Astralis send Liquid to lower bracket as IEM Dallas opening round comes to an end
The best-of-one phase of IEM Dallas has concluded with Group B passing the opening round of play. ENCE, FaZe, and Cloud9 all survived their first tests and moved on in the upper bracket, with home-town heroes Liquid the only favored side on paper to suffer an opening loss.
ENCE and FaZe got the action in the second group underway with victories, and while ENCE had a comfortable time against a Complexity missing their star AWPer Håkon "hallzerk" Fjærli, FaZe had to work harder to avoid the lower bracket.
Finn "karrigan" Andersen and his men had a slow start on the T side and only mustered an 8-7 half, with Evil Geniuses' pistol round win giving them the lead early in the second half. They did eventually return to form, however, and eked out a 19-17 overtime victory to stay in the upper bracket.
Meanwhile, in the more closely-matched affair between Liquid and Astralis, Alexander "Altekz" Givskov made his debut at a top flight LAN. The youngster was recently promoted to the main squad from Astralis Talent in place of Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth and he showed why the Danish organization took a gamble on him.
The 19-year-old was at the top of the scoreboard alongside Benjamin "blameF" Bremer and Nicolai "device" Reedtz, proving crucial in his team's 19-17 overtime victory. He was particularly brilliant on the offense, where he put up a 1.70 rating.
Group B now moves to the next round, where the four winners will fight for playoffs spots in the upper bracket while four teams face elimination in the lower bracket:
* Starting times are to be announced