Astralis, SK secure first victory at IEM Katowice
Astralis and SK defeated Renegades and AVANGAR, respectively, to start off their IEM Katowice 2018 campaign on the right foot.
The first match of the event kicked off on Train, with Renegades picking up their CT pistol with a double-kill from Karlo "USTILO" Pivac in a B retake. And even though Astralis then put up a fight with nothing but pistols, Renegades further added to their lead fairly easily, 4-0.
With their economy back on track, the IEM Katowice 2017 champions hit their first round on a board with a near-flawless B execution, but then Joakim "jkaem" Myrbostad immediately responded with a triple-kill for his team to remain in the driving seat.
Renegades kept tearing Astralis apart with a very tight defence until the 11th round, when the Danish side was finally able to win their second round of the game. Still, the Australians strung two rounds together with back-to-back clutches - a 1v2 from Aaron "AZR" Ward and a 1v1 from Justin "jks" Savage - to hit 11 rounds, but could not prevail in the last two rounds of the half.
Astralis did not want to back down and came from the break set to turn the game around, winning five rounds in a row to reduce the deficit to 9-11. Renegades then picked up their first as Terrorists, but the Danes proved to be far too hot to handle and lost only one more round before wrapping things up, 16-13.
K - D
Aaron 'AZR' WardAZR
18 - 21
Joakim 'jkaem' Myrbostadjkaem
20 - 21
Noah 'Nifty' FrancisNifty
16 - 21
Justin 'jks' Savagejks
14 - 19
Karlo 'USTILO' PivacUSTILO
13 - 23
On the secondary stream, SK and AVANGAR battled it out on Cache. The Kazakhs started things off on the right foot, securing their Terrorist pistol much thanks to a triple-kill from Timur "buster" Tulepov, and following that up with the subsequent anti-ecos.
From that point, however, SK constantly prevailed despite the efforts from their opponents, who could not secure more than two rounds with guns as Terrorists.
In the second half, Aidyn "KrizzeN" Turlybekov and buster clutched a 2v3 to secure their team's T-side pistol, but it was in vain as the Brazilians instantly responded with a successful force-buy, paving the way to bag a 13-6 lead.
Although AVANGAR then found a lifeline after losing only one of the next five rounds, SK simply would not let a comeback happen, and eventually finished things off, 16-10, with a quad-kill from Marcelo "coldzera" David which included a 1v2 clutch.
K - D
Marcelo 'coldzera' Davidcoldzera
30 - 12
Gabriel 'FalleN' ToledoFalleN
20 - 15
Fernando 'fer' Alvarengafer
19 - 17
Ricardo 'boltz' Prassboltz
17 - 14
Epitacio 'TACO' de MeloTACO
12 - 15