‘Chiu on This’ is a short and regular opinion blast
At IEM Chicago, the best-of-one games are underway. Two of them have already resulted in upsets. The first was North against NRG and the other was eUnited against Na`Vi. The North vs NRG match is closer than it appears to be on paper. While NRG are one of the better teams in the world, North is close enough to their level that a win in a bo1 setting isn’t that surprising. What was actually surprising about the game was that North let it go to cache.
When you consider the way that North have played their map pool, they were never a cache team. MSL famously hates the map so perhaps that is why NRG decided to let it through until the final phase. North turned out to be fairly competent on the map and while NRG were able to start off well in the beginning of their T-side, North were able to adapt and deal with NRG’s approach.
As for North’s own T-side, their fast paced coordinated hits completely caught NRG off guard. They were unable to recover both economically and mentally, so they were taken out of the game before they could fight their way back into it in the second half.
The really big upset was done by eUnited. FNS has just recently joined the squad and it is filled with a bunch of younger NA talent. On the podcast, Peeker’s Advantage, this is one of the teams that FNS pointed to as having a high upside going into the future. As it turned out, the future came faster than expected as they were able to blitz Na`Vi on Mirage and take the win 16-6.
The victory was a mix of a few different factors. I think eUnited had a solid game plan going into the game that caught Na`VI off guard. They started their T-side using consistently fast paced executes onto each site for their rifle rounds that were timed in such a way as to go off around the same time. When you consider how often Na`Vi force buy, the plan made complete sense once eUnited took money control early on as Na`Vi had no utility to force them back.
By the time Na`Vi got a full buyout, it was already 9-2 in eUnited’s lead. eUnited adapted to that and started to grind out defaults and were able to widen the lead and take the half 12-3. After losing the pistol on the CT-side, eUnited got their rifles up and closed out the game off the back of some opening picks from Relyks.
North surprised NRG with their cache play and eUnited completely surprised Na`Vi by beating them on Mirage. While these are nice victories for both teams, the tournament had just started and every game here on out will be a best-of-three so we’ll have to see how they do moving forward. North plays Astralis later today while eUnited will play Fnatic tomorrow.