Photo: By Adela Sznajder for ESL
‘Chiu on This’ is a short and regular opinion blast
Day two of the Legends stage of IEM Katowice 2019 has ended. As there were eight matches going on today, I’ve boiled down the biggest takeaways from today’s games.
Deja Vu for FaZe
FaZe are once again on the verge of elimination in a Major. This result also happened at the FACEIT Major. At that time, they switched in-game leaders and the shift in style and the honeymoon effect of it was enough to get them into the playoffs. This time, they have no such trick to pull out unless they are willing to have AdreN take over (considering he’s the fifth joining a core of players, that’s unlikely). Their game against AVANGAR is particularly worrying. Mirage has always been one of FaZe’s best maps, but they were unable to win out against AVANGAR despite having far more skill and experience. In terms of tactics, they’ve revereted to a lot of set plays which has been ineffectual so far.
Astralis Dominance Continues
Renegades were able to upset Astralis on Mirage as they won in overtime. While there were a few mistakes on Astralis part in terms of some individual plays on the T-side, for the most part Renegades played a great game. I was particularly impressed by AZR’s adjustment in overtime to delay the timing of the team’s mid take as Astralis’ mid pressure had destroyed them in the first half of the game.
While that victory was impressive, Astralis quickly came into their own as they went to nuke. Renegades were able to hold a 9-6 half on the CT-side of that map (which is usually bad, but particularly impressive against Astralis), but were easily ripped apart by Astralis when they switched sides. The same story happened on Inferno as Astralis won 16-2.
BIG have gone 0-3 in the Challengers stage which means they will have to start their Major cycle from the very bottom again. The series started off well with a dominant victory on Dust2, but they couldn’t close multiple rounds on Train. This let ENCE take the map and then beat them on Overpass. Overall the team was too static and the lost of Smooya hurt them as they don’t have a double AWP CT-setup or a wildcard player. As for ENCE, they live to fight another day. Easy enough for ENCE.
compLexity Upset NRG 2-0
The most surprising series of the day was the 0-2 match between compLexity and NRG. NRG were among the favorites to make it to the playoffs while coL were one of the teams that people picked to go 0-3 in their Pick’Ems. The first game between the two teams was close, but stanislaw went god mode as he carried his team into overtime to take the win away from NRG. The second game was ugly as NRG labored through regulation. Everything they did was a struggle and compLexity were once again able to upset. The final round sort of summed it up with Shahzam pulling out a 3k in the final round of overtime in a 1v3.
Other Notable Hits:
Liquid beat Na`Vi to secure their playoff spot and can only meet Astralis in the finals.
SPUNJ 2-1 Cloud9 fans
MIBR are starting to warmup into the tournament.