Astralis came from behind to beat FaZe 3-1 and win the 2017 edition of IEM Katowice (9-16 on Cache, 16-12 on Overpass, 16-12 on Nuke and 16-13 on Inferno).
The series kicked off on FaZe's map pick, Cache, and at a frantic pace: after losing the pistol round, the European mixture won the force buy thanks to a triple kill from Håvard "rain" Nygaard, leaving Astralis with no money in the bank.
After a double eco, Astralis came close to getting their second round of the game, but Nikola "NiKo" Kovač and Finn "karrigan" Andersen overturned a 2v4 situation as a B execute was threatening to turn sour.
Down 1-5, the Danish team finally managed to win a gun round thanks to a trio of kills from Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjærbye, but FaZe hit back right after following two stunning entry frags from rain in A. That trend would continue for quite some time as Astralis were unable to build on the few rounds they had in the half, with the scoreline blooming to a 10-3 advantage for FaZe before the Danes picked up the final two rounds of the half.
Astralis win their second big title of 2017
Astralis carried their momentum into the second half and won the first three rounds to reduce the deficit to just 8-10. They came within touching distance of taking the first gun round but ultimately wasted a 3v1 advantage as karrigan pulled off a massive clutch.
That round swung the tide back in FaZe's favour, with the European mixture eventually hitting 14 rounds. A timeout called by Astralis instantly paid dividends as they brought FaZe's streak to an end, but the CTs would get the next two rounds to lock down the map, 16-9.
Map two, Overpass, began with Astralis taking the pistol round with an A execute thanks to Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen's triple kill. The Danish team followed that up with the corresponding anti-ecos to increase their lead to 3-0, but FaZe got back into the game in gun play and restored parity at 3-3.
After losing the next two rounds, FaZe won an eco round with very little investment. That was the start of a great run from FaZe, who jumped out to an 8-5 lead. After calling a tactical pause to fix their issues, the Danes got a round on the board, but they were unable to bring the gap to a minimum as Fabien "kioShiMa" Fiey clutched the final round with two quick M4A1 kills.
FaZe led the series after winning Cache, but could not go all the way
Astralis won the second pistol round and eventually reduced the gap to just one round, but a third-round buy from FaZe paid dividends and kept them in the lead. It looked like the European mixture had the game under control, but then dupreeh pulled off a sensational ace with the Desert Eagle out of nowhere. That eco round win inspired Astralis to go on a sensational run, winning six of the next seven rounds to take the map, 16-12, and equalise the series.
Map three, Nuke, was a complete blowout for most of the first half: Astralis jumped out to a commanding 7-1 lead on the CT side as FaZe struggled to break through the Danes' defence. With their backs against the wall, the European mixture called a tactical pause, and after that their offence finally came to life as they won four more rounds before the end of the half to keep themselves in the game.
Now playing on the CT side, FaZe picked up the first four rounds to bring the deficit to a minimum. The game then entered a highly-contested period as neither side could find a breakthrough, but all that changed when dupreeh won a 1v3 clutch to put his team on map point. With no money in the bank, there was nothing that FaZe could do to stop Astralis from taking the map and the lead in the series.
dupreeh rescued Astralis on both Overpass and Nuke
Next up was Inferno, where Astralis made a comeback with a force-buy after losing the initial pistol round. The Danish side continued amassing rounds and brought their lead to 5-1, but then FaZe tightened up their defence and closed out the half with a 9-6 lead following a great run that saw them win seven rounds in a row, the last of which courtesy of an AWP ace by Aleksi "allu" Jalli.
karrigan powered FaZe to win the pistol round on the Terrorist side with four kills, but they were unable to follow that up as they were caught off-guard by Astralis' A hold while on eco.
After getting their economy stabilised, FaZe claimed their 11th round of the game, but Astralis pulled one back immediately after, leaving the European mixture strapped for cash. Astralis extended their great run and eventually took the lead 13-11, with FaZe responding by taking two in a row on the back of a tactical pause.
With the score tied at 13-13, Astralis called a pause in a bid to halt FaZe's momentum, and, much to their relief, the move paid off as they won three rounds in a row en-route to a 16-13 finish.
Key moment: Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen's Desert Eagle ace on Overpass. FaZe were up 11-9 and were looking to build up their economy, but the 23-year-old kept his team in the game with a stunning round, which would prove pivotal to Astralis' comeback.
PotM: In addition to the key round on Overpass, Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen was also decisive on Nuke, where he won a 1v3 clutch in the final stages of the game. Even though he was not Astralis' statistically best player, he showed up when it mattered most, and his contribution cannot be overlooked.
|Astralis||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Markus 'Kjaerbye' KjærbyeKjaerbye||83 - 70||+13||75.7||1.16|
|Lukas 'gla1ve' Rossandergla1ve||70 - 66||+4||81.0||1.10|
|Andreas 'Xyp9x' HøjslethXyp9x||76 - 62||+14||75.2||1.09|
|Peter 'dupreeh' Rasmussendupreeh||77 - 74||+3||77.8||1.07|
|Nicolai 'device' Reedtzdevice||69 - 70||-1||70.3||1.02|
|FaZe||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Nikola 'NiKo' KovačNiKo||80 - 80||0||90.7||1.15|
|Aleksi 'allu' Jalliallu||76 - 69||+7||70.3||1.07|
|Håvard 'rain' Nygaardrain||66 - 74||-8||68.8||0.96|
|Fabien 'kioShiMa' FieykioShiMa||62 - 77||-15||64.3||0.84|
|Finn 'karrigan' Andersenkarrigan||58 - 76||-18||57.4||0.81|
IEM Katowice 2017 final standings: