Tournament favorites Astralis survived a pair of close run games against Heroic to advance to the final of IEM Katowice’s Counter-Strike tournament.
The battle between the two Danish teams was decided inside two maps, but Heroic gave a good account of themselves on their biggest stage to date. Heroic shocked everyone in the group stage by coming top of a group that featured Natus Vincere, Virtus Pro, SK Gaming, North and Cloud9.
In game one Astralis picked Train, a map they have excelled on in recent tournaments. However Heroic showed straight away that this would not be a walkover with five straight unanswered rounds. Heroic maintained their lead to 7-2, but were pegged back to 8-7 at the halfway point. Coming out of the break Astralis had clearly used their time wisely, and picked up six straight rounds to surge ahead. Trading rounds back and forth, Astralis moved to map point at 15-10. Though Heroic attempted to force the map to overtime, Astralis closed it out at 16-12.
On Nuke it was Astralis’ turn to run away with things in the first half, repeating Heroic’s feat of five unanswered rounds. Astralis pushed it to 12-3 at the half and the ELEAGUE Major champions looked on course for a 2-0 win.
Heroic had other plans. Trading force buy rounds back and forth, Astralis had a 14-5 lead when the underdogs staged a comeback. Heroic managed to break Astralis’ economy and put them on the backfoot, racking up rounds until the deficit was just two rounds at 14-12. Astralis managed to reset Heroic just at the right time to move to map point, and showed their quality in closing out another 16-12 win.
Nicolai “device” Reedtz was top of the charts for his team with 47 kills, with Markus “Kjaerbye” Kjærbye and Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen also racking up 42 and 40 respectively.
Astralis now move on to tomorrow’s final, where they will meet FaZe Clan—and former in-game leader Finn “karrigan” Andersen.