FaZe eliminate Immortals at IEM
FaZe defeat Immortals 2-0 (Inferno 16-9, Mirage 16-10) in the semi-final of IEM Katowice 2017 where they will play against the winner of Astralis - Heroic.
The first semi-final of IEM Katowice 2017 pitted FaZe against Immortals, with the latter team picking Inferno to start off the series. The European team got to start on the favored Counter-Terrorist side and were in the lead from the get-go thanks to a second round force-buy win as Nikola "NiKo" Kovač eliminated three with his trademark Deagle.
FaZe secured the first full buy round despite some shaky defenses on B that saw their 5v3 advantage turn into a 2v3 with a bomb down for Immortals. Finn "karrigan" Andersen's team was 7-1 up when the newest addition to the squad NiKo was a little bit reckless and got picked off by Henrique "HEN1" Teles, opening up the 1v3 clutch for the Brazilian sniper.
The Bosnian made amends in the following round as he picked up a quad kill on B, locking down the site together with karrigan. FaZe tried to close out the following anti-eco with aggression down mid, but a sloppy execution and some great shots from HEN1 and Lucas "LUCAS1" Teles resulted in the Brazilian side taking the round. After a few (force-buy) rounds were traded back-and-forth, the first half ended with FaZe having a 9-6 lead.
FaZe will move on to the grand finals after a strong showing vs. IMT
Both teams struggled to assert dominance in the second half, but it finally went the way of FaZe when they won consecutive rounds executing on the A site through apartments and short. In the second one, Immortals were on the brink of a successful retake, but Aleksi "allu" Jalli's molotov on the bomb secured it for the European side, making the score 13-9. With Lucas "steel" Lopes's side on weak buys for the end of the game, FaZe didn't have a hard time closing out Inferno—it was 16-9 in the end.
Mirage started similarly to Inferno as FaZe lost the pistol round, this time starting on the Terrorist side, but recovered with Deagles in the following one. Ricardo "boltz" Prass did a lot of work as Immortals retook B in a 3v4 to make the score 2-3, but after tieing the score the Brazilians went down to another Deagle buy from the European side. The score was close for the majority of the first half, but Immortals managed to gain some ground towards the end of the half, with a tactical timeout proving to be a good call.
NiKo continues in great form, now in a FaZe jersey
After switching to the defensive side, FaZe was quick to tie the score once again by winning the pistol and cleaning up the following anti-ecos. Immortals were looking good to take their 11th round on Mirage as they swarmed karrigan on B, but the Danish player managed to regain composure with the AWP and secure three key kills after missing some shots earlier in the play.
To afford a full buy, Immortals had to eco and let FaZe get to a 15-10 lead, but the Brazilian side was once again shut down by the firepower of Fabien "kioShiMa" Fiey and co. as they closed the match 16-10 to secure their place in the grand final of IEM Katowice 2017.
Key moment: The score was tied 3-3 on Mirage when FaZe took over the A site while being 4v5 down on an eco. NiKo opened the site with a headshot on a player positioned near CT spawn and closed out the round with two more kills, allowing his team to bounce back early in the match.
PotM: Even though most of his team played well, Nikola "NiKo" Kovač was above and beyond the rest in terms of contributions, using the AK-47, AWP and Deagle to massive success—which can be seen in his 1.62 rating, over 100 ADR and a +25 K-D.
K - D
Nikola 'NiKo' KovačNiKo
53 - 28
Fabien 'kioShiMa' FieykioShiMa
38 - 29
Aleksi 'allu' Jalliallu
39 - 30
Finn 'karrigan' Andersenkarrigan
35 - 38
Håvard 'rain' Nygaardrain
26 - 37
Professeur writes for HLTV.org and can be found on Twitter.