After three days of intense competition, we finally have our two Grand Finalists for Intel Extreme Masters – Beijing 2019. The newly formed 100 Thieves (formerly Renegades) versus the Major Champions Astralis!
The Danes’ Route to the Grand Final!
After a disappointing showing at BLAST Pro Series: Copenhagen 2019, it was business as usual for Astralis. In the Group Stage, they swept both Vici Gaming and 100 Thieves in convincing fashion to advance to the playoffs!
Their semifinals match up was against FaZe Clan. Considering that FaZe had beat the Danes a week ago, in addition to defeating Evil Geniuses twice in the Group Stage, many were predicting a close series. We got the complete opposite! It was a massacre; Dust 2 (FaZe’s Map Pick) ended 16-0 to Astralis! FaZe had absolutely no answers to the CT-Side of the Danes. ”Dupreeh” led the way for the Major Champions with 22 kills! Incidentally, this is now the second time that “Coldzera” has been 16-0 by Astralis on Dust 2!
Unfortunately for FaZe Clan, Nuke was also a complete disaster with the Danes running riot. The second map ended just as fast with the final score being 16-2. In the end, Nikola “NiKo” Kovač summed up the Semi-Final perfectly with this image:
The Aussies Route to the Grand Final!
On the other hand, 100 Thieves’ journey to the Grand Final wasn’t so simple. They opened the tournament with a decisive victory over ENCE yet fell short against Astralis in the Group A Winners’ Match, resulting in a rematch with ENCE. Thankfully for the Aussies, they once again defeated the Finnish squad to book their place in the semifinals!
As a result, their opponents were the French powerhouse, Team Vitality! Things were looking bleak for the former Renegades roster (who are playing their first event under the 100 Thieves banner) when Vitality took their map pick 16-8. However, the Australians would not accept defeat; they fought tooth and nail to send the series to game three by taking Nuke 16-14!
The final map was Inferno. 100 Thieves dominated the French side on their CT half as they cruised to a 13-2 lead. Things didn’t get much better for Vitality, as 100 Thieves showed no mercy, quickly wrapping up the series with the scoring ending 16-2. Justin ‘jks’ Savage, went 28-4 (+24) on Inferno, a truly incredible performance. He was the star of the show, finishing with 73 kills across all three games! If he can pull off more performances like that in the future, than this 100 Thieves lineup could become a real force in CS:GO.
100 Thieves vs Astralis – Who Will Win?
On paper, Astralis are the favourites to take IEM Beijing 2019. However, the Danes have been very inconsistent since winning the StarLadder Berlin Major, falling short of expectations at DreamHack Masters Malmö 2019 and BLAST Pro Series: Copenhagen 2019. Will the Danes be able to put this inconsistency behind them and get back to their winning ways?
On the other hand, 100 Thieves will be playing with complete confidence, having just signed with a world famous organisation and defeating tournament favourites Team Vitality. However, this will be the first tier one Grand Final for the Aussies, so it will be interesting to see how they perform on this stage.
In addition, it should be noted that this Grand Final will be a Bo5 encounter. This clearly favours Astralis, as the Danes have a deeper map pool and more experience playing in Grand Finals. In the end, this final looks like it’s going to be an absolute barn burner. I can’t wait to see who comes out on top!
The Grand Final of Intel Extreme Masters – Beijing 2019 will start November 10, 2019 – 08:30 CEST!
You can watch the Grand Final at twitch.tv/esl_csgo
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