23 April 2018
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.
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