FaZe end IHC's IEM Katowice run; advance to Group A lower bracket final
The clock has struck midnight on the Mongolian team's Cinderella story.
FaZe secured a spot in the lower bracket final of Group A after they put a halt to IHC's stellar run at IEM Katowice, defeating the Mongolian team 2-0 following victories on Inferno (16-11) and Ancient (16-3). The European combine will next face the winner of the match between Liquid and Spirit for a spot in the IEM Katowice quarter-final, with their game scheduled to take place on Tuesday at 16:00 .
Garidmagnai "bLitz" Byambasuren and company went on a tear while in Poland, first dispatching of world No. 9 FURIA in the Play-In to advance to the group stage. IHC fell to Liquid in their first match of that stage, but mustered an immense upset against Cloud9 in their ensuing match in the lower bracket to eliminate the Russian side from the competition. However, they were unable to maintain that level of form against FaZe, who struggled at moments on Inferno but looked comfortable for the majority of the series en route to a 2-0 series win.
"It means a lot to me, my teammates, and my country," Tengis "sk0R" Batjargal said of IHC's run at the tournament following the defeat. "We made this really good run, and we have a lot of things to learn, a lot of things to improve, and I just want to say thanks to my teammates and my fans."
IHC kicked off their pick of Inferno with an early lead, denying Håvard "rain" Nygaard an ace and 1vs3 clutch to secure the pistol round on the T side. They converted that into a 3-0 lead before FaZe got their first round on the board, and the European side quickly used that first round victory to establish a foothold on the defense. Five rounds in a row went the way of Finn "karrigan" Andersen's men before IHC again crafted an opening to grab their fourth round, but the team were unable to string additional rounds together and ended up the losing end of a brief back-and-forth as FaZe surged ahead to establish a 9-6 lead at the break.
A second pistol win from IHC helped them close that gap and retake the lead for the first time since the early portion of the map, four rounds on the trot leading into a 10-9 scoreline. The team's rotations and defenses seemed to be a step ahead of FaZe during that stint, but karrigan's side came through with an adjustment, dialing up the tempo and brute forcing attacks with deathball tactics. From that point on, IHC mustered just one additional round, and FaZe quickly pushed onward to a 16-11 victory to go up 1-0 early in the series.
The second map proved to be even more one-sided as FaZe completely dismantled IHC's defenses, a pistol win and two further round wins being all that bLitz's men would manage in the first half. The difference in caliber between the two sides was much more evident on this map in particular as Russel "Twistzz" Van Dulken and Helvijs "broky" Saukants led the way to a swift win for their side, wasting no time in closing out the map, 16-3.
|FaZe||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|41 - 22||+19||97.0||1.55|
|35 - 26||+9||86.6||1.31|
|38 - 27||+11||83.9||1.31|
|32 - 27||+5||71.1||1.16|
|30 - 23||+7||66.7||1.07|
|IHC||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|28 - 35||-7||69.2||0.87|
|27 - 37||-10||66.5||0.74|
|25 - 35||-10||63.6||0.74|
|21 - 37||-16||67.2||0.68|
|21 - 35||-14||60.0||0.64|