fnatic make it out of quarterfinals
The second quarter final match concluded with fnatic now going on to face Astralis after prevailing over Virtus.pro by 2-0 (de_train, 16-5, and de_inferno, 16-8), at the Spodek Arena in Katowice.
The Spodek Arena has been a particularly good venue for these teams; both having managed to win majors here. Virtus.pro did so in 2014 while fnatic managed the same feat here last year. This time around, the Swedes came into the match as heavy favorites despite having the Polish crowd against them, as they try to keep their tournament-winning streak going.
Virtus.pro’s best chance at the series lied on winning the first map, de_train, and hope fnatic slipped up on the second or the decider, which seemed improbable. The first round, however, went fnatic’s way as they were able to secure the pistol round and the second round.
A plant in the second round gave Virtus.pro a little bit of money, but they decided to build up their economy instead of buying and bought p250s across the board on the third round. The polish team ran an execute on A and traded themselves into a 3vs2, but Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer and Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson were able to take on Paweł "byali" Bieliński, who had just planted the bomb, to secure the defuse and the first gun round of the game.
olofmeister ran circles around VP on Train
Having saved up some money VP were still able to buy on the fifth round but a clean defense from fnatic left its whole quintet alive after taking out the whole Polish side. The seventh round ended after a 1vs1 after plant situation in which Filip "NEO" Kubski was able to outplay KRIMZ and get the first tally for his team.
olofmeister got a three kill on the next round to stop the Polish team from gaining momentum, and forcing VP into an eco. Not even a somewhat early timeout saved Virtus.pro from fnatic, who seemed to be breezing by without even breaking a sweat. That changed on the thirteenth round, however, as some YOLO pushes on A got VP three back-to-back rounds to put the score 10-4 going into the last round of the half.
After winning the last round of the half, fnatic were also able to win the second pistol round with a quad kill by olofmeister, leaving VP in dire straits as the comeback was starting to look impossible. After trading rounds, fnatic found themselves with a 15-5 lead, ten map points, and facing a VP with a reset economy. With the first map in the bag 16-5, VP’s chances looked slim as the next map to be played was de_inferno.
fnatic got off to a flying start as a mid to B warp in the pistol round caught VP off guard and the Swedes established their dominance early on. With three AK buys in the second round, fnatic weren’t losing respect for their opposition just yet. Some of that respect seemed to be lost on the fourth round, which fnatic win, as Jesper "JW" Wecksell got taken down trying to knife byali.
JW’s Inferno was nothing short of abussive
Round after round fnatic were able to break the Polish defense forcing a timeout to be taken between the sixth and seventh rounds and showing the severe lacunae in their play. The timeout didn’t seem to do much, however, as fnatic kept putting in rounds until the ninth round, when Janusz "Snax" Pogorzelski and Jarosław "pashaBiceps" Jarząbkowski were able to win a 2vs1 against JW by the skin of their teeth.
The hope was momentary, however, as the crowd went completely silent when their team’s economy was reset the following round, and won every single last round until the half. Virtus.pro won their first pistol round of the match, but it was not enough to stop the inevitable from happening despite chaining together some rounds, and fnatic bagged the map, 16-8, to win the match.
K - D
Jesper 'JW' WecksellJW
45 - 17
Olof 'olofmeister' Kajbjerolofmeister
42 - 22
Freddy 'KRIMZ' JohanssonKRIMZ
37 - 22
Robin 'flusha' Rönnquistflusha
32 - 25
Dennis 'dennis' Edmandennis
29 - 33
fnatic will go on to face-off against Astralis in the semifinals at 22:30. Next up at IEM is the first semi final between Na`Vi and Luminosity Gaming in a best-of-three match. Be sure to follow @HLTVorg to get all the updates live from Katowice.