Astralis demolish 100 Thieves, win IEM XIV Beijing
The win marks Astralis’ first prominent tournament victory since winning the StarLadder Berlin Major. 100 Thieves reached the Grand Final in Beijing after a surprise organization switch from Renegades, but failed to close out the tournament against Astralis. With the first-place finish in Beijing, Astralis enters the race for the Intel Grand Slam Season 3 title and its coveted $1 million prize.
Astralis made it out of Group A with an easy 2-0. 100 Thieves was also in Group A and finished 2-1, winning their opening match against ENCE and losing out to Astralis. 100 Thieves advanced out of the group stage by defeating ENCE again in the rematch.
The playoffs began with 100 Thieves facing Team Vitality. The series wasn’t close, despite the 2-1 score. 100 Thieves took Mirage easily with a 16-8 win. Nuke went the distance and ended 16-14, but 100 Thieves ran over Vitality on Inferno 16-2 to earn a spot in the IEM XIV Beijing finals.
Though 100 Thieves looked strong in victory, Astralis looked even better. After an easy trip through the group stage, the Danes met FaZe Clan in the playoffs and absolutely demolished them. Astralis won Dust 2 by embarrassing FaZe 16-0 before sending them home with a 16-2 on Nuke.
IEM Beijing finals map picks go according to plan
IEM Beijing’s vetoes went predictably as 100 Thieves removed Overpass while Astralis removed their permaban, Mirage.
100 Thieves took Vertigo with the first pick, a sensible choice considering the map’s recent changes and unpredictability. Astralis locked in Nuke for the second map, looking to exploit their opponent's weakness on the level as well as their own historical strength there. 100 Thieves has not fared well on Nuke in the past six months, winning less than half the games they've played on the map.
Train was the next pick from 100T, a solid decision that gave them a strong chance at taking at least two maps. Astralis closed things out by taking Dust 2, leaving Inferno as the decider.
100 Thieves and Astralis look competitive on Vertigo
The opening showdown on Vertigo was a tense one.
Astralis started off strong on the CT side, thanks to Nicolai "dev1ce" Reedtz and Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander turning a two-on-four situation around. 100 Thieves answered with a second-round force buy that turned into a win and a 5-2 lead thanks to Astralis' weak mid holds.
Astralis eventually found their groove. The tenth round saw the score tied 5-5 following an impressive defense of the A site that included two clean AWP kills for Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen.
The game was tied 7-7 heading into the final round of the half. Astralis managed to defend a B-site hit from 100 Thieves off a dev1ce double kill to win the half 8-7.
100 Thieves tied the game again by winning the CT-side pstol round after Jay "Liazz" Tregillgas, Joakim "jkaem" Myrbostad, and Sean "Gratisfaction"' Kaiwai chased down a fleeing Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth. At 9-8, 100 Thieves erred in keeping the second round's SMGs while Astralis brought out the SG-553s and AK-47s, plowing onto the A site. Despite the weapon difference, 100 Thieves brought it down to a one-on-one, but Xyp9x won the clutch for another tied score.
100 Thieves won an impressive eco with just one Krieg saved by Justin "jks" Savage the previous round and some upgraded pistols. Jks' Krieg would only get one kill, but Liazz nabbed two with a USP to put Astralis into a two-on-three. Liazz then scrounged up a rifle of his own, leaving dev1ce in a dire, one-on-three position.
Dev1ce got another kill and planted the bomb, but lost the round to a defuse under the cover of a dropped smoke. 100 Thieves couldn't pull it off even with the ninja defuse. After 30 back-and-forth rounds, Astralis took 100 Thieves' map pick 16-14 with a methodical anti-eco.
Astralis takes control of 100 Thieves in Beijing on Nuke
While a 100 Thieves stack in ramp room would nab some early kills, gla1ve’s move through secret secured both the B bomb site and the pistol round win. At 3-0, Aaron "AZR" Ward’s aggressive play up the ladder in the T lobby led to his team’s first round. Astralis was up 5-3 by round nine and the Aussies' chances evaporated quickly from there.
100T only took one more round on the CT side against Astralis’ precise executes and ended the half down 11-4. An absolutely ruthless pistol round triple kill by dev1ce set up the end of the map.
100 Thieves came close to taking rounds off Astralis several times, but only managed one more round. Astralis’ stifling Nuke defense gave them the map with a score of 16-5 and advanced them to match point.
100 Thieves falls hard against Astralis on Train at IEM Beijing
Despite being down 2-0, 100 Thieves were all smiles as they started Train on the CT side. The first round went their way as they won their third pistol round of the series.
100 Thieves would only score twice more the entire map.
Astralis kicked into a higher gear on Train. 100 Thieves were never able to get comfortable as Astralis outplayed them in almost every round. Though Astralis didn't add to their highlight reels with the game on Train, their teamwork was impeccable. This kept them from ceding unnecessary kills, maintained their economic advantage, and allowed them to lock up the series 3-0 with a swift 16-3 win
Astralis are the early favorites to win ECS Season 8 Finals
While Astralis didn't face its strongest rivals, the team was incredibly impressive in Beijing. Some struggles in recent months had provoked questions about whether the team was slipping back into its summer slump, but this tournament proved that Astralis should be the favorites to win any tournament they enter. This includes the upcoming ECS Season 8 Finals in Arlington, Texas.
Gla1ve was the clear top performer for Astralis, posting 66 kills, 99.3 ADR, and earning a 1.47 HLTV rating on his way to winning IEM Beijing MVP honors.
With the win, Astralis has earned a direct invite to IEM Katowice 2020. On top of that, Astralis takes their first win in the Intel Grand Slam Season 3, joining Team Liquid, Evil Geniuses, and Fnatic with one win apiece.
100 Thieves’ roster played well at their first event under the organization’s banner in spite of the final score lines. The entire team, Liazz in particular, made terrific plays that could've been series winners against any other team.
100 Thieves will play their next matches in the ESL Pro League Season 10’s Group C, starting November 16 with games against eUnited, FURIA and Isurus Gaming. Astralis have nothing on the schedule until the ECS Season 8 Finals, which kick off November 28.
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