Image via ESL’s Flickr
A full house of enthusiastic fans awaited the teams in Poland’s Spodek Arena for the much anticipated Intel Extreme Masters Katowice CS:GO Semi-Finals. Let’s take a look at what happened and relive some of the highlight rounds.
Semi-Final One: Astralis vs Faze Clan
Cache: 10 – 16
Faze managed to win out yet again in a rematch of a previous classic matchup. This time, a rematch of last year’s Katowice final as they encountered Danish outfit Astralis. They finished well on their CT half, ending 9 – 6 to the good despite Astralis taking an early lead. In the second half Astralis made a valiant attempt at a comeback, but ultimately it was in vain as Faze walked away with a comfortable 10 – 16 victory
This GuardiaN runboost and kill through the smoke was a particularly stylish way to help close out the map:
Overpass: 10 – 16
On Astralis’ map pick it was more of the same, with Faze winning the half on their defensive side with another 9 – 6 scoreline. More déjà vu as Faze again locked the Astralis roster out 10 – 16. Håvard “rain” Nygaard put on a masterclass in aggressive plays across both maps, ending with a series high 1.42 HLTV rating. This was despite reportedly being extremely ill throughout the event so far.
With the scores tied at 10 – 10, rain stepped up to clutch this 1v3 and swing the match decisively in his team’s favour:
Faze Clan moved on to the final with a 0 – 2 sweep of the best of three series.
Semi-Final Two: fnatic vs Team Liquid
Inferno: 16 – 13
This map has been so good for Liquid in the last few months and it’s no surprise it was their choice. What is rather surprising is that after a very solid CT side (9 – 6), fnatic were able to snatch the map away against the usually formidable Liquid Inferno Terrorist side. The classic villainous fnatic combination of Robin “Flusha” Rönnquist, Freddy “KRIMZ” Johansson and Jesper “JW” Wecksell rolled back the years. They put in a vintage performance to deliver Inferno into the hands of their team.
Early in the game, here is Twitstzz with the “you shall not pass” quad kill to hold firm on A site:
Mirage: 16 – 7
With this being fnatic’s map, the pre-match favourites Liquid must have been afraid of losing in two straight. Their worst fears seemed to have been realized as fnatic came out swinging taking the first half 10 – 5 on the T side. Krimz went huge and aided in almost completely shutting Liquid out in the second half for a famous victory. Considering what a terrible Starseries fnatic had, this was certainly an unexpected result.
After taking the 2nd pistol round, Liquid give up the anti-forcebuy round by running into the fnatic meat grinder on B bombsite and set the tone for the half:
Fnatic’s winning moment courtesy of yet another KRIMZ triple kill:
The Swedes of Fnatic marched on to the final 2 – 0.