The second quarterfinals matchup of IEM Chicago would be between Danish juggernauts Astralis and Mousesports.
A real barn burner to end the day 🔥 #IEM @astralisgg v @mousesports for a spot in the Semis 🤙
It starts on train, and it's live right now 👇https://t.co/fTBRGvbUbv pic.twitter.com/DFuWDsU7Lk
— Intel®ExtremeMasters (@IEM) November 9, 2018
Arguably still the best team in the world, Astralis would head into this matchup with a good amount of momentum. They would handle Korea’s MVP.PK and Danish rivals, North, with ease. The only problem they would hit would be FaZe Clan, who would sweep them in two games. Still, Astralis was a big favorite heading into the playoffs, and for good reason. Everyone was playing pretty well, including their star AWPer, Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz.
On the other hand, Mousesports would have a bit of a harder time reaching the playoffs. After Team Liquid would knock them out of the winner’s bracket, they would need to take down BIG Clan and Luminosity Gaming. They would face off against BIG in a tightly contested series, eventually taking it in two games. They would make short work of Luminosity, also sweeping them in two games. This was also the first big event they would play with their support, Martin “STYKO” Styk back in the lineup.
Astralis dominates on Train
Quick little 1v2 from @gla1ve_csgo to secure another round with ease 👌 #IEM https://t.co/JCaCtOvQYi pic.twitter.com/NzyeotOoeE
— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) November 9, 2018
Their first map, Train, would be an example of Astralis’ power as a team. Even though Mousesports would come out swinging with the three first rounds, the Danes would strike back with authority. With the double AWP setup on their CT side, Astralis would lock in and thwart any attack from their opponents. Mousesports would manage to find a win after six round losses in a row but would lose right after. With their economy in shambles, Astralis would coast to an easy 16-5 victory, not even losing a single T side round.
Mousesports pushes Astralis to the wire on Nuke
Astralis would head into Nuke with a 27-win streak on the map. The last team to beat the Danish powerhouse here would be Heroic, back in season seven of the European ESL Pro League. However, Mousesports would make a big case to break the streak here at IEM Chicago. After losing the first three round, Mouz would storm back in their first buy round, eventually winning five of the next six rounds. Miikka “suNny” Kemppi would prove crucial to their early success, dishing out twelve kills during the winning spree.
.@mousesports needed the pistol round, and @STYKOcsgo delivers it with an ACE 💪 #IEM https://t.co/JCaCtOvQYi pic.twitter.com/nN5MXhn75a
— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) November 10, 2018
Later on, the match would become closer than ever, with each team trading wins back and forth. Astralis would find the edge heading into the half, leading 8-7. STYKO would then come up huge in the pistol round, managing a big ace for Mousesports. Nuke would stay very close until dev1ce would start to take over for Astralis. First, he would score a quadra kill with the AUG to start an Astralis win streak. Afterward, he would show why he is considered one of the best players in the world. His exceptional play would help lift Astralis over Mousesports in the closest Nuke match we’ve seen from the Danes.
How did he even know he was through the smoke? 😳 @dev1ce is a god with the AWP 🙌 #IEM https://t.co/JCaCtOvQYi pic.twitter.com/wKb9t6zfpr
— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) November 10, 2018
Another disappointing finish for Mousesports, who have been looking for success for some time now. Even though they have won the recent ESL One New York tournament, the rest of their year hasn’t been too spectacular. However, they are still adjusting from playing with former Polish star, Janusz “Snax” Pogorzelski, who now sits on their bench. STYKO brought a different style to the team, and he would play pretty well throughout the tournament. Hopefully, Mousesports can find better form, even though they’ve reverted to their old lineup.
As for Astralis, it is another day at the office for the Counter-Strike giants. They now look towards Fnatic, who have been looking very strong at IEM Chicago. Fnatic would undergo a big roster change before the tournament, dropping William “draken” Sundin and longtime member Robin “flusha” Rönnquist. In their place, they would sign Simon “twist” Eliasson and 16-year-old prodigy, Ludvig “Brollan” Brolin. Not many people would expect much from the new lineup, but Fnatic would take down big names in eUnited, BIG Clan and Team Liquid. We will see if this fiery new squad can take down the Kings of Counter-Strike in the semifinals of IEM Chicago.
What are your thoughts on Astralis’ win over Mousesports at IEM Chicago? Let us know what you think in the comments below! If you want more IEM Chicago coverage, check us out here!