Astralis beat Na`Vi; to IEM semis
Astralis are through to the last-four stage at IEM Katowice after moving past Natus Vincere on two maps (16-11 on Mirage and 16-2 on Nuke).
The series kicked off on Mirage, where Astralis came out the brighter by going aggressive in the pistol round, which they won without losing a single man. After giving up an eco round, Na`Vi fought back with a third-round buy, but their sloppy A push was punished by Nicolai "device" Reedtz, who got three kills to his name with a Desert Eagle.
Na`Vi pulled back a round after getting an early bomb plant in a 5v4 situation, and the followed it up with another around to equalise the score at 3-3. The CIS team appeared to have finally stabilised, but then Astralis regained control of the game and won several rounds in a row to force their opponents to call a tactical pause.
After the short break, Na`Vi's offence came to life once again, bringing the deficit to a minimum by winning a 2v5 situation, with the half ending in a close 8-7 scoreline in favour of the Danish team.
Astralis advance to the semi-finals in Katowice
The second half began with Astralis wreaking havoc in A after pushing from connector. The first full gun round went Na`Vi's way, but Astralis hit back right after as device picked up three kills to deny the CIS side the B retake. Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth then secured four kills after a desperate buy from Na`Vi, who saw Astralis eventually reach map point.
With Na`Vi's hopes hanging by a thread, Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács pulled off an incredible ace to keep his team in the game. Two rounds later, it was Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev's time to shine with the Big Green, winning the 11th round for Na`Vi.
The crowd was electric and seemingly fully behind Na`Vi, but Astralis did not let the pressure get to them and finally ended their opponents' resistance with an A execute, with device getting another triple kill.
The map that followed was Nuke, which saw Astralis take the pistol round in convincing fashion with an A split. Utilizing their momentum from the first map, the Danish team would jump out to a 7-0 lead as Na`Vi struggled to keep up with the pace set by their opponents.
Quarter-final exit could spell trouble for Na`Vi
After calling a timeout, Na`Vi finally pulled back a round, thanks to a trio of kills from GuardiaN, but Astralis quickly regained control of proceedings, closing out the half with a commanding 14-1 lead.
Ioann "Edward" Sukhariev still gave Na`Vi's fans some hope with a triple kill in the pistol round as Terrorists, but the CIS side could not build on that as they were caught off-guard by Astralis' force buy. That round showed the state of disarray Na`Vi had spiralled into, with Astralis hammering the final nail into their opponents' coffin in the following round.
Key Moment: Nicolai "device" Reedtz had many key rounds on Mirage, but one stood out in particular. With the score 11-8 in favor of Astralis, Na`Vi won the first gun round of the second half, but the Danes hit back right after thanks to the 21-year-old getting three quick kills from the B apartments with an AWP.
PotM: Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth was by far the best player on Mirage, where he had a major contribution in the rounds that Astralis won (24-3 score, 141.1 ADR and two 1vsX situations).
|Astralis||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Nicolai 'device' Reedtzdevice||34 - 22||+12||79.2||1.40|
|Andreas 'Xyp9x' HøjslethXyp9x||37 - 24||+13||91.8||1.37|
|Markus 'Kjaerbye' KjærbyeKjaerbye||38 - 26||+12||76.4||1.37|
|Lukas 'gla1ve' Rossandergla1ve||36 - 23||+13||83.9||1.35|
|Peter 'dupreeh' Rasmussendupreeh||36 - 29||+7||87.7||1.31|
|Natus Vincere||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Ladislav 'GuardiaN' KovácsGuardiaN||38 - 34||+4||83.7||1.11|
|Aleksandr 's1mple' Kostylievs1mple||25 - 36||-11||70.6||0.76|
|Denis 'seized' Kostinseized||24 - 36||-12||65.1||0.71|
|Egor 'flamie' Vasilyevflamie||17 - 35||-18||55.5||0.65|
|Ioann 'Edward' SukharievEdward||20 - 40||-20||47.1||0.49|