Photo: By Bart Oerbekke for ESL
‘Chiu on This’ is a short and regular opinion blast
The IEM Katowice 2019 semifinals has ended. ENCE upet Na`Vi and Astralis beat MIBR. There was a lot of information to process, so for now broad strokes. These are the takeaways from the semifinals.
How ENCE beat Na`Vi:
ENCE beat Na`Vi through a team effort. Beyond the superior team play, each of their players stepped up at different points throughout the series. Aleksib had a critical 4k on an eco round on Mirage. XseveN went ham on that map and brought huge impact. Sergej and Allu closed down train. Aerial was huge for the Ct-side of Mirage. In terms of tactics, Aleksib called a great half against Na`Vi as he was able to grind down their economy and break them by the end. The biggest factor for me though was their mental strength under pressure. In both Train and Mirage, the game was looking to be Na`Vi favored. Na`Vi were up 14-10 on Train and 12-6 on Mirage. Despite the scoreline, ENCE never got rattled and continued to play their game.
S1mple is a god, but Na`Vi still has problems.
S1mple played lights out in the series against ENCE and was the best player throughout the entire series. He hard carried Na`Vi through the Mirage game. The first half of that map had Na`Vi up 9-6, but that is misleading as s1mple was basically playing lifesaver and consistently bailed Na`Vi out of terrible situations. The biggest problems with Na`Vi is that everything outside of s1mple is inconsistent. They never know when they will turn up in terms of teamplay or individual form.
Zeus for instance won a bunch of impact rounds through this tournament, but also gave away easy deaths that let ENCE back into the game. Their tactics can be good at times, but they can also completely falter (the 30th round on Mirage looked to be Zeus crossing his fingers and hoping someone pushed palace so they could get into a 5v4 situation). Overall, Na`Vi are the exact same they’ve ever been. S1mple is a god and if the rest of the team can get it together, they can be champions, but most times they can’t.
Astralis go to back-to-back Major Finals
Astralis continue to dominate the world. Both NiP and MIBR were teams that the community believed could upset Astralis. Both series ended 2-0 in Astralis favor. While both teams had close maps that ended 14-16, Astralis consistently keep winning out the decisisve moments and important rounds in the game. While ENCE have pulled off two miracles to get this far, Astralis are the presumptive favorites to win the Major.