After two days of the IEM Katowice Legends Stage, we get two participants of IEM Katowice Champions Stage. Astralis and Team Liquid have a 100% win rate after three rounds, which puts them into the IEM Katowice Champions Stage. On the other hand, BIG and NRG finished their path at IEM Katowice after three straight losses.
Astralis proved they are the best on Nuke
On the first day of Legends Stage, all teams played two Best-of-1 matches. In the initial round, Astralis faced compLexity on Nuke. It was clear to everyone that compLexity wasn’t going to take a point from Astralis on the map that they have ultimately mastered. Although they stepped in the match winning a pistol round, they lost ten straight rounds. Astralis were leading 9-1 and it wasn’t clear how compLexity could damage the best team in the world on Nuke, even though they managed take one round away from Astralis.
They managed somehow to go on a three round winning streak, but dev1ce then stood up, sniping three compLexity players. It was enough for Astralis to stabilize their game, and until the end, they let compLexity win just two rounds. Truly, compLexity was in a good situation to win the round several times, but Xyp9x and gla1ve were very good in clutch duels. However, Astralis’ performance in the first round was nothing in comparison to what they did to Cloud9.
Cloud9 got humiliated by Astralis
The American team faced Astralis after the convincing win versus MiBR (16-3) on Inferno. Nevertheless, they definitely didn’t imagine what was going to happen to them in the next round. Teams took their positions on Train and game kicked off. Cloud9 didn’t succeed in winning a single round. It was a devastating result for autimatic and company who hoped they could deliver some damage to Astralis after a good display against MiBR. Apparently, it wasn’t their day.
Magisk was the best player on Astralis’ side with score 21/3/5 and 136.7 damage per round. It seems like SPUNJ was right about Cloud9, especially considering they also lost to Vitality (16-14) in next round. Therefore, they are in the same situation as they were in the Challengers Stage after two days. So, if they want to stay in Katowice, they need to win two matches in a row.
Renegades almost stopped Astralis on Nuke
Something that stands out throughout the whole event is surely Renegades,who played excellent. Furthermore, they didn’t lose a single map until they faced Astralis on Nuke. Renegades beat ENCE in the first round and then defeated FaZe Clan in a very close match-up. So they booked a duel with the best CS:GO team. Renegades picked Mirage as a first map hoping they could do something on Astralis’ worst map. Regardless, it didn’t seem like it was a wise choice at half-time given that the Danish team was leading 12-3. But then, out of nowhere Renegades came back after Astralis set result on 14-5.
Renegades won next ten rounds reaching map point, but Astralis somehow managed to take the game into Overtime. But it was obvious that Danes were mentally down after losing such a big advantage. But Renegades “just” did the same thing to Astralis as they did to Renegades in the first half. They dominated mid and Astralis didn’t know how to respond. As a result, the game finished with final score 19-17 in Renegades’ favor.
Nuke saved Astralis once again
Teams then moved to Nuke, and it wasn’t a comfortable situation for gla1ve and his teammates at half-time. Moreover, they were losing 9-6 and they already were one map down. So if Renegades won Nuke, it wouldn’t only mean they ended Astralis’ streak, but it would also mean they won a match. But fortunately for Astralis that didn’t happen. They ended Renegades seven rounds winning streak by winning pistol round. After that, Renegades didn’t find a way to break through Astralis firm defense of both sites. They were just helpless against the best Nuke team ever.
- Check this: Astralis Dominance Explained [CS:GO]
Everything had to end on Inferno as on the final map. Given that Astralis won Nuke, they felt a huge relief, which helped them to play more freely on the final map. It reflected on their game as well as on the final result. The Australian team won only two rounds versus Astralis on Inferno. Therefore, we will se Astralis at IEM Katowice Champions Stage one more time, and Renegades will need to win another match to join Astralis there. But according to what we saw from the Australian team so far, they have a very good chance to get to IEM Katowice Champions Stage.
— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) February 21, 2019
Team Liquid over NaVi to IEM Katowice Champions Stage
After triumphs against AVANGAR and Ninjas in Pyjamas, Team Liquid met NaVi in Third Round High Match. The Ukrainian team previously beat G2 on Inferno (16-7) and then they engaged in so intense match versus Team Vitality. Na Vi had a big advantage in 22nd round (14-8), but it turned out to not be sufficient for victory in the standard time frame. S1mple and company even had three match points, but Team Vitality somehow made a comeback and the match went into Overtime, not once but two times. NaVi prevailed in the end.
Teams first stepped on Mirage. NaVi clinched the opening four rounds but Team Liquid responded in a great manner. They went on a six rounds winning streak. At the end of the first half, the result was 9-6 in favor of the American team. EliGE helped his team with a triple kill in the 14th round when NaVi tried to occupy A bombsite.
Twistzz and nitr0 for 3-0
Thanks to their advantage, the NA team could play without pressure on Dust 2. They stepped on a new map in a good way, taking the first three rounds. However, NaVi responded in the same manner, winning the next three rounds. At half-time, Team Liquid had a minimal advantage. In the second pistol round, Twistzz had a pretty good time. Team Liquid went through smoke on B site, and Twistzz killed three CTs there by his Glock. All of them were headshots. Then, he stopped Edward from escaping the fight at mid doors for quad-kill.
A bit later, in the 18th round, killed three NaVi players to help his team to clinch a round. Until the end, NaVi won just another two rounds, which was insufficient for anything more than a convincing loss. As a result, Team Liquid will join Astralis in IEM Katowice Champions Stage. This result proves that Team Liquid is in good form. Apparently, they are still riding on the momentum they got at iBUYPOWER Masters when they defeated Astralis in final. Now they’ll most likely have a chance to meet the Danish team in final once again. That would be a final all CS:GO fans wanted.
MiBR, Team Vitality, Ninjas in Pyjamas, and AVANGAR are close to IEM Katowice Champions Stage
Among other teams, three of those who came from the Challengers Stage are close to reaching IEM Katowice Champions Stage. Team Vitality was successful in the first round against BIG on Mirage, beating them 16-11. Then, they lost in an intense meeting with NaVi, where both teams went into Overtime twice. The match ended with score 25-22. Then they defeated Cloud9 16-14 on Mirage. Now, they are waiting for their next opponent.
Ninjas in Pyjamas also opened Legends Stage in a good manner defeating NRG. REZ and f0rest played a very good game, both recording over 30 kills.
Unlike the previous two teams, AVANGAR wasn’t victorious on the start of Legends Stage. They faced Team Liquid on Overpass and lost with ending result 16-12. Afterward, they beat NRG on Overpass (16-13) and FaZe on Mirage (16-13).
Same as AVANGAR, MiBR also handled the pressure after opening defeat very well and managed to win two straight matches. As mentioned, they lost to Cloud9 in convincing fashion (16-3). In the following two rounds, coldzera and felps played two good matches against compLexity (16-9) and G2 Esports (16-12). Now, all these teams, including Renegades and Natus Vincere, need just one more triumph to prolong their stay at Katowice for another week and participate in IEM Katowice Champions Stage.
BIG and NRG are going home
On the other side, BIG and NRG now need to book a flight to their homes as they got eliminated by ENCE and compLexity. This was their third loss, and they will take home $8,750 as a prize for taking a part in Legends Stage. ENCE and compLexity now have a very tough task to accomplish, considering they need two more matches won in order to advance further. It is going to be a very hard thing to do, but certainly not impossible. This just proves that BIG is not in so good form as they also won “just” third place at ELEAGUE Invitational.