IEM Katowice: No. 1 Astralis Defeat No. 8 FaZe 3-1 in Championship Match

by Steven Cropley

The grand finals of Intel Extreme Masters CS:GO event were set to be an absolutely epic match. No. 8 FaZe Clan led by former No. 1 Astralis in-game leader Finn "karrigan" Andersen would be looking to take its first title. The recent addition of Nikola "NiKo" Kovač was a huge part of making it this far as the ex-mousesports player was dominant throughout the tournament. Astralis was looking to win it's second event of 2017, winning the ELEAGUE Major prior to going down in the finals of DreamHack Masters Las Vegas to No. 2 who made an early exit in Poland. The best part? It was best-of-five.

IEM astralis2
(Photo: Astralis)

The series would start on Cache, a brilliant map pick for the Europeans of FaZe Clan. Astralis' only map loss in the tournament had come on Cache to No. 13 Immortals during the group stage. It would show as FaZe took a commanding lead early on after an eco round win in the second round would steal the wind from the Danish side. Astralis would be unable to get back into the game from the counter-terrorist side, ending the half down by five. Keeping it closer from the offensive side, Astralis would go tit-for-tat but that is a battle that favors FaZe and so after reaching a 6-4 second half, FaZe would head into the second map up 1-0 on the No. 1 team in the WWG CSGO Team Rankings.

Overpass would start nicely for the Danes as a pistol round victory courtesy of three kills from Peter 'dupreeh' Rasmussen would become a 3-0 lead. Unfortunately for the No. 1 team, only three gun rounds would go its way throughout the rest of the half and there FaZe would once again lead at the half. It was Nicolai 'device' Reedtz's turn to take down three of his opponents in the second half pistol. FaZe would make it a battle for the first few rounds but the tide would turn when dupreeh pulled off a deagle ace, leading his team to a string of rounds and a 16-12 win to match FaZe 1-1 in maps.

IEm Astralis1
(Photo: Astralis)

Map three would decide which team would have the lead going forward. Astralis started on the counter-terrorist side, the favored side on Nuke. The Danes would get off to a substantial lead of 7-1 before FaZe would manage to start grabbing a few rounds here and there. The European mix would face a five round deficit going into the second half at 5-10. FaZe would win a much-needed pistol round, turning it into a four round streak to bring itself within one round of Astralis at 10-9. dupreeh and co. would manage to get regain control, winning three in a row to take a four round lead and put itself three rounds away from leading 2-1 in the series. FaZe would take the next gun round, however, reaching double digits. Another trade of rounds would go the way of FaZe as it grabbed another to bring itself within two at 14-12. dupreeh said not so fast in the following round, clutching a 1v3 situation to put his team on match point, following it up with the final round to take map three 16-12 yet again.

Moving to Inferno, Astralis would keep the momentum early. Getting up to a 5-1 lead after giving up the pistol round, the Danes would look to be unstoppable until FaZe went on a bit of a streak of its own after giving up just one more in the half to take a 9-6 lead. Once again karrigan's squad would take the pistol and be overtaken in the next by Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander's Astralis. Astralis would start to close that gap, bringing it within one before a late hit on the A bomb site would see FaZe to an 11-9 lead. Some aggressive play would allow Astralis to tie the game up at 11 in no time and put FaZe onto a full glock save, leading to a lead for the Danish side at 12-11.The teams would trade rounds from there to enter the late game at 13-12. That would be all she wrote for FaZe as the Danish side pushed through the rest for a 16-13 win.