The IEM Chicago 2018 is down to its last few teams. From the initial 16 teams, we will have a total of 6 teams moving on to the Tournament playoffs. These include three teams from Group A as well as three from Group B.
With Group A matches already coming to an end, we have our three teams that will move to the playoffs. The three teams moving to the Playoffs are Astralis, Faze Clan and LDLC.
There is little to no surprise to see Astralis and Faze Clan in the playoffs. The two teams have been quite dominant in their performance. The Danish roster, Astralis is considered to be the best team in the world. And it is not without reason, they have a thorough understanding of their potential and their shortcomings. They play the game according to these limitations and we see them coming out victorious repeatedly.
While Astralis and Faze Clan were already qualified for the Playoffs [ after reaching the upper bracket finals]. They still competed in the match to determine the seeding in the Playoffs. The winner of the upper bracket final will go to the semifinals, while the loser goes to the quarterfinals. Today, Faze Clan was the much better team as they were able to leverage their superior firepower to win them the series with relative comfort.
Faze dominate Astralis to reach the semifinals.
The series between Faze Clan and Astralis saw two maps being played, Mirage and Inferno. Faze has always been a team that has taken a liking to Mirage. When Karrigan was the In-Game Leader, they were one of the strongest teams on Mirage. Their ability to get key frags and have Karrigan pushing through certain areas of the map was deadly. He would often rotate his positioning on the CT side between A palace and B halls. Upon not seeing anyone, he would move forward slowly, gaining very valuable information. If he did see someone he would often take up a very passive position on the bomb site, at least till some backup arrives.
The Faze Clan started the series with a strong T side half. They crippled the Astralis economy and were able to reach a half-time score of 11-4. Going into the second half, Faze Clan was able to win the pistol and the subsequent round. However, Astralis got the bomb plant on the first two rounds essentially adding a very strong first full buy. This did give them the advantage as they were able to string together three rounds. But very soon, Faze was able to fight back and took home the map with relative ease. They won Mirage with a score of 16-7.
Inferno – A very close Map [ Faze won in Overtime]
The second map of Inferno was much more competitive and it could have gone either way. While Astralis had a very dominant start on their T side on the map, Faze had a late resurgence towards the latter part of the first half. They were able to get the score to a respectable 7-8 from a 4-7 scoreline. This proved critical later in the game as Faze was able to leverage the extra rounds into securing a victory via overtime.
Rain had a particularly good time on Inferno with his angles. He was very impactful and often had multiple frags with his positioning, essentially sealing the map for the team. Overall Faze Clan showed us why we should consider them one of the best teams in the world. They are a team full of talented individuals and any one of them could stand up to make a brilliant performance on any given day.
Team LDLC the surprise winners to move into the Playoffs.
The third team to qualify for the Playoffs is Team LDLC. This roster has proven to be the surprise package in this event. With the likes of BIG Gaming, NRG, MIBr and North out of their way Team LDLC did have a relatively tough way to the Playoffs. They managed to defeat teams like North, NRG, Renegades and Faze Clan. They had a 14-16 loss to Faze Clan, but they also had to get past strong rosters likeNorth and NRG. This tournament once again displayed the weaknesses for NRG. The team is considered to be a very talented roster especially with the addition of Cerq and Brehze. However, they have been unable to make a huge impact on the team.
It will be interesting to see how LDLC performs in the Playoffs. We will also get news of the teams qualified from Group B today. The matches can be seen live on Twitch.
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