With all of the of the pre-tournament favourites out of the competition, we got the opportunity to see a CIS showdown and an old grudge match renewed. The Semi-Finals were poised to deliver some vintage Counter-Strike ahead of the Grand Final later in the day.
Semi-Final 1: Natus Vincere vs Gambit: 2 - 0
Nuke: 16 - 7
Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev and Denis “electronic” Sharipov picked up where they left off in the Quarter-Final. It was all shock and awe as they tore Gambit apart with 26 and 27 kills respectively in an abbreviated map. The signs were ominous ahead of Train.
Train: 16 - 12
Gambit looked far better on Train. On one of their favoured maps, they would have felt confident of taking the series to a third map. The first half was fairly even, ending 9 - 6 to Na`Vi’s good on the CT side. Sadly for Gambit their own CT side struggled to contain s1mple and co. Na`Vi moved on to the final, flying in the face of all predictions ahead of the event. S1mple with an AWP 4K on a forcebuy in a lost round:
Semi final 2: Astralis vs fnatic
Overpass: 16 - 6
Astralis’ home map proved to be exactly that. Danish teams and Overpass are one of those proverbial iconic duos. Aside from the first pistol round, it never seemed like fnatic had any say in the outcome of the match. The Danes threw down the gauntlet on a brutal CT side that the Swedish fnatic side barely managed to make a dent in. Switching to the Terrorist side, Astralis completed the demolition.
Mirage: 16 -12
Fnatic won their third out of three pistol rounds to open proceedings on Mirage. What followed was an amazing series of back and forth round wins where neither team was willing to save. Both continued to buy and trade ever more unlikely round wins. Fnatic finally broke the cycle in round nine and was able to get two back to back rounds before ending the half 5 - 10 in front. Astralis on the CT side were an entirely different beast however. The tag-team of IGL Lukas 'gla1ve' Rossander and clutch master Andreas 'Xyp9x' Højsleth was firing. They helped close the game for Astralis and secured their spot in the final. Xyp9x with a typically stoic triple kill B site hold:
Astralis vs Natus Vincere
The tactically astute, teamplay-minded Danes versus s1mple and his cast of supporting characters that had finally started to shine in their own right.
Nuke: 16 - 4
Despite his best efforts with 22 kills in an abbreviated map, s1mple wasn’t able to single-handedly carry his team over the line. His teammates that had been showing up all tournament were nowhere to be found. Astralis delivered a ruthlessly efficient performance on Nuke. They strangled the life out of Na`Vi and played close to perfect tactical Counter-Strike. Yet another sensational Xyp9x 1v3 to close out Nuke for his team:
Inferno: 16 - 11
Astralis were able to amass 9 round on the Terrorist side. Na`Vi at this point were still in it and showed some encouraging signs on T side themselves. Astralis were having none of it and started to rebuff Na`Vi. The CIS team then embarked on several rounds of ill-advised force buys which only served to bury themselves. S1mple again carried harder than any player in history, with a joint career-best 1.52 HLTV rating but was cruely denied another title. The Danes showed that tactical Counter-Strike can still prevail and have set themselves up as the team to beat going into IEM Sydney in 10 days. Here’s gla1ve with a filthy 3v1 quad kill round to get Astralis’ T side back on track: S1mple showing his quality with an odds-defying quad kill in the second half pistol round: