnatic, they can leave IEM Chicago with their heads held high. Entering such a tough tournament with a relatively new lineup is hard, but they were able to play great anyway. We saw the resurgence of JW and KRIMZ, which not many people believed to be possible. Maybe the introduction of Twist and Brollan was the catalyst for their confidence. As for Brollan, the 16-year-old would play great for his first ever major tournament. I can see him being an integral piece to Fnatic’s future.

Meanwhile, Astralis must lock up their mistakes for the Grand Finals of IEM Chicago. Although they were able to come out with the victory, there’s no reason why this match should have been as close as it was. However, they are still the best team in the tournament by far, and you can bet they will adjust accordingly for whoever faces them, Team Liquid or FaZe Clan.


What are your thoughts on Astralis’ victory at IEM Chicago? Let us know what you think in the comments below! If you want more IEM Chicago coverage, check us out here!

Lawrence Tyler Esguerra
Born and raised in Toronto. Sometimes a writer. Sometimes a creative director. Sometimes bored. Catch me with hundreds of unplayed games in my Steam library.

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