8 May 2018

The storylines were just as fascinating in Intel Extreme Masters Sydney as the plays were exciting. Stick with us as we look back on yet another superb CS:GO spectacle.

The Group Stages

Until Dreamhack Masters Marseille, there really wasn’t a team post-Major that pundits could point to as being the clear best team in the world. That was until Astralis’ return to form with their particular brand of tactical Counter-Strike. Marseille proved no challenge for the Danes as they swept aside everything in their path with little difficulty. Heading into IEM Sydney, it seemed no team would be able to stand in their way.

The group stages didn’t do much to change that perception, with Astralis breezing through to the Semi-Finals after a minor overtime scare against NRG. SK Gaming’s downward spiral continued as the recent inclusion of Jake ‘Stewie2K’ Yip has failed to turn things around for the Brazilians. They lost in overtime to China’s Tyloo and then suffered an embarrassing defeat to home side Grayhound, going down 2 – 1.

The Aussie teams in general did a lot to showcase their region by being very competitive in the group stages. Renegades in particular impressed with a stellar 2 – 1 win over FaZe in the Group A upper bracket Semi-Final. Here’s Justin ‘jks’ Savage with an emphatic 1v4 win on the second map:

FaZe again had a tough time in their Group A lower bracket Semi-final, having to work their way past Grayhound to earn a hard-fought 2 -1 in their favour this time around. Since the addition of Richard ‘Xizt’ Landström, FaZe were looking vulnerable. Following that, they showed a better side of themselves against a lacklustre Cloud 9 in the lower bracket Final. This got them into the Quarter-Finals, but didn’t do much to convince anyone that they would be factor in the tail end of the tournament.

The team most thought would be Astralis’ greatest challengers, Mousesports, mounted very little of one against the Danes in the group B upper bracket Semi-Final. They were able to best G2 Esports 2 – 0, but few held out hope that they could beat Astralis in the playoffs.

Quarter Finals

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